Seventeen year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father, the legendary bounty hunter for the King of Malam—that is, until her father is murdered. Now outcast and alone and having no rights to her father’s land or inheritance, she seeks refuge where she feels most safe: the Ever Woods. When Britta is caught poaching by the royal guard, instead of facing the noose she is offered a deal: her freedom in exchange for her father’s killer.
However, it’s not so simple.
The alleged killer is none other than Cohen McKay, her father’s former apprentice. The only friend she’s ever known. The boy she once loved who broke her heart. She must go on a dangerous quest in a world of warring kingdoms, mad kings, and dark magic to find the real killer. But Britta wields more power than she knows. And soon she will learn what has always made her different will make her a daunting and dangerous force. (Goodreads)
So, I picked this book off the New Young Adult shelve because it sounded good. It was a tad slow in the beginning but as soon as some major action happen, boy oh boy, did it get good! There’s magic, and love, and a major plot twist that I totally didn’t see coming! (I thought it was Captain Omar the entire time!)
Basically, the story starts with Britta Flannery hunting in the Ever Woods-which is forbidden because the King owns it- and gets caught. The punishment for poaching in the woods is death by hanging, but instead Lord Jamis charges her to find the murderer of Saul Flannery, her father. If she brings his killer back than she is allowed to keep her land and life. Saul Flannery was killed by Cohen, Britta’s childhood friend and Saul’s apprentice-except Cohen didn’t do it. In the beginning it was clear that he could of, his coat was found at the scene along with his dagger.
Britta, under the watch of Captain Omar, Lief, and Thomas (the arrow happy, crazed man) to find Cohen. They come across each other when Cohen purposely leaves behind for Britta. Cohen convinces her that he wasn’t the one who killed Saul and both of them are now on the run from Captain Omar and his gang to prove that Cohen’s innocent.
Throughout the novel Cohen and Britta almost get caught and they both fall in love. Britta is also starting to learn about her powers after she saves a dog that’s near death. Later on, Britta finds out that Enat (the woman they’be been looking for) is her grandmother. Enat is also a Channeler who trains Britta-both Spiriters-and is the one who helps set up a meeting with the Archtraitor, Millner, to find out who killed Britta’s father. Millner gives them a clue about five stripes. The only person to have worn five stripes would be the Captain of the army. Any guesses? Captain Omar!
Later in the story, Cohen, Britta and Enat make the trek back to Malam to save King Aodren. Cohen reluctantly leaves to save his fourteen year old brother from the front lines and Britta and Enat finish the trek to Malam. Before they make it to Malam they are ambushed by Captain Omar, Lief and Thomas. Thomas kills Enat and Britta kills Thomas. Afterwards, Britta wakes up in the dungeon face to face with Lief, who helps her escape so she can save the King.
MAJOR PLOT TWIST AND SPOILER BELOW!
Omar catches Cohen and Britta trying to talk to Lord Jamis, and this is where it gets super exciting. CAPTAIN OMAR DIDN’T KILL SAUL FLANNERY! Lord Jamis, the one who charged Britta to find Cohen is the one who killed Saul. So then the action begins, Captain Omar fights Lord Jamis; Cohen and Britta break free from the guards; Cohen fights the guards and Britta runs to find the Spiriter controlling King Aodren. She then brings him close to death-because she can’t find the Spiriter and this is the only way-and uses her Channeler power to save him, and by doing so, she drains most of her life from herself. Britta later wakes up in a cottage and King Aodren comes to thank her. Britta tells us “The man I love is no longer the one I’m connected to.” Mind you, this all happens within the last 5 or so chapters.
I’m not one for mushy love stories but Summerill kept my attention with all of the cool adventure and magic. The story was easy to read and well thought out. I just hope there is more to the story and by the end of this novel, I’ll bet there will be more to come.