Released: January 5, 2012
Genre: YA Fantasy
Author's Website: http://www.janetleecarey.com/
Challenge: Witchy Books, Speculative Romance, YA/MG Fantasy
Wilde Island is in an uproar after the recent death of its king. The uneasy pact between dragons, fairies, and humans is fraying, and a bloodthirsty witch hunter with a hidden agenda whips villages into frenzies with wild accusations. Tess, a blacksmith's daughter from a tiny hamlet near the mysterious Dragonswood, finds herself caught in the crosshairs of fate when she is accused of witchery and has to flee for her life along with her two best friends.First of all, I LOVE Tess!! She's the perfect heroine, feisty but introspective, alternately fun and brooding. Her character is what makes the story move along, and I love it - it all makes perfect sense, it all flows so naturally, because Tess's character is so clear, right from the start.
Not even Tess's power to see the future can help the girls as they set off on their desperate journey, but she keeps having visions of a man wielding a sword. And when she finally meets him, Tess has no idea how to handle the magnetic attraction she feels for him, or the elusive call she hears from the heart of the Dragonswood.
In this epic romance, an ancient prophecy comes true in a way neither dragon, fairy, nor human would have predicted.
I also love Garth. He's the perfect guy, and I love the ambiguity surrounding him for most of the novel. But even when he's being attracted to Poppy (Tess's friend), I was rooting for the Tess-Garth realtionship to work out. And I love how all the ambiguities - including his attraction to Poppy! - are explained by the end of the book.
The magic of the story is amazing. Every "race" has its own characteristics, but I love how within the fairies, within the dragons, each character is identifiable in its own way, so that while there are certain shared tendencies among the fairies, they don't all sound the same. The fantasy element is so logical, and I like that there is never any explanation of what's going on - the explanation is included organically in the story.
I love how Janet builds and maintains this world, and I have a feeling I'm going to be experiencing more of her worlds very soon!