Only Thera of Allenholme hears the voice of forest-mind…and heeds its warning . Thera doesn’t know why the Elanraigh forest-mind chose her, of all the Allenholme folk, to hear its voice and to awaken her gifts of mind and spirit. The Elanraigh sends a warning dream; black sails swooping toward Allenholme from across the western sea—the Memteth, an ancient enemy, armed with blue fire that hungers to consume life. As Thera awakens to her gifts of bonding with raptor birds and reading hearts, the knowing; she also awakens to love. Will she choose Chamakin the young Ttamarini warrior who is a kindred in spirit to her, or the polished young nobleman who covets her beauty even more than her estate? Forest-mind is aware she is yet too young for such power and responsibility. It has no choice—the lives of all Thera’s people and the existence of the Elanraigh Forest itself, depend on Thera fulfilling her destiny. Can she learn what she must of gift, and heart, to survive what comes their way? "
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
(Source: I won a copy of this book!)
14-year-old Princess Thera can speak with the forest mind, the spirit of the woods and animals. This is a very special gift that is becoming very rare among her people.
Thera has had a dream of ships with black sails arriving though, which means that her home (Allenholme) will soon be attacked by the Memteth – their ancient enemy.
In an attempt to raise a defence again Memtath, Allenholme decide to join with a once enemy, the Ttamarini, who are also afraid of Memtath’s wrath.
Thera has feelings for the Ttamarini man Chamak, who has similar gifts to hers, but as she is the only one with gifts, she knows she must be the next ‘Salvai’, which means she will be shut away to commune with the forest, and not allowed to marry.
Chamakin asks Thera’s father if he may court her, and her father refuses – he thinks she’s too young, even though her 15th birthday is only 2 days away, and she will officially be a woman.
Thera, her nanny, and a two swordsman go on a journey away from Allenholme, hoping to avoid the battle. On the way they come across the Memtath and their black sailed ship. Thera and Nan run while the men stay behind to fight, but once Thera is safe Nan goes back to the battle.
When Thera awakes, she returns to the battle site to find all 3 dead. She joins with a hawk and the forest mind to sink the ship in which the memtath sail.
Thera is later found by some warrior women, who look after her.
Thera then has a vision on the memtath attacking the place where her aunt the salvia lives, and the troop run to get there in time. The salvia is wounded, and Thera is saved from an attack with a Memtath man by her grey wolf.
This book had an interesting storyline, with promising ideas, but for me it was just a little too slow. I found my attention waning quite early on, and ended up speed reading for quite a lot of the book. Several times I gave up on this book and then went back to it, just because I wanted to know how it ended, but I found myself reading less and less every time I picked it up. I’m afraid I fully gave up on it at 60%
Just too slow; didn’t do it for me unfortunately.
5 out of 10.
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