Call it an addiction if you will, but during the holidays I found time to ‘book hunt’ at my local Dymocks and Borders stores. I proceeded to the ‘young adults’ section and spent a nail-biting twenty minutes trying to find a book; and not for lack of trying. The problem was, nearly every book had a similar storyline. Book 1: girl finds out she’s part angel and goes on a life-threatening quest to save the world; meets cute guy in the process. Book 2: cute guy finds out he’s part vampire and goes on a life-threatening quest to save the world; meets his dream girl in the process. I’ll spare you the third variation (involving unrequited love and muscular werewolves), but as you can already tell there was something vaguely repetitive about most of those books on the shelf. With my gag reflex officially activated, I searched and searched until (finally) I came across my Holy Grail – (drum roll) a book with an original storyline and characters with personalities. Because of this experience I set myself a task: to discover a range of books WITH storylines AND characters who are relatable and deep.
“"A good friend will help you up when you fall. A best friend will laugh and try to trip you again."”
Veralidaine Sarrasri – otherwise known as Daine – is a young girl full of memories she’d rather forget. Stubborn, wilful and ready to learn, she pushes her past behind her and gets a job with the horsemistress of the Queen’s Riders, Onua – in the hope that she’ll never have to deal with her past, or magic, again. But after an unexpected meeting with a master mage by the name of Numair Salmalin, Daine discovers that she possesses wild magic: a unique form of magic that allows her to commune with - and in some cases turn into – animals.
Trouble blooms as mages in Carthak awaken the Immortals - a group of mythical creatures from another realm - and plan to use them to wage war on Tortall. Daine must put all her doubts about herself and her abilities aside as she, along with Numair and Alanna the Lioness, use their gifts to defend Tortall from the greatest threat it has ever known.