By: Micaela Wendell
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books
Publication Date: January 2011
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: June 2011
Morwen Aleacim is an elf who lives in the village of Aren with her mother and younger sister, Brynn. Although the Elders really believe - and have rules about the fact that all female elves should wear female clothing and BE young ladies - Morwen wants nothing more than to dress like a boy and become a great warrior. In fact, she desperately wants to learn how to handle a sword so she can walk into the Silvia Forest one day and try to find her dad. Children have been disappearing from Aren, lost forever in the woods. And when a search party was formed, which included Morwen’s father, they, too, walked into the Silvia Forest and never came back.
Walking into the Forest, Morwen is almost killed by a hound with orange eyes. But, out of the blue, a retired “human” adventurer who lives near the town of Aren named Armando saves her from death. And soon, Morwen makes a pact with Armando for him to train her in the ways of a warrior, and not tell anyone about their partnership. You see, Morwen NEEDS to be able to fight. She is one elf who knows the tale regarding a trusted advocate of a good King who turned to the dark side. His name was Tobias and now all this evil man wants to do is build an army to exact revenge on his King.
One day, when Brynn disappears, it’s up to Morwen to save her sister, and by doing this she runs smack dab into an underground fortress where, to free her sibling, Morwen must take her place. Making the deal, Tobias sets Brynn free and places “the brand” on Morwen. This mystical brand, once it’s placed upon you, will slowly work its way into your body, suck up your soul, and turn you into a puppet that Tobias can control.
Morwen begins her quest to find the man who can save her from “the brand” - a master wizard who she must find in order to stop herself from becoming a soulless elf. Add in a young, handsome elf by the name of Alan - who has to fight between his love for Morwen while at the same time saving himself from the threatening episodes that seem to “overtake” her; and, a female guide by the name of Gwendolyn who has her own agenda as she leads the elves toward the master wizard - and readers receive a very good fantasy novel. Although some of the plot points have been written many times before (i.e. hounds, monsters, elves, wizards, etc.), this author has done a very good job for her debut, and will no doubt have many more fantasy realms to bring to her fans.
Quill Says: A good, solid story from an author who is just sixteen-years-old. It will be very interesting to see her career flourish.