Young Jennifer, or Fer, as she calls herself, has always been more comfortable in the woods around the farm she and her Grand-Jane occupy than amongst her classmates. Schooled in herbal healing lore and simple spells, Fer feels the draw of a nearby pool where she defends a dog against a wolf attack. No mere dog, this is the shape-shifting puck Rook, who has mixed allegiances within his own world. Seeing Fer for the part-magical character she is, with power yet recognized, he draws her through the Way to a land where her long-missing parents had departed. There Fer meets the Lady or 'Mor', a ruler who must bring the Spring to all the lands through blood sacrifice. Insisting on Fer's allegiance to her cause, the Lady claims Rook's triple-bound oath to spy on Fer. It is only through Fer's compassion and healing skills that she realizes the evil in this usurper, discovering her own inherited power as well as the fate of her parents.
Reminiscent of the Narnia Chronicles, with archery training and woodsy lore from The Hunger Games, this is an engrossing read for middle-grade fantasy lovers. Rich language, well-drawn characters and powerful images of other worlds convey the nobility and fortitude of character that even a young girl can embody, solving a mystery while bringing peace to a community long-steeped in fear and bloodshed.
Rating: 4 out of 5