Seventeen year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father, the legendary bounty hunter for the King of Malam—that is, until her father is murdered. Now outcast and alone and having no rights to her father’s land or inheritance, she seeks refuge where she feels most safe: the Ever Woods. When Britta is caught poaching by the royal guard, instead of facing the noose she is offered a deal: her freedom in exchange for her father’s killer. However, it’s not so simple. The alleged killer is none other than Cohen McKay, her father’s former apprentice. The only friend she’s ever known. The boy she once loved who broke her heart. She must go on a dangerous quest in a world of warring kingdoms, mad kings, and dark magic to find the real killer. But Britta wields more power than she knows. And soon she will learn what has always made her different will make her a daunting and dangerous force.
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Britta: She is strong and determined. She has a lot of fight in her for someone who has lost so much. The journey of Britta not only accepting her emotions but also herself and others is a journey you won't soon forget. It rings true and strong, as she fights for what's right even when she knows she must sacrifice something.
Cohen: Seemed nice, supportive even. But while he was struggling not to let her know how he felt, he was distant and fairly rude. Especially after their first encounter after so long. He is strong and intelligent, kind and compassionate, but he sure knows how to pay the bad guy.
If you had to find the man who murdered your father and found out said man is one you love (but who left you), would you be able to do it? Britta has no choice in the matter, either having to forfeit her life (and her father's everything), or track down Cohen. With her powers of being able to tell truths from lies, she can't fight the accusations against Cohen, not when they ring true. So the hunt begins.
I love the twists, the surprises. Even when it was predictable, it was still enjoyable to read.
Is sweet and slow. Britta and Cohen already love each other, but neither truly believes the other can be theirs. Not only that, they also don't want to endanger each other. Especially now that both are watched closely, Cohen being the hunted and Britta the hunter. The closer they get on their journey however, warms the heart as they aren't just physically connected, but also mentally and emotionally. The more we see of them together, the more we get to see of how hard they're trying to hold back. Love isn't easy to deny, but when you believe it's for the right reason, such as protecting that person, you have the willpower to deny it. And seeing that unravel is rather brilliant.
Is fantastic! Everything was vivid in my mind, easily visualized and rich in descriptions. Summeril knows what she's doing.
The flow was great, the descriptions amazing, and the overall tone was enjoyable to read. I am definitely interested in reading more from this author!
With rich characters and world-building, there's not much to be missed. I was easily hooked and finished the novel quite easily once getting into it.
Britta is captured for poaching, for which the penalty is hanging, and is offered that she would be freed and her father's house and land given to her if she hunts down her father's killer, who is believed to be Cohen. Britta reluctantly agrees and sets out to find Cohen with guards breathing down her neck. However, things are not so simple or clear as they seem and who Britta, her father, and all the characters who seemed so black and white before are gets muddied. Britta must unravel the truth before it is too late for her kingdom and those she cares about.
I really loved this book. It was a bit slow moving at first as the scene is set and the characters developed, but once it really got going (about a quarter of the way through), I was completely hooked. I'm a sucker for medieval style adventures with an epic romance, and this was so well written that I was completely captured by Britta and Cohen and this whole other world. The fantasy elements felt just about perfect- they didn't overtake the book and mysteries of her father's death and kingdom's fate- but they certainly added a unique quality to the story. The romance between Britta and Cohen was incredible and I was cheering for them the whole way- there's a lot of unresolved sexual tension though (you have to withstand a lot of it, but then it makes the idea of their romance even sweeter). There are a few big twists that I didn't see coming, and I really loved following them all the way until the end.
As a note, the end does have a little bit of a cliffhanger, so be forewarned. I am so sad not to have the next book of this amazing series to keep reading right now. The author has built an incredible world, and I loved every step of this amazing journey. Britta really matures throughout the story, and she is the perfect character with which to explore this unique kingdom and fantasy adventure. This book is a wonderful twisty, mystery, fantasy, romance adventure, and I can't wait to read more.
Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher through netgalley. All opinions are entirely my own.