author: Malinda Lo
date: Little, Brown and Company; 2011
main characters: Kaede; Taisin
Something is not right in the kingdom and Taisin’s dreams only seem to verify it. The King decides to send an envoy which include his son, Taisin, and specially selected guards to answer the Fairy Queen’s summons to make things right. They’ve had a truce with the Fairy Queen, but stories from the areas they must travel through indicate possible danger. And then, there is the fact that Kaede is the subject of Taisin’s dreams. Neither girl has completed her studies at the academy; neither really knows her own strength or understands what challenges that may lie ahead, including challenges of the heart.
Kaede and Taisin are both indeed on a hero’s journey. Lo carries us on this journey with them, allowing readers to learn of the girl’s physical and spiritual powers as they themselves do. While they are learning to trust their own strengths, the girls also begin to trust and love each other. Only together can they conquer their foe and only two people who truly love one another could come together in such a way to fight pure evil.
It is obvious that Lo is quite comfortable with romance, legends and sheroes. This is her zone! I usually fold over corners as I read so that I can share noteworthy pages as I read but, this time, I was too caught up in the story.
I’m not sure why it took me so long to finally read a book by Ms. Lo. I suppose the only negative comment I can make here is that I should have read it sooner. This book is a prequel to Ash, which I have not yet read.