Fans of Leigh Bardugo and Holly Black will devour this gorgeously imagined fantasy about a dark forest besieged by monsters—and the wild queen who has sworn to drive them out.
A fierce young queen, neither human nor lynx, who fights to protect a forest humans have long abandoned.
An exhausted young soldier, last of his name, who searches for the brother who disappeared beneath those trees without a trace.
A Golden Dragon, fearsome and vengeful, whose wingbeats haunt their nightmares and their steps.
When these three paths cross at the fringes of a war between monsters and men, shapeshifter queen and reluctant hero strike a deal that may finally turn the tide against the rising hordes of darkness. Ren will help Lukasz find his brother…if Lukasz promises to slay the Dragon.
But promises are all too easily broken.
This Eastern European fantasy debut, inspired by the Polish fairy tale "The Glass Mountain," will take you on a twisting journey full of creeping tension, simmering romance, and haunting folklore—perfect for readers who loved An Enchantment of Ravens and The Hazel Wood.
Ross's uneven Polish folklore-inspired debut opens 17 years after a seemingly invincible Golden Dragon kills Kamien a's royals and slaughters its military, facilitating invasion by assorted monsters. Lynx/human shapeshifter Ren, 17, endeavors to protect the forest animals who made her their queen but believes the Golden Dragon is causing evil to spread. Enter Lukasz Smok w, 21, who hails from a legendary clan of dragon slayers called the Wolf-Lords. Having nearly died while battling an Apofys dragon, Lukasz wants to return home to the mountains, like his brothers before him, but doesn't know the way, as he left when he was four. Ren distrusts humans, who have been cruel to her and her friends, but out of desperation, she strikes a deal: if Lukasz will slay her dragon, she will guide him home. Formulaic plotting slows the narrative, and though Lukasz and the beings who accompany them lack complexity, robbing the tale of emotional heft, Ross delivers a fierce, fully fleshed heroine and a richly textured fantasy with a kind heart. Includes a pronunciation guide. Ages 13 up.