As an exile studying the healing arts in a foreign land, Alswyn hides the details of her troubled past and the true reason she was banished from her homeland.
But when the king's foreign bride falls prey to a mysterious illness, Alswyn must face the man who ordered her exile and use her knowledge of dark magic to catch the ash sorcerer before the countryside is plunged back into a bitter war.
Unfortunately, digging up the bones of Alswyn's past may well prove fatal to her soul.
Great Fantasy Read for Young Adults
Good, clean fantasy books for young adults are difficult to find but Out of the Past by Shauna E. Black certainly fits the bill!
The heroine, Alswyn, is crippled, an apprentice healer, and banished from her people. Living in her enemy's territory, she mourns the life she once had. Her mentor, Koen, brings her with him when he goes to treat the king's fiance. In doing so, Alswyn is opened to her past.
Ms. Black does an excellent job with world building. She hints at the complicated political maneuverings that also appear to include gods and goddesses. The revelation at the end has me curious to read the remaining books in the series.
My only quibble was when Alswyn noticed how attractive a certain male character was. I felt it was out of character but I could also understand why it was included, since Alswyn is a teenager and is of an age of noticing that.
As an introduction to a young adult fantasy setting, there are certainly worse!