Full of romance and nature magic, this debut fantasy is perfect for fans of Shannon Hale, Juliet Marillier, and Kristin Cashore.
“A beautifully realized world, a unique voice, and a compelling, action-packed story. This is a striking debut novel with a lovely folkloric flavor.” —Juliet Marillier, author of Wildwood Dancing
Lark has foreseen two things—she will fall for a young man with sage green eyes,and he will kill her.
Sixteen-year-old Lark Carew is happiest close to home, tending her garden and gathering herbs for medicines. But when her Sight warns her that monsters called Troths will soon invade her village, Lark is summoned on a journey to seek help from the legendary Riders of Tarnec. Little does she suspect that one of the Riders, Gharain, is the very man who has haunted her visions. Or that the people of Tarnec have called her there for another reason: Lark is the Guardian of Life, the first of four Guardians who must awaken their powers to recover four stolen amulets. Together, the amulets—Life, Death, Dark, and Light—keep the world in Balance. To take back the Life amulet, Lark will have to discover her true inner strength and give in to a love that she swears will be her downfall.
The village of Merith is about to be massacred by grisly beasts called the Troths, plunging 16-year-old Lark Carew into a quest to summon the legendary Riders to save her people. In Waugh's debut, first in the Guardians of Tarnec series, Lark discovers a secret kingdom and her rightful place as the Guardian of Life. The fantastical realm is depicted in vivid detail, simultaneously ethereal and concrete, and populated by both kindly and menacing characters to guide and torment Lark, making this novel a tantalizing glimpse of what is yet to come. Lark's "Sight" initially appears to be more burden than blessing, causing her physical illness and forcing her to relive the murder that brought a ghastly severed hand to her door. Over time, she learns to control her powers and communicate fully with the natural world, revealing a formidable heroine beneath her reserved and gentle demeanor. As Lark's story unfolds, her self-confidence becomes the key to unlocking her potential and overcoming her own uncertainty. As the king and others remind her, "Trust that you will know what to do." Ages 12 up.