One of my favorite days- YA Friday! Today I am looking at In the Mouth of the Wolf by Nicole Maggi. It is book 2 in the Twin Willows Trilogy.
The Benandanti (good shape shifters) now have control of the waterfall, but the Malandanti won't give up. They've brought in a mage to fight their battles. Desperate to keep the magic of the waterfall safe, and somehow bring Jonah to the right side, Alessia enlists Bree to spy on The Guild. Together they uncover secrets long lost to the Benandanti and some terrible truths about how far their enemy is willing to go to control the world.
Bree soon finds out that even though she is not a shape shifter, she actually has magic and begins to train as the Benandanti's mage. Alessia and Jonah try to stay apart, but their feelings keep getting in the way, and as another battle looms, Alessia wonders if Jonah will betray her.
I am really enjoying this series. I was given the first two books by the publisher and read them within 48 hours. Book two continues the Romeo and Juliet love story between Alessia and Jonah. However, the twist is that Jonah wants to be free of the Malandanti and asks Alessia to help him find a way out. Their romance is sweet with a little passion thrown in, but not over the top. So far, safe for younger readers.
The adventure is exciting as mages are introduced to the plot line and now outside magic is able to hunt and kill the shapeshifters. I loved that the author brought Bree into the mix of things. In the first book she is so stand offish, but now she is in the thick of things and readers are able to understand her motives. As Jonah's sister, she brings in a dynamic of betrayal that is strained. She is against the Malandanti, and thus her father and brother, but she is on the side of good, so you can't judge her.
As the series moves forward I find that the battle over the waterfall is now old news, both books one and two have battles there. I am hoping for some outside town action in book 3. The story of Alessia and Jonah is the reason I'll continue on, hoping they can beat the odds and be together. Of course, according to the plot, a Benandanti will have to die first... hmm. 5 stars! Keep it going :)