I came across a great, brand new YA release, Lark Rising by Sandra Waugh.
Sixteen- year old Lark Carew has been raised by her grandmother after the deaths of her parents in a Troth invasion a decade ago. Her favorite things are her cousin Evie and gathering herbs for medicines. Signs begin to appear that another Troth invasion is imminent and Lark is chosen to seek help from the legendary Riders of Tarnec.
The problem? Anyone who crosses into Tarnec land is executed. Lark plans to leave a sign near their land, but when a Troth attacks her she is forced over the border and runs for her life. She is saved by a white stallion, and captured by a Rider, Gharain. Taken to Tarnec, Lark learns that she is the Guardian of Life, the first of four Guardians who must realize they have powers and seek out four stolen amulets. Only finding the amulets will keep the land in balance, but evil forces want chaos and despair.Lark and Gharain are bound together in the quest to find the life amulet, but all Lark wants to do is save her village from the Troths. Plus, she has disturbing visions in which she loves Gharain, but at the same time he causes her death.
Loved it! Read it straight through. Though a fantasy novel, this book rings of a love story too. It reminds me of romance series that goes through a group of sisters where each book is about each sister's different love. I couldn't help but bang my head as Lark decides fate is leading Gharain away from her and she decides not to fight. Duh! It was really annoying. Of course, there is a happy ending, but getting to it was rough.
On the fantasy end of things, the author does a great job creating a new and interesting world. I was pulled into the story from the get go as magic and visions lit up the pages.Lark is a brave heroine, despite her love problems, and really steps up to get things moving. She does what needs to be done and the story revolves around her evolution from lonely country maiden to brave fighter. At one point she is left on her own, and using her own gumption faces the darkness.
The plot itself grips the reader, bringing them along on a tense ride that builds and builds. What are the secrets that the Riders hold and how can Lark save both her village and the amulet?
I think this is going to be a great series, and if my guess is right, the next book is about Evie. 4 stars!