Buy it Here
Age Appropriate For: 13 and up for mild violence and very mild romance
Best for Ages: 13 and up
Description: Three hundred years ago, the Rhenor nation split into two, the Reshan and the Khanor. One dwells in the Outerlands, the other in the mountains - and although the nations have made peace, their people have not. One fateful day, two small patrols meet in an outer cave in Khanor territory. The youths, spurred by mutual distrust, brawl, and the ensuing cave-in cuts off their main routes back to both the Reshan and the Khanor civilizations. Their only choice is to join forces and follow the one remaining tunnel - one that runs through an area known simply as the Forbidden Regions - to find their way back to their homes. Along the way, the beliefs of every traveler are put to the test, and the secrets of a few may threaten the safety of all. For as they go, Lusefar, lord of the Saethen, sends his agents against them, licking his lips as a ravenous dragon.
I had a hard time deciding how many stars to give this book. Especially in the beginning, the number of characters was dizzying. Trying just to keep up with who was who was almost impossible, and I wasn’t sure I would even like the book. I am so glad I kept reading, because it ended up blessing me so much.
This story was an allegory of the spiritual battle that rages in this world, set in a non-magical fantasy world. The world-building was done very well and made me feel like I understood the culture well.
As I said, there were a lot of characters, but my favorites were Yannah, Sheth, and Kyra. Most of the others kind of blended together and were a bit confusing, but these three really jumped off the page. Yannah was a very hurt girl searching for something more to life. Sheth is a believer in God and feels all alone in his faith. Kyra is running from the pain of her past. These three stand out and really make the story worth reading.
Barrows, even though her writing isn’t amazing, really managed to touch my heart. After reading her story at the back of the book, I can see why. This story was her story in many ways. She poured her heart into it, and it showed. Her message of real faith and struggle touched my heart.
There was some romance (nothing beyond holding hands and some conversations), and there was some violence, but nothing was overly described.
I highly recommend this book for those who like non-magic fantasy, faith filled stories, and characters with real struggles.