Published: August 27, 2009
Tirissa is a twelve year old girl from Oakenwood who is faced with a tremendous responsibility when she realizes that everyone she knows has become deadened as she calls it or without emotion and easily controlled. She is apprentice to an herbwoman, Mistress Farleaf and when she shows up for work, there is a stranger present who makes her uncomfortable. He learns that the deadening has not affected Tirissa and when she runs from him, he turns into a strange creature like nothing she's ever seen. She decides that she must head to Kellayne, a nearby city in search of a witch who might be able to help. While evading the creature, she meets the first of the friends that will be helping on her journey, Oglo the troll. He seeks to protect her because he wasn't able to protect others from the creatures in his past. He will make many sacrifices to help Tirissa who becomes his best friend.
The two journey across the Three Kingdoms in search of the deadening stones as well as a book of spells used by a wizard whose plans are much more nefarious than just to control the people. They gain and lose friends as they go, evading many villains and imprisonment along the way. An ex-guard, Storge, joins their group. They disguise themselves many times and never give up, showing extreme courage and strength through impossible circumstances. Tirissa learns who she is and what she is capable of doing and uses these talents during the trip to Far Montayne in the west. Many surprises and setbacks ensue. So, does she succeed in saving the people of the Three Kingdoms? I guess you'll have to read the book to find out.
I was delighted and fascinated with Ms. Willow's fantasy world. Her creatures and characters were vivid and unpredictable. I rooted for Tirissa and her friends and found myself discouraged when things didn't go as planned. There were also several sad moments. Tirissa is one of the most resourceful pre-teens that I've ever had the pleasure of reading about. The language is simple enough for youngsters but will not fail to keep adults interested as well. I am looking forward to more fantastical stories by Ms. Willow in the near future, I hope.
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**I received this book courtesy of the author and Pump Up Your Book Promotions for the purpose of review**