Is it possible for a single falcon to save a kingdom?
Erynn Taylor was fourteen the day she witnessed the random and brutal murder of her father. She should have died that day too, alone on a forest road in a kingdom that was not her own, but a reclusive golden dragon swooped down upon the scene--scattering her attackers and sparing her life, but ultimately denying her justice.
Two years later, her father's killer reappears--riding boldly into her kingdom for a visit with her king. But her elation at the nearness of justice turns to anger and then fear as she learns there is more to his visit than meets the eye--a conspiracy that threatens the entire kingdom and just might bring her the death she so narrowly avoided.
Fleeing the castle where she has lived ever since her father's murder, and soon becoming the subject of a kingdom-wide manhunt, Erynn sets out to find the man who holds the key to her past only to discover that her escape will not be so easy. That reclusive golden dragon is back--and following her. There is a fast-flowing river she needs to cross. And then there are those unresolved problems she left behind.
She wants justice. She also wants to save her kingdom and her king. But does she want either badly enough to die?
A courageous young girl embarks upon a perilous journey to save herself and her kingdom.
After her father is killed carrying out King Wryden’s orders, 14-year-old Erynn is brought to Wryden’s castle in Alyria to serve as the king’s scribe. For the next two years, Erynn remains bent upon avenging her father’s death, as well as investigating the mysterious circumstances surrounding her birth and her unusually preferential treatment by the old king. When the king’s son, Holden, leads a rival kingdom’s army attack on Alyria’s capital—an army that includes her father’s killer—Erynn uncovers a conspiracy that places her at its center. As Holden and his henchmen lock down the castle and cut off the fastest means of communication—the titular falcons—the fate of Alyria hangs in the balance. Along with her friend Adena and watched over by Krystalix, a fearsome golden dragon, Erynn sets out into the wild to deliver a crucial message to the king’s other son, Gareth, and to discover the truth about who she really is. Though clearly influenced by fantasy-adventure tales like the Lord of the Rings and A Song of Ice and Fire (elves, dwarves, dragons and Anglo-Saxon names abound), author Ruttan puts a refreshing spin on the tradition, creating a strong female protagonist whose resourcefulness and wit will inspire young readers. After ending this volume with a nail-biting cliff-hanger, Ruttan will hopefully continue to innovate and impress within the well-worn genre.
A riveting, vividly described adventure story with a familiar yet satisfying trope.
STARRED REVIEW. This kickoff to a traditional fantasy series starring feisty and independent teen heroine Erynn is both well paced and engaging. The book starts in medias res, with Erynn hiding in a cave after the dragon Krystalix attacked a group of men from her kingdom returning from a horse-buying expedition, and the raid on the recently purchased animals leaves her father dead. But Erynn got a clear look at the person who struck the fatal blow, a "fair-haired man with the limp and the jagged scars," and vows to avenge the murder. When she discovers the true identity of the fair-haired man, Erynn uncovers a conspiracy that may complicate her quest. Ruttan blends the medieval and supernatural effortlessly, ably setting up a sequel to this fun fantasy novel.