March 26, 2008


By Meg Burden
Rating: 4 1/4 stars
Reviewed by Noelle

This book is dubbed Tales of the Borderlands: Book One, so we hope it heralds the beginning of a new series. The Northland and the Southlands are in a state of open prejuidice and dislike, with Northlanders treating Southlings as though they are dirty or diseased. 16 year old Ellin is a Southling staying in the Northland capital while her father secretly teaches Northlander healers his skills to help their very ill king. Southling healing is considered to be witchcraft and is illegal. But when Ellin gets locked out of the city gates, she ends up unintentionally getting the help of one of the young princes, which gets her in to see the king. Before she knows it, Ellin is living in the castle with her father, helping to heal the king. As she befriends the other princes, she becomes aware of some kind of power in her mind that lets her hear another's thoughts. Finn and Erik, the twin princes, also have the ability. But then Ellin's father explains that this power is exactly what the Northlanders hate and fear about the Southlings, and that she must hide it at all costs. Despite helping the king, Ellin and her father are still sentenced to prison for breaking the Northlander laws, but the princes help them escape. But when the pair make it back to their home in the Southland, it is just the beginning of their trials. For the Guardians know about Ellin and her powers and they are on their way to caputre her...and another group of outcast Southlings with powers are looking to recruit her for their purposes. How will Ellin ultimately use her powers? And can her past exploits with the Northlanders help change both countries for the better? An unusual story, which is packed with plot and will keep fans of fantasy quickly turning the pages to get to the next chapter. Not much is left hanging, but it is a promising beginning for a new series.

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