By M. E. Breen
Rating: 4 1/4 stars
In this compelling story, everyone fears the complete and utter blackness of the night--no stars, no moon, just complete darkness. To add to the fear are the kinderstalk--huge animals who roam the forest and will take any humans they run across. Everyone in Dour County seems to live in fear since all of the farms failed and the only place anyone seems to work is the Drop--a cliff where the valuable ringstones are mined. When Annie discovers her aunt and uncle are going to sell her to the Drop, she takes a huge risk and escapes in the night where she begins to make a startling discovery--she can see in the dark. But her escape is just the beginning of her adventure for when Annie discovers what is really going on at the Drop, she decides to journey to tell the king. And as she travels, more and more unsettling events occur, such as the kinderstalk refraining from attacking her and her eyesight growing ever clearer at night. And when she finally gets to the king, even greater surprises are in store. Is Annie the answer to a prophecy of old? Who or what is she really? Readers will be drawn into this layered story and will be eager to find out all of the details of what is really going on in Dour County and they may hope for a sequel to iron out the somewhat abrupt finish. Good fantasy world building.