Liska is a griffyx – part fox, part dragon, part eagle – an ancient creature lost to the world except to those shapewalkers who take on their form. Warriors who take on the form of long-dead beasts are protectors of the Undrentree and of all who live in Arborven. While Liska marvels at the order that everyone in Arborven appears to respect and follow, she also grows frustrated at the way she is treated and spoken to, even by her own family, and longs for the day when she can earn her own stripe for bravery.
With a split second decision, Liska suddenly finds herself alerting the city to an invasion of the rot, the greatest threat that the city faced. Can she make her voice be heard in time and can anyone stop Bitterblight from sucking the very life out of the Undrentree and all who rely on it for their magic?
Following on from Larwood’s success with the Five Realms series, I had high expectations to discover another fantasy world by this author. This one is filled with plot twists and turns, and a cast of characters that the reader inescapably becomes emotionally invested in. Yet again, Larwood has delivered. Great as a class read, this book could also be enjoyed as a source of discussions about friendship, inclusion, the class system and mythical creatures.
I had planned to read this as a bedtime story with my daughter, but by the second day I found myself squirreled away, needing to know what happens next and binge reading through to the finale! I’m left hoping that, much like the Five Realms books, this is going to be a trilogy too, as I would love to know what happens to Liska and her unlikely companions next.
Reviewer: Jane E