Monday, May 16, 2016

The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse by Brian Farrey

The queen is dying.  The princess is only twelve and she has no desire to be queen, but she also has no choice.  When the queen brings her a tutor he's an odd little man who answers her questions with more questions.  She has no idea what she's learning or how much until she gets in a crisis.

Algonquin Young Readers and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published, so you can buy a copy now.

When Jeniah surveys her kingdom with her mother, she sees a dark spot from the tower.  She's told it's the Dreadwillow Carse.  She's also told not to go in the Carse or the Monarchy will fall.  Just like any other child, she's determined to find out why.  But how?

She meets a young peasant girl who is trying to get her father back.  The Crimson Hoods took him away and she misses him.  She thinks the Princess can help.  They barter.  Aon agrees to go further into the Carse than she has been and, when she shares what she found there, the Princess will get her mother let Aon's father go.  But neither of their quests are straight forward or easy.

When Aon goes in the Carse and doesn't come back out, Jeniah goes in after her.  The secret of the Carse is an ugly one and Jeniah has to make a choice.  Her mother has already told her she'll have to be the queen she is not be the queen her mother was.  This is her first chance to make a change and she has to decide between better or worse.

Jeniah and Aon are both very strong young women and they fight for what they want.  The adventure was just creepy enough to keep me reading.  The ending is ironic and very fitting.  This was a good read.

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