In a secluded village, magic sparkles on the edges of the forest. There, a young girl named Evie possesses unusually strong powers as a healer. A gypsy’s charms-no more than trinkets when worn by others-are remarkably potent when Evie ties them around her neck. Her talents, and charms, have not escaped the notice of the shy stonemason’s apprentice. But Evie wants more than a quiet village and the boy next-door. When the young king’s carriage arrives one day, and his footman has fallen ill, Evie might just get her chance after all . . . Berry’s debut novel garnered glowing reviews and strong sales-and now she’s done it again with a beautifully woven tale to keep all readers, young and old, absolutely charmed. (via Goodreads)
I really enjoyed reading this! It is a really quick read (the ARC is just under 300 pages), and I read straight through it in one sitting. Plus, its a stand alone novel. I love finding books that aren’t going to be dragged out into a series. Beyond being just a regular fantasy, it has a very fairy tale/mythological feeling. I love the extra innocence and magic that those vibes added to the book. I would definitely recommend this as being appropriate for younger middle grade readers as well as teenagers.
There are creepy sea serpent creatures called leviathans featured in the story, and they aren’t evil! I love that. Ever since Harry Potter, I’ve associated snakes with Slytherin and Nagini and those are not pleasant associations. Having a snake being on the good side was a pleasant switch from the norm. Very cool.
Evie’s journey from the small town where she grew up, to a disastrous trip to the city and on to a lot of shocking discoveries about herself and her past all make for very entertaining reading, and I was always excited to see where the story would go next. I also loved reading about her relationships with all the characters around her (especially Aiden! Sa-woon). She was a great MC, a very sweet and intelligent girl.
I definitely found this book worth reading. The plot and characters were both entertaining and original. If you get the chance – definitely pick up a copy!