*This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com, at my request.
Brusenna knows she's a witch, but nothing beyond that. Nothing of the Keeper of the Four Sisters and her mothers past. Sacra thinks she's keeping her daughter safe by concealing the secrets of the Keepers, who are now what people call witches. Coyel, one of the eight remaining free witches, comes to ask Sacra's help. Signs of the Dark Witch are increasing, earth, plants, water, and sunlight are all struggling to survive from her powers. The Circle of Keepers is needed to complete the capture of the Dark Witch and stop the drought. When the Witch Hunters come for Brusenna, she learns she's the only witch that's not been captured by the Dark Witch. Taking the gold her mother left and heading to Haven as her mother instructed, Brusenna knows something needs to be done. Brusenna is determined to learn all she can and go save the other witches.
Melissa embodies the poise of the characters in her voice. As Brusenna's confidence grows, so does the strength in her voice. Melissa carries this through with the feel of all characters. Melissa does different voices and tones for each character. Her impression of Waldof had me not liking him with the tone in his (her) voice. Sly bugger. When we get to a new land Melissa speaks in the accented English to bring the world to life for us.
Some people call them witches. They fear them and blame them for the lands poor productivity. But they are Keepers of nature. The witches here have the power through song to call nature to their bidding. And their's one witch that's capturing all the others and changing the way of the weather and lands, hoping to bring all of man to bow to her.
The story has a feel of a young girl growing into her own. The writing is easy to understand and feels as it's a great story for young adults to read, even those on the younger side of YA age bracket. At least for this book. I'll see what happens in books to come. Senna knows what she needs to do, yet she thinks she should do it alone because of her losses due to the Dark Witch and what she needs to do. Senna wants to keep everyone safe. But her guardian, and dear friend, Joshen works to get her to realize what she's doing and how there are those that will work with her as it's for their livelihood too.
I knew before Senna admitted it, that I wanted Joshen to travel with her. He's a great companion for Senna and a wonderful love interest. Being a witch, people don't touch her with fear of being cursed. With her mother gone for weeks, when she finds her guardian, Joshen, she likes the feel of his touch as he doesn't fear her. Senna seems to start to fall for him in their travels together, but she figures he'd never feel the same. To be young again and experiencing love for the first time... When Senna makes a decision to keep Joshen safe, I like that she tells him why she's doing what she's doing but she still forces him to go. But at least she told him the truth in that moment too.
Senna's adventures take her from her home in the woods to the sea, traveling on the sea. Senna gets to visit a new land with different ways. I enjoyed her adventures and troubles she crossed. Senna grew up as we go along and shows she is capable of helping with her magic.
Before the big battle I felt a moment where I could tear up. Almost did, but didn't. I was touched by the moment Senna had with Joshen. This moment when they both listen and respect each others view of the situation. The right thoughts are shared along with understanding for the feelings felt.
Just when you think the story ends, there is more to happen. I liked that the story tied it all up for us in the end.
When I started the book I thought it started like many others. Young girl kept in the dark by parent. Parent leaves girl alone to deal with problem. Parent doesn't return and trouble finds daughter. But somewhere along the way the story grew much more than that for me. Senna as a character changed it with being a smart girl. Senna knows what she's doing and why when sends Joshen away, she even admits it in that moment. Senna may not believe she's loved but she knows Joshen is not dumb. Both characters see that in each other and treat each other as such. Though there are naive moments on Senna's behalf, she really hadn't interacted with many people let alone kind people, Senna holds true to respecting others in their ideas and has many of her own to help.
I'm very curious to carry on with Senna and Joshen in future stories. They both have captured my heart in this story.