J. Elizabeth Vincent
Born an outsider. Betrayed by her mother. Forced from her home.
Mariah considers herself nothing less than a freak. After all, no one else is half-human, half-hawk. Living alone, away from judging eyes and a kingdom that would make her a slave, is the only way to survive. But her mentor starts to push, to hint that she is meant for greater things. Two young raven shifters have been taken, and she may be the only one who can save them.
To rescue them, Mariah must expose herself in the heart of enemy territory, and giving up her freedom may be the only chance she has …
Uncaged Review: For series you are in the world of Whitelea.
Varidian is the north country separated from Cillian by the Granite Sea. There if Eaglespire, Grof, Glenley, Kannuk, Kilgereen, Laikos forest are the most commonly mentioned places.
Cillian is the south country of Whitelea. Wellspring, Firebend and Tennedore.
Mariah is the main character. She is a Ceo San which means the chosen ones who are shape shifters. Mariah is a Hawk with black wings tipped in silver. She has silver hair.
Rothgar is the king of Varidian but he wants to take over all of Whitelea.
Gwyneth (Gwyn) is a Ceo San but a cat. She becomes Mariah’s mentor.
Xaecor (Xae) a young boy who is also a raven who wants to save his family.
Shari is a Ceo San bear which Mari and Xae meat in Grof.
Other minor characters include, Magnus, Mariah’s father, Rose, Shari’s mother, Simone, Xae’s mother, Ruby a Wolf shifter. Tibbot, a fox shifter, Cam, a man sweet on Shari, Bria, Mariah’s friend and her husband Zach.
The book opens with Mariah straightening her father’s smithy and getting the forge hot. Mariah hasn’t learned to shift, so she is half girl and half bird with long black wings with silver tips she keeps tied down and hidden. Her father tells her how bad Rothgar is and how he dislikes making weapons for him. He severely burns his leg. Mariah’s mother gives her a note to take to the apothecary in Glenley for ointment they can’t get locally. As she is leaving, two soldiers with dragons on their chest come after her. She runs and her father and mother tell her to fly and not come back. She does, going across the sea and collapse in Tennedore from the flight. Gwyneth finds her and saves her life then mentors her. She attempts to get Mariah to shift, but she says she isn’t a shifter.
Mariah does learn to shift when Gwyn gets hurt and they aren’t sure if she is going to live. After Xaecor asks Gwyn for help. As I’m sure you can guess, Mariah does go with him back to Varidian to help free his family. They weather a storm while crossing the sea and Mariah ends up with a broken collar bone which means she can’t fly. Shari befriends Mariah knowing she is Ceo San and ends up joining them as she knows the way to Glenley along with being able to move around the city without being caught by the trappers who capture all the Ceo San they find.
I’m not going to go farther until the story as you need to read it. It is well written with engaging characters who you want to hear more about when the book is finished. It kept me engaged throughout the book as I rooted for Mariah to show what she could do (which she does) and for Xae to get his family back. I’m sure you’ll be like me and wanting to read the second book of the series to find out what happens next for Mariah, Xae and Shari.
This is a definite five star book you’ll want to read if you like fantasy and middle earth type books. Reviewed by Barbara