Monday, June 15, 2009

Northlander by Meg Burden

"When sixteen-year-old Ellin Fisher and her father travel to the Northlands on a secret, illegal mission to heal the ailing king, Ellin wishes they'd never come. She longs to go home to the Southland, where her red hair is like everyone else's, and where the practice of healing isn't called witchcraft, punishable by death. When Ellin heals the king herself, however, breaking the law is the least of her worries. She also accidentally awakens the mental powers of her Southling heritage--forbidden abilities that brand her an outsider even among her own people.Soon, Ellin finds herself a wanted fugitive in the Northlands and hunted at home by a mysterious group called the Guardians. And though she is welcomed by a band of Southling outlaws with abilities like hers, she sorely misses the Northlander princes she befriended and fears for them when the outlaws reveal their plan to invade the Northlands. Torn between two worlds, Ellin must make the most difficult decisions of her life: what she's willing to do, and who she's willing to betray, to belong somewhere again.

I've been super busy this past week and was only able to read a few chapters at a time. It has been a while since I've spent so much time on just one book. Overall I enjoyed the story; it was unique in some ways, and a bit predictable in others. The story starts with our heroine, the young healer Ellin, getting locked out of the city for being out after curfew. Through a series of events she is eventually let into the castle to attempt to help heal the ailing King. In the Northlands it is illegal for Southlings to use their healing powers. Despite this law, Ellin decides she will do whatever she can to save the king. Eventually reunited with her father, they are able to bring him back from the brink of death. As he continues to heal she soon becomes close friends with the five princes. I enjoyed this part of the story; I really fell for all five princes. I wonder who, if any, young Ellin will end up with (I’m rooting for Alaric). Unfortunately, there isn’t much romance in the book, some things are barely hinted at, but I was left a little disappointed on that. This is the first in a trilogy; I look forward to reading the others, but am a little unsure where things will go. The first book ended as almost a stand-alone book would, so I’ll be curious to see what happens with Ellin in the next one.

Book One: Northlander
Book Two: The King Commands (Winter 2009)

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