In the far distant past the world was destroyed in the Blind War. Technology was lost, but new talents were found, allowing the talented to sing with trees or find anything they desire.
As the ceremony and testing period at which they will be given their apprenticeships approaches, Ariel is confident that she will become a Healtouch, while her friend Zeke wants desperately to be a Treesinger. In attempting to help her friend, Ariel stumbles upon a telling dart, a relic of the of the old world. The very next day two strangers arrive in town demanding the dart and throwing Ariel’s world into a shambles. She is kidnapped, with Zeke attempting to rescue her. As the days pass, the two young villagers lose almost everything important to them…but they may also be discovering long-lost and newly minted talents unique to themselves.
Like any good quest novel, this book contains all of the classic elements: characters on the verge of adolescence, the unwilling departure from what is known and loved, the sense of initial failure followed by the realization of unknown powers, the constant danger during the search. I particularly enjoyed the ending of the book and the realization of what it was that they had spent so much time looking for.
This book is sure to be devoured by eager readers looking for a strong fantasy adventure. The characterization is good. I particularly liked Scarl, who starts out as one of the kidnappers and is slowly redeemed over the course of the book. In contrast, however, there are other “bad guy” characters who are unrepentantly bad with no redeeming qualities.