I’m really excited to be a part of the blog tour for Lark Rising, Sandra Waugh’s first book in her Guardian’s of Tarnec series. I wanted to be a part of spreading the word about this fantastic new young adult fantasy series.
Lark Rising (Guardians of Tarnec #1)
By Sandra Waugh
Published September 23rd, 2014
Random House Books for Young Readers
Young Adult | Fantasy
Source: Received from Random House via Baker & Taylor
About the book:
Lark has foreseen two things—she will fall for a young man with sage green eyes, and he will kill her.
Sixteen-year-old Lark Carew is happiest close to home, tending her garden and gathering herbs for medicines. But when her Sight warns her that monsters called Troths will soon invade her village, Lark is summoned on a journey to seek help from the legendary Riders of Tarnec. Little does she suspect that one of the Riders, Gharain, is the very man who has haunted her visions. Or that the people of Tarnec have called her there for another reason: Lark is the Guardian of Life, the first of four Guardians who must awaken their powers to recover four stolen amulets. Together, the amulets—Life, Death, Dark, and Light—keep the world in Balance. To take back the Life amulet, Lark will have to discover her true inner strength and give in to a love that she swears will be her downfall.
Oh, man… fantasy done right can transport you to worlds never imagined and into epic tales and quests. Before I started reading books in earnest, I cut my reading teeth on series such as A Song of Fire and Ice by George R.R. Martin and The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan. Two fantasy series that if actually compared, are pretty darn different. Where A Song of Fire and Ice leans towards brutal battles and treachery, The Wheel of Time goes for the epic quest feel.
Why am I talking about these two books? Because Lark Rising amazingly falls smack dab in between these two classic fantasy series in terms of bloody battles and epic quests. I think Ms. Waugh nailed a perfect balance for young adult readers looking to discover the fantasy genre or who already love it. Never mind that this “grown-up” enjoyed getting lost in the world….
Delivering a non-stop pace right from the start, we’re introduced to Lark Carew as she’s tending her garden at home with her grandmother. She has received three lark feathers and while in the garden, she receives a particularly grim (and obvious) fourth sign from a fox. Using their deductive skills and Lark’s “Sight”, the ladies learn that their village will soon be under attack. The elders call a town meeting and Lark insists that it should be her that leaves town to locate a group of warriors to ask for their help in defending their village.
No, I did not give the first quarter of the book away. Ha! There is soooo much more to this story! So many details, so much world building that happens in the beginning of this book that you would think the reader would become bored out their skull with facts and very little dialogue. NOPE! Lark Rising has a perfect pace, like a symphony. The first part is happy, not too fast, just right. Then we have some tension… Awe, heck. You know how music works! The book’s pace was continuous, non-stop, “lull-less”… please say you’re getting what I’m trying to say here. I’m running out of metaphors!
Back to those “details” I mentioned above: The world created here had some characteristics I haven’t come across in all my reading to date. The amulets that belong to the Guardians are what help balance the world and keep it out of chaos. The bad guys? They create the chaos. Another element of the story I enjoyed was the rowan tree and Twig. I can say no more…
Ms. Waugh’s creativity with her “wildlife” was intriguing, too. I loved that Lark was relating to the animals in the forest. Two characters I could have easily cried for days over, Rune and Twig, are not human. What does that say about me that I’ll cry over a horse but not about a person? Hmmmm…. to ponder another day perhaps.
Okay, admittedly I would cry for Gharain, one of the Riders of Tarnec. I was drawn to the complexity of his backstory and how it tied into the entire web of the story. Just one little moment from when he was younger molded him into the cautious, closed man of today. He wasn’t just a handsome, cranky face amongst the Riders.
Because there is so much world to this story, Ms. Waugh probably could have written a 500 page door-stop but she kept the story light and focused on the characters and their goals and personalities. She kept the book completely and utterly readable and interesting. My reading pile thanks you, Ms. Waugh!! Now, about book two 😀
About the author:
Sandra grew up in an old house full of crowded bookshelves, in walking distance of an old library that allowed her to drag home a sack of six books at a time. It goes without saying, then, that she fell in love with the old house in Litchfield County, CT, because of its many bookshelves, and she lives there now with her husband, two sons, and a dog who snores. Loudly.
LARK RISING is her first novel and the first in the GUARDIANS OF TARNEC series. SILVER EVE follows in 2015.
Continue following the blog tour for great guest posts, interviews and more reviews!
9/15/2014- Mom With A Kindle– Interview
9/16/2014- The Book Landers– Review
9/17/2014- My ParaHangover– Review
9/18/2014- Two Chicks on Books– Guest Post
9/19/2014- Carina’s Books– Review
9/22/2014- A Backwards Story– Review
9/23/2014- Word Spelunking– Guest Post
9/24/2014- Literary Meanderings– Interview
9/25/2014- Fall Into Books– Interview
9/26/2014- Magical Urban Fantasy Reads– Guest Post
Giveaway, did you say giveaway? Well, Ms. Waugh is giving away not one, not two, but THREE prize packs tour wide! This is a tour-wide giveaway and is sponsored.