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Shadowcry (Secrets of Wintercraft #1)by Jenna Burtenshaw
One of the last books I read in 2011 turned out to be my favorite! Shadowcry is the first volume in the Wintercraft series by British author Jenna Burtenshaw. In this dystopian world, a town's people live with the constant threat of war. When war does come, young Kate Winter gets pulled into the fray, only to learn that she is one of those known as the "skilled," all of whom possess the power of life over death. I was so taken with this story I had to order a second copy from the U.K. since it had yet to be released in the U.S.!
Synopses & Reviews
The Night of Souls—when the veil between the living and the dead is thinnest—is only days away.
Albion is at war . . . and losing.
The wardens have descended, kidnapping innocent citizens for their army, but looking for one in particular.
And fifteen-year-old Kate Winters has just raised a blackbird from the dead.
As her home is torn apart by the wardens, Kate's discovery that she is one of the Skilled—the rare people who can cross the veil between life and death—makes her the most hunted person in all of Albion. Only she can unlock the secrets of Wintercraft, the ancient book of dangerous knowledge. Captured and taken to the graveyard city of Fume—with its secret tunnels and underground villages, and where her own parents met their deaths ten years ago—Kate must harness her extraordinary powers to save herself, her country, and the two men she cares for most. And she'll make a pact with a murderer to do it.
Those who wish to see the dark, be ready to pay your price.
"In this somewhat overwritten but nonetheless gripping first volume of the Secrets of Wintercraft, 15-year-old Kate Winters has lost her parents to the wardens who patrol the benighted land of Albion, drafting conscripts for a never-ending war with the Continent. Living quietly in her uncle's bookshop, Kate is unaware of her magical lineage as one of the Skilled. Her life changes, however, when the wardens, led by the powerful and immortal Silas Dane, a minion of High Council member Lady Da'ru, attempts to capture her. Da'ru seeks Wintercraft, a magical tome that has passed down through the Winters family for generations. Many of the Skilled have died at Da'ru's hands as she has sought control of the book's magic and, as Silas tells Kate, Da'ru and her fellow councilors 'will keep experimenting on the Skilled, taking the lives of innocent people.... They will keep failing and they will try again, and everyone else will pay the price.' Debut novelist Burtenshaw's tale is melodramatic and overly reliant upon coincidence, but her characters are compelling and her descriptions of the death-besotted society of Albion have genuine power. Ages 12 — up. (July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Jenna Burtenshaw has been writing since she was a child, and she divides her time between her writing, her three dogs, and two rescue rabbits. Shadowcry is her first novel. Jenna Burtenshaw lives in England.
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