Lark Rising by Sandra Waugh
Book One of the Guardians of Tarnec series
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 23, 2014
Rating: 5 stars
Source: ARC sent by the publisher
Summary (from Goodreads):
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.
What I Liked:
It's been only two days since picking up this one to read, and I've already re-read it. GOSH, THIS BOOK WAS SO GOOD!! I was worried that it would be a little unoriginal, not fresh or different from other fantasy novels, but there was no need to worry. This book was interesting and unique, not cliche or typical at all!
Lark has been summoned to face her destiny: she is the Guardian of Life, one of four Guardians with incredible powers... but stolen amulets. Life is a balance of light and dark, and at the moment, the darkness - the chaos - has Lark's amulet. Lark had no idea what she was (a Guardian), so imagine her surprise at being summoned from her village, and told that she cannot return to save the village. Lark has the Sight, and she sees visions of death (her own), a beautiful man (a Rider and an aide of the Guardians), her village being destroyed... Lark must realize her fate and find her amulet, before everything is lost.
I love this book! I love the story. This is fantasy at its finest, epic/high fantasy like The Lord of the Rings, or something. I love The Lord of the Rings. I don't know any series that can compare to that one, but let's just say this one may come close.
Lark is an awesome protagonist. You can totally see her character development, from start to finish. At first, she is a bit naive and maybe a little timid, but when she is thrust into the dangerous world of Guardians and Riders and Breeders (the bad guys), she matures and understands. I liked Lark in the beginning, but I really liked her by the end of the book.
I love the male protagonist, Gharain. Oh, he is so swoon-worthy. LET ME TELL YOU. At first, he totally despises her (when they very first meet). And for good reason! He was fooled the last time (by a Breeder), and it resulted in the death of an important noble. But then Gharain falls in love with her... and she him... and it's lovely. I love it when the characters go from "hate" to love. Although neither ever really hated the other. Gharain is brave and loyal, fierce and intelligent. Loveeeeeee.
I thought the romance would be insta-love-y, at first, because Lark sees Gharain in a vision, before she meets him. He is killing her in the vision though. But she sees him, and he interests her. Mentally, I was like, groan, insta-love. But it wasn't so! I promise! I know it sounds doubtful, but there was no insta-love, in this book. I HATE insta-love, almost as much as I hate love triangles, so trust me, I would never lead you astray!
The writing. The prose. OH MY GOODNESS. I love the voice of this book. The writing is gorgeous and beautiful and so NOT modern and I loved it so much! Seriously, it was so lyrical and beautiful! I don't know how else to describe it - poetic, maybe. But NOT poetic, because this book read like fiction, not like poetry. It's hard to describe, but basically, the writing was very distinct and very WONDERFUL.
If nothing else attracts you... well, let me tell you that this book is all sorts of exciting and maddening and heart-tugging and fabulous! I definitely caught a case of the *feels* in this one, which is pretty rare, for me. Every scene with tender moments between Gharain and Lark (which were few and far between, but totally worth each one). When certain friends had to leave. When Lark had her second round of visions about Gharain. It was like Waugh was piercing my soul!
Basically... if you haven't understood by now, know that I loved this book! And I will shout about it from the rooftops! And push it on everyone, fantasy lover or not!
What I Did Not Like:
I have to wait for book two. Boooo.
Would I Recommend It:
YES! Oh my goodness, yes! If you didn't get that feeling from my review, then shame on you, because I WANT EVERYONE TO READ THIS ONE!! Epic fantasy lover or not, you can't miss this one! Go go go!
5 (rare and very well-deserved) stars. I don't even know how to coherently and thoroughly describe my love for this book! Oh wait - be right back, going to re-read it, AGAIN!
Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!