My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Do not travel on the paths.
Do not linger after dark.
Do not ignore the calling.
Sixteen-year-old, Winter, is a guardian of the wood, the same wood that took her father. She protects the travelers who pass through, making sure they return to their time period. Otherwise, the world could implode.
It’s a dangerous job. Winter works all day to ensure the travelers are guided back to their threshold. But, if she’s caught in the wood after sundown, the shadows, called Sentinels, rise; the icy cold follows their razor sharp teeth.
The wood is ill, black tar drips from the leaves, and it’s spreading. Travelers are found in bad shape, stricken to their core by the darkness of the wood and the poison and the shadows.
Winter isn’t alone. She worries about her mother, while her mother worries if she’ll return home each day, or if the wood has taken her. There’s Uncle Joe, who’s worked closely with her father, and more like brothers through the years as guardians of the wood. Uncle Joe watches over Winter. He wants to protect her where her father left off.
So when a boy passes through the wood from the 18th Century, a mortal, begging for help, who might know where her father is, she listens. Reluctant, at first, helping him goes against the most important rule of the guardians: No traveler can pass through a threshold into a time that is not their own.
Together, they set out to save the wood, and find his parents, Old Ones who disappeared that may know what’s happening to the wood and how to stop it. But the ancient one, Varo has returned, an outcast 500 years ago. Could he be darkening the wood, and using Dragon’s Bain, the one thing that could kill an immortal guardian?
A fast-paced fantasy with a time-travel twist, a forest that comes alive with dark forces, magical benevolent fireflies, friendship, sacrifice, and a satisfying conclusion, make for an absorbing read.
Recommended for readers 13 and up.
Release date: August 1, 2017 by Feiwel & Friends
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