When I was a young adult, the author to read was Judy Blume, but alas, times have changed and now we have Gabrielle Mathieu. Mathieu writes with the same sense of the reality of youth as Blume did but in a non-reality setting. Instead, the reader finds the main character, 18-year-old Berona, in a feudal world filled with demons, swords, fantasy, and mystery. Berona faces the same challenges as all young female adults: growing up, falling in love and figuring out her place in the world.
When Berona discovers that the Water Demon has not only escaped imprisonment but is after her, there is only one way to protect her family. Leaving them behind and going out on her own, ill-equipped to protect herself (she has no idea how to handle a sword) and nearly penniless, she does not waver in doing the right thing. Her travels find her facing all kinds of odds and coming out of it a well trained, intelligent woman, ready to confront what happens next.
Mathieu does a great job setting the stage, developing her characters and keeping the adventure full of suspense. The reader has no trouble buying into this new world and cheering this young woman on. Anyone who enjoys empowered courageous women fulfilling their destiny will love this read.
Excellent for young adults!