Book # 1
By- Jessica E. Paige
Genre- YA Fairy Tale/Folklore
Orphaned at a young age, 15-year old Anouk’s punishment for being too outspoken is an arranged marriage worse than any she could imagine. Fleeing on horseback, yet without a sense of where to turn, she stumbles upon an idyllic village where she finds safe haven. Could this be home?
Ultimately, it will lead her to confront the very face of death, yet amidst the danger and darkness, she meets a handsome woodsman and finds a glowing blue flower with power beyond her wildest dreams.
Inspired by Russian fairy tales and steeped in ancient folklore, Paige’s novel is ripe with fantasy, love, and courage.
This was a beautiful story that saw a young girl go from meagre beginnings to becoming a hero who saved the lives of many with her bravery. I instantly had a liking for Anouk.
Cheated of her immediate family, forced to leave her home only to be treated like a slave, my heart went out to this poor girl. I was glad she was able to find some comfort in Devya and that the people there treated her like one of their own.
There was a slow change in Anouk, as she blossomed into a beautiful young woman with a mind of her own. She was strong and brave, with a pure heart, and her actions only showcased her inner fire and beauty all the more. I enjoyed the folktales and lore that were woven into this majestic adventure. It was exciting to walk alongside Anouk on her travels. She showed plenty of courage in the face of danger; with her heart and head set on finding help I don’t think anything would have stopped her. Not even the ghastly trolls.
The one thing that really stood out to me was how Anouk, even after going through hell and back, was able to step aside and allow Vlad his redemption. It spoke volumes about her character.
This book was an absolute delight to read - storytelling at its best!
Jessica Paige hails from the Seattle area where she lives with her husband and two dogs. Though she was raised in the Pacific Northwest, Jessica has long been intrigued by the ancient folklore of her Slavic and Lithuanian roots. Her love of horses and the outdoors led her to a career in environmental outreach, and her studies in herbalism. When she’s not working or writing, you’ll find her digging in the garden, creating herbal remedies, or walking in the woods with her dogs. You can visit her at www. jessicaepaige.com.