{Review/Giveaway} LARK RISING by Sandra Waugh

Tour Schedule:

Week 1
Week One:
9/15/2014- Mom With A KindleInterview
9/16/2014- The Book LandersReview
9/17/2014- My ParaHangoverReview
9/18/2014- Two Chicks on BooksGuest Post
9/19/2014- Carina's BooksReview

Week Two:
9/22/2014- A Backwards StoryReview
9/23/2014- Word SpelunkingGuest Post
9/24/2014- Literary MeanderingsInterview
9/25/2014- Fall Into BooksInterview
9/26/2014- Magical Urban Fantasy ReadsGuest Post
O P E N I N G   L I N E:

     THE HAWK BROUGHT THE first of the signs.
     I would not have paid attention to him, as creatures of leg and wing often follow me. But this young male lit upon the fence as I pulled at the roots of a ghisane. Ghisane and hawk are unwilling neighbors. If it dares, a dormouse can find protection beneath its branches, as a hawk will not come near. And yet this hawk flew to the fence, nearly brushing the leaves of the hated bush, and sat watching me. I had to pause in my work and regard him sternly, saying, "If you stay too long, young harrier, I will not finish my task." And so he stayed but a moment before taking flight, yet not without leaving me the message he carried. As he left the fence, a small thing fell from his grip and fluttered into my lap. I picked it up: the feather from a lark.
(pg. 1, US ARC edition)

While it's true that LARK RISING is the first of four books in the Guardians of Tarnec series, it's also a stand-alone novel. This is NOT a series with one continuous thread that gets broken up with cliffhangers! It connects more in the fashion that Robin LaFevers His Fair Assassin series (GRAVE MERCY, DARK TRIUMPH, MORTAL HEART) does, with each book centered around a different character and overarching themes that carry through. There are four Keepers of Balance, four Guardians entrusted with the task of each receiving a precious amulet. Each Guardian will have a book of her own.

   "We of Tarnec are the Keepers of Balance. Ages ago amulets were placed in our care for this purpose—four amulets signifying the primal forces: a shell for Death, a stone to represent Dark, a blade of gold for light, and...the orb, the amulet of Life.
   We hold these amulets safe in our possession, deep within our castle walls, so that the four forces remain equally charged, and equally neutral. It is the Keepers' birthright and eternal duty to protect this Balance. Because if Balance is ruptured, then the cycles are broken, distorted. In other words: devastation.
(pgs. 118-119, US ARC edition)

When the Breeders of Chaos manage to slip into Tarnec and steal the amulets of Balance, the world is threatens to become one of mayhem. If the four Guardians aren't able to retrieve their amulets—theirs to either save or destroy—all will be lost. Lark knows nothing about her destiny. If Tarnec hadn't needed her, she would have lived a life of ignorance, for Guardians are only called upon in times of need. All Lark cares about is finding the mythical Riders and saving her village from an upcoming Troth attack that she has Seen. She never anticipated that there was more to her destiny. She also never thought she'd fall in love with one of the Riders, especially since that Rider is destined to wind up with her cousin, not her. Does shy, quiet Lark have the strength to embark on a quest that will change everything she's ever known, loved, and feared?

I first heard of the book because the blurb said it was "for fans of  Shannon Hale, Juliet Marillier, and Kristin Cashore." I love all three of these authors, so I was instantly intrigued. I wouldn't say they're alike per say, but they all feature unique fantasy worlds, quests, and daring adventures, not to mention some swoonworthy romance. It's not insta-love, either, and Gharain's secrets unravel as he softens throughout the book. Only together can the impossible be accomplished, even with events of the future standing in the way. There was a good pull and tug of the relationship, and I like the way the two complemented one another.

The next book will center around Lark's cousin Evie. I'm excited to both continue the adventure with new characters while also reacquainting with current beloved ones. It will be interesting to see where the journey takes each Guardian, especially if one of them is awakened by Chaos instead of a Rider! There's been a lot of warning about that, and so I can see it happening... Eep!

If you want a solid new addition in the world of YA fantasy that will keep you intrigued and wanting more, check out the Guardians of Tarnec series. It stands on its own, but also leaves a lot of room for future adventures with new characters!
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

This cover makes so much sense once you've read the book. There's a reason those vines are embracing her. I won't spoil things here, but IT WORKS.
And I love the dark, burning sky in the distance, and the shadowy forefront. This definitely works!

Content Ratings: highlight between ( ) for details

Romance: PG13  ( kissing, nothing too intense )
Language: mild ( nothing that I can recall )
Violence: PG13 ( A severed hand; semi-graphic description, a battle scene )
Other: --

O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Author: Sandra Waugh
Release Date: Sept. 23, 2014
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Received: For Review

Full of romance and nature magic, this debut fantasy is perfect for fans of Shannon Hale, Juliet Marillier, and Kristin Cashore.

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.
Sandra grew up in an old house full of crowded bookshelves, in walking distance of an old library that allowed her to drag home a sack of six books at a time. It goes without saying, then, that she fell in love with the old house in Litchfield County, CT, because of its many bookshelves, and she lives there now with her husband, two sons, and a dog who snores. Loudly.LARK RISING is her first novel and the first in the GUARDIANS OF TARNEC series. SILVER EVE follows in 2015.

Author Links:

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Enter to win
one of THREE prize packs! 

1 winner will receive a leaf necklace, $25 Amazon gift card, sachet, a signed hardcover of LARK RISING, and a bookmark and a postcard. 
US Only.

1 winner will receive leaf earrings, cuff, soap, sachet and a signed hardcover of LARK RISING, and a bookmark and a postcard. 
US Only.

3 winners will receive a signed hardcover of LARK RISING, and a bookmark and a postcard. 
US Only

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  1. Thanks for the chance!

  2. Sounds like an awesome book! Thanks for the giveaway.

    rounder9834 @yahoo.com

  3. Congrats on the release! thanks for the giveaway.

  4. thanks for the amazingly generous giveaway


  5. I can't wait to read it! Thanks for the giveaway!

  6. I'm so ready to swoon after reading your review! I also love a great hate to love relationship, it's so much better than instalove. This book just sounds so amazing.

    Highly recommended SEO Austin Don Allen site info


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