The Vanished Knight (The War of Six Crowns #1)
by M Gerrick
The entity living inside Callan’s soul orphaned her at age eleven. By the time she’s sixteen, it’s ensured her being shunted from one foster family to another.
Her thirteenth foster assignment should be routine. Except… it’s not. A psycho in medieval armor kidnaps her and she ends up in a magical world. There, she accidentally discovers a secret her parents had kept until the day they died.
Both actually came from this magical world, but left before Callan was born. To cover their tracks, they’d lied about everything. Even who they really were.
Driven to find out where she comes from, Callan’s trapped in a race for life and death. Walking away isn’t an option, but if she stays too long, the entity will find its next victim.
In this world where secrets are sacrosanct and grudges are remembered, finding the truth will be near impossible. Especially when Callan has her own homicidal little secret to deal with.
One with a taste for destroying her life.
Firstly, only the blurb is any indication that there is something inside Callan’s soul. You know there’s something going on with her, something that makes her lose control and cause extreme violence, but there’s no real indication what, or just how it is related to the absent parents. It all starts with a fairly normal life in the city, foster parents, keeping her head down, hoping not to be noticed aka bullied, and to get through at this foster family with no more problems until she’s old enough to be out of care.
Then she’s moved to some real weirdos in some sort of mansion, who send her to a strict boarding-type school where bullying is not only rife, but the main thing is to get voted Person Most Liked each year so that everyone sucks up to you. And because she avoids all that she ends up making a couple of potentially really good friends. All that is put on hold because of the mystery of the nearby ancient ruin of a castle, which holds jousts or what-not occasionally. So just what are the strange lights that are sometimes seen in its grounds? And why is it suddenly placed out of bounds?
On a dare from her foster-brother, she gets to find out… and that transports us from a kooky YA school-bullying story into a great, fast-moving, if somewhat gory fantasy which is pure delight. Inventive, imaginative, full of great characters, and potential for uncovering all sorts of hinted-at mysteries.
It’s a tale of two parts, but I have high hopes of the rest of the series. Not a cliffhanger, but with a lot more to find out. Intriguing – and you know how much I like that word!