This is the first book in the Darkwar trilogy. A young girl is left orphaned after a group of barbaric nomads butchers her family. A group of witches take her under their wing and teacher her to use her inherent powers. But now she has to watch out not only for barbarian hordes moving south because of the harsh winters of her world, but also politics among the witch clan. A great series.
I thought that Cooks Black Company series was entertaining enough, so I picked up this trilogy when I came across it
I have to start with a complaint, though. Not only is the cover art on this book just terrible, from an artistic/aesthetic standpoint, but its pretty obvious that the book didnt get read by the artist, and there was a severe lack of communication going on. ALL of the characters in this book are wolflike aliens they live in a matriarchal pack structure, are described as having long muzzles, paws, and fur. They whine, howl, and twitch their ears. So why are all of the characters in the cover art distinctly human? (Well, I guess they have kinda funny-looking eyes and big ears. But still.) Argh. Anyway.
Marika is an adolescent living in a remote packstead. From youth, shes had unusual mental powers, which cause some of the elders to be hostile toward her. But in one dire winter, her home is invaded and destroyed. Her only path may be to join the silth feared and respected sorceresses who are supposed to protect the people but who, obviously, have been failing, and have generated resentment. Marika discovers there may be a lot more to her world than her rural upbringing allowed her to know but even among the silth, there are those with an inexplicable hostility toward her myths and legends of the Doomstalker may be to blame.
Although the story has many original and unique details, this is still well-trodden ground, as far as the plot goes. Its also one of those stories where the trilogy is really all one book randomly divided into three parts for marketing. Entertaining, so far, but not exceptional.