Lark Rising, by Sandra Waugh

After last week's horror-story marathon, I've been looking forward to exploring different genres, and Sandra Waugh's Lark Rising totally fits the bill—it's classic high fantasy, complete with glowing orbs, prophetic poetry, and a hand-drawn map featuring names like "The Myr Mountains" and "The Dark Wood".

Lark Rising is the first installment in Waugh's Guardians of Tarnec series. It centers around 16-year-old Lark Carew, a shy girl with the uncomfortable “gift” of seeing portents. Lark's ability has always been valued by her friends and family, but when her Sight sends her a vision of everyone she knows dying at the hands of the troll-like Troths, she realizes she must travel—alone—to seek help from the legendary Riders of Tarnec.

If Lark Rising is proof, the Guardians of Tarnec will be a loosely connected four-book series, each featuring a different heroine. (It's already clear that the second installment will be Lark's cousin's story.) On the upside, setting up each book as a semi-standalone makes the year-long wait between installments much easier to bear. On the downside, “epic fantasy” needs to be... well, epic, and it's hard to squeeze that into 370 pages of one-off storytelling. I'm hoping Lark will make more than glorified cameos in the rest of the series, both because I like her, and because Waugh needs to give the dramatic seeds she's planted more room to grow.

Review based on publisher-provided copy.
Posted by: Julianka


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