Monday, January 26, 2015

The Farwalker's Quest #1 by Joni Sensel

The Farwalker's QuestAriel and Zeke are looking forward to Namingfest when they'll learn their new apprenticeships. Zeke passes his test to become a Tree-Singer, but Ariel is distracted and fails her test to become a Healtouch. However, she's kidnapped by two strangers, and Ariel learns they think she might be a Farwalker;  all Farwalkers are thought to have disappeared after the Blind War and the Forgetting. Farwalkers have powers that can unite the many different villages and cities, and there are dangerous people who want Ariel dead. Zeke comes to Ariel's rescue, but the kidnappers are Finders and won't let her get away. The chase leads them across forests, mountains, and deserts, as Ariel tries to find the Vault, and its secrets from the past.

The Namingfest is much like The Giver and Divergent as children discover their roles in society, in this case when they reach the age of thirteen. The Blind War and Forgetting share the author's notion that societies can destroy themselves through fear and bad decisions. Is it better to forget about past mistakes that were made or learn valuable lessons from them? It's interesting to note that Ariel and Zeke's characters seem to be mostly defined after the Namingfest, but they become new characters as their new abilities emerge. Most of the characters are defined by their connections to nature. Despite the pessimism in the future of society, the Farwalker gives people hope.

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