Daughter of Light by Morgan L. Busse. I feel like a latecomer to the party because USA Today did a review earlier this month. But hey, I've never been one to back down from a bad idea, so here goes:
Rowen Mar is a young lady in a small village in the Ryland Plains. She was left on the doorstep of a villager when she was a child and because of that, she's never fit in. But then, after a bout of sickness, Rowen finds a strange mark on her hand. Even more bizarre, when she touches the village blacksmith, she sees visions of the darkness inside him. This gets her branded as a witch and she has to leave the only home she's ever known.
Rowen soon finds herself in the White City, her country's capital, and thrust into the middle of an adventure. Her kingdom's enemies are on the march, both the armies of their southern neighbor and a restless evil as well. What will happen when Rowen learns of her destiny? How will that affect the many people around her, people she's come to love?
This was a pretty good book overall. Morgan created a sympathetic character in Rowen, strong and capable and yet messed up because of her past (a tough trick to pull off well, which she did). It's obvious that she's spent some time building her world and the characters and people are fascinating to read about. I wish she had spent a little more time setting up some of the concepts. For example, the Avonains' connection to the sea seemed to come out of nowhere and it's so fascinating, I wish she had spent a little more time examining it.
My one complaint about this book is that in many ways, this one felt like a prologue to the true story yet to come. While there is a complete story in Daughter of Light, many of the subplots were left unresolved for future books. I'm not sure what could have been done differently and maybe I'm the only one who felt that way, but there you go.
But I am looking forward to future additions to this series. It should be a fun ride.