If you like your heroines tough but still realistically young and conflicted, you will enjoy Ariel in the first book of Joni Sensel’s fantasy trilogy. She’s 12 and approaching the Namingfest, when all the 12 year-olds in the village receive their calling, and the new last name that comes with it. Her best friend Zeke’s name will be Tree-Singer, due to his talent at communication with trees. Ariel’s will be Healtouch…or it would be, if she could pass her healing test! Problem is, Ariel’s destiny seems to lie in a region more dangerous and adventurous than a sickroom.
When a mysterious brass dart, bearing an undecipherable message, appears in Zeke’s tree, ominous strangers are drawn to Ariel’s village, and her world is turned upside down. Soon Ariel finds herself on a quest in which enemies cannot be distinguished from friends, and the adventure she felt herself longing for seems more than she can bear. But she does, because she’s tough…and funny. My kind of heroine. I look forward to reading Book 2, The Timekeeper’s Moon.