Ballantine draws readers into a fascinating new world, peopled by characters you will genuinely care about. In this first volume of the Shifted World series, she draws from classic fantasy traditions but makes them wholly her own. This world is literally alive, mountains shifting up out of plains with little warning. The only possible drawback to this beautiful book is the lack of resolution and the wait for book two. Talyn is a heroine to cheer for and treasure.

The Vaerli people have been decimated by a great war. They are flung wide and far and some say they exist only in myth, though some yet exist within the ruling Caisah’s stronghold, fighting the only way they know how. Talyn is one of these, determined to win her freedom, find her brother, and see her people put back in their proper place. Within her lurks a creature that might help, though they can no longer communicate easily. Storyteller Finn is also trying to help Talyn, for he’s still in love with her after a long-ago encounter, even if she doesn’t remember who he is. (PYR, Jun., 276 pp., $17.95)
Reviewed by: 
Elise Tobler