Stories are told of a hero who will come to Farsala's aid when the need is greatest. But for thousands of years the prosperous land of Farsala has felt no such need, as it has enjoyed the peace that comes from being both feared and respected. Now a new enemy approaches Farsala's borders, one that neither fears nor respects its name and legend. But the rulers of Farsala still believe that they can beat any opponent. Three young people are less sure of Farsala's invincibility. Jiaan, Soraya, and Kavi see Time's Wheel turning, with Farsala headed toward the Flames of Destruction. What they cannot see is how inextricably their lives are linked to Farsala's fate -- until it's too late. (Goodreads)
Review by Emily, high school student and bibliophile
Well, since this is the first of a trilogy, let me warn in advance: You will wish to have all three of them before you begin reading. I couldn't put them down once I started. Then I went around quoting them to people for weeks, but that's another story.
I love all of Hilari Bell's books, but this trilogy is so very good that I reread them once in a while, just to see if they're still as good as I remember them to be. They are, every time - and better!
For one thing, the plot is as intricate as the social structure of Farsala, the land in which the characters reside. The characters also are distinct. I especially love Kavi, who is continually put in terrible situations, and who manages to get out of them - if not with grace, at least with very fast talking. And Soraya, who, at the beginning, is as blind and proud as a person can be, and who overcomes those particular traits with much grumbling and perhaps some harsh knocks.
The landscapes are also very well-described - as they should be, since many of them are quite important to the plot. There are deserts, forests, and bogs, and all of them are accompanied by descriptions that make me feel as though I am there, right along with the characters.
Also, the author creates an enemy that might not be so very different from the heroes themselves. It makes for some fascinating reading.
Therefore, I love this book, because it has everything I enjoy most contained within its pages.
Market: Young Adult Fiction