The Black Throne
Set in a land of eternal winter, The Black Throne is the story of Donella, a foundling child adopted by the baker in the village of Erinley, which survives by a thread on the edge of the Woode. Donella dreams of the Woode asleep and is the only villager who will walk it awake, an affinity that puts her under increasing suspicion. No-one has seen one of the Woode-living Faei in decades, and only the oldest of the village elders remember ever having heard birdsong. Many fear that Donella is under the influence of the Faei, or even Faei herself – but the truth may be stranger even than that.
L. M. Siddens has created a great protagonist for a YA with Donella, a child who doesn’t fit her environment and who is verging on the edge of teenaged rebellion, in a setting where anything out of the ordinary is regarded with suspicion. While I did find that the level of additional detail in the writing occasionally slowed the story down, the basic premise of social intolerance and the clash of a magical culture with a human one forms an excellent foundation for fantasy. The legends of the Faei passed around Donella’s small village are also a nice touch, evoking the familiar feel of fairy tales even as they begin to drop hints of the plot. Certainly worth the read!