Alice lives in a world where there is the memory of the great war between humans and Narlaws, demons who are able to shapeshift and draw the essence out of any human they touch, putting them into a dreamless sleep. She is twelve years old and apprenticed as a Whisperer, one of the healers who guard the villages and towns and have the skills and knowledge to fight the Narlaws, even though there has been no sighting of them for many years. Then suddenly they reappear and Alice, together with her wolf companion Storm is forced to try and save her community.
This is a fascinating and magical story of a young girl and her faithful friend. She faces many dangers and has to learn to make decisions that many adults would be wary of, but she is full of determination and an inner strength that allows her to overcome her fears. Kris Humphrey is a new author and this is his first published work. He has created a world that we can believe in, together with characters that we can empathise with and also really like.
Stories set in other worlds need a lot of work in order for us to believe in them. There is just enough reality to give us a sense of familiarity, but this is linked to a large hint of the supernatural which ensures that we are never truly sure of what direction the story will take. The author seems entirely at home in the world he has created and he draws the reader into his world. This is the first in a series of books and I am sure that the writer will have an eager audience when the second story appears. The combination of animals and magic is always popular and this really hits the mark. A great read.