This fantasy follow-up to A Path Begins (2014) continues the story of 12-year-old Kara Westfall and her brother, Taff, who escape their village by riding the mare Shadowdancer into the surrounding Thickety.
Tension picks up from Chapter 1, as the siblings flee through the forest. The children fall asleep on horseback and wake up in a huge meat-eating plant called a gritchenlock. Luckily, Kara remembers a trick their mother taught her that makes the plant drop them. Landing at the feet of the infamous witch Mary Kettle, Kara has to—reluctantly—accept the old witch as a guide and teacher. The siblings must evade monstrous animals; cross the Draye’varg, a dangerous mound of boulders that create dangerous simulacra; and, finally, destroy Imogen, a terrifying, tentacled predator. And then there is the Forest Demon….The unexpected climax and ending guarantee another book to enjoy. Readers new to the series will catch up quickly thanks to White’s adept incorporation of back story.
This title has all the ingredients—a doughty heroine and her admirable younger brother, an unreliable guide who can’t stay the same age for long, and a heavy “ick” factor—to keep readers glued to it. (Fantasy. 11-15)