I was one of the lucky winners of a copy of local author, Jacci Turner’s latest book, Tree Singer. Entering those Goodreads contest does pay of now and then!
In this YA fantasy, Mayten is an angsty fifteen-year-old who has been training for her calling as a Tree Singer. Her mother is a legendary Tree Singer—one who can communicate with trees and other living things. Mayten is literally and figuratively on the brink.
Author Turner builds a world that seems like an alternative to our own. History and cultures combine and recombine to create a rich and diverse society, with each person, each family fulfilling necessary roles.
When Mayten and her two closest friends—Cather, a Healer and Tray, a Traveler–stand ready to assume their adult roles, they are unexpectedly sent on a quest to save their dying forest. Mayten feels ambushed and resentful toward both her friends and her family who knew this was coming before she did.
Not a good way to start off on a quest. But the trees are dying and no one knows why. The team sets off to meet the king, facing death, danger, and mystery along the way.
The still adolescent Mayten’s voice and emotions ring true as she learns to use and channel her profound gifts. She is a believable and sympathetic heroine as she discovers the darkness that is destroying the world.
The story has a mystical and spiritual feel that reminded me of another story about our complex relationship with trees, The Overstory. And because of the strength of Mayten’s connection with her family—despite her frustrations and anger–I believe young people, their parents, and grandparents would enjoy reading this book. Perhaps together. Recommend.