Seven years ago Kaylin fled the crime-riddled streets of Nightshade, knowing that something was after her. Children were being murdered — and all had the same odd markings that mysteriously appeared on her own skin.… Since then, she’s learned to read, she’s learned to fight and she’s become one of the vaunted Hawks who patrol and police the City of Elantra. Alongside the winged Aerians and the immortal Barrani, she’s made a place for herself, far from the mean streets of her birth.  But children are once again dying, and a dark and familiar pattern is emerging. Kaylin is ordered back into Nightshade with a partner she knows she can’t trust, a Dragon lord for a companion and a device to contain her powers — powers that no other human has. Her task is simple — find the killer, stop the murders…and survive the attentions of those who claim to be her allies!

I’ll be honest, it was a bit hard for me to get into this book, because the world building in the first few chapters was a bit overwhelming.  But I applied my “three chapter” rule, and by the time I got there, I was totally sucked in.  Kaylin is a very compelling character, as is Severn, who you couldn’t help rooting for, even if you knew he’d done something *really* bad to get on Kaylin’s shit list.  To me this was a coming-of-age story (NOT a romance) that happens to be a fantasy.  You’ll root for Kaylin, wonder about her past and the strange tattoos on her arms, and worry at the mystery of Severn like a dog over a bone.  If you’re a fantasy fan (who likes strong heroines—even if they’re not always right), then this one is definitely a must read for you.

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