From the moment Dara of Westwood spied the Silver Headed Raptor nesting in Rundeval Peak, the precocious redheaded twelve year old girl was enchanted. The youngest daughter of the Master of the Wood lived in ramshackle Westwood Hall, in the independently-minded Westwood estate of Sevendor. Her determination to capture a baby falcon and train it wasn’t hampered by the fact that Dara had never climbed a mountain, had never been trained in falconry, or even remotely had permission from her father to do it. Dara wanted the falcon . . . and the only thing in her way was the mountain, an angry mother falcon, and her own fears.
But the daring climb up Rundeval and actually capturing the fledgling falcon is just the beginning of her troubles. Actually learning falconry and training the willful bird is a responsibility she had barely considered. Worse, there is trouble afoot in the domain: a new lord has come to rule over Sevendor and all of her people, replacing the corrupt old Sir Erantal. While everyone welcomes the change, the new lord is a wizard: a magelord, the first of his kind in four hundred years: Lord Minalan the Spellmonger. And he’s not alone. He’s brought thousands of oddly-dressed Wilderlanders with him, families escaping the wars in the west. . . . and settling in Sevendor.
Within weeks of holding his first court as lord of Sevendor, the wizard's magic begins to cause problems. Magelord Minalan turns Sevendor Castle, the entire mountain of Rundeval, and a good portion of the Westwood –including Dara’s home – into enchanted white stone when a spell goes unexpectedly awry one fateful night. As a result, Dara learns that she, too, may become a mage someday. Soon after she discovers that she can see through her falcon’s eyes and share her thoughts, the talents of a beastmaster, opening up a brilliant new world for her.
The folk of the valley have enough to eat for the first time in a generation, there are wizards all over Sevendor, and the castle glows with a magic light at night. The fortunes of the Westwood estate rise. But the Magelord finds foes as well as friends in Sevendor.
Though prosperity flows from the Magelord’s benevolent rule, the changes are frightening to some who have lost power since the Magelord came. Outside the Westwood, the other natives of the domain are upset by their magical lord and his strange new people, and there are whispers of rebellion. And outside of the domain, the neighboring lords, urged on by sinister forces, conspire to plunge Sevendor into war – with Dara and her family along with it!
What can one girl and her falcon do? When the Magelord leaves on business and his enemies close in on her home, Dara discovers she may hold the answer to saving them all! The fate of the entire domain rests with Dara of Westwood, the girl they’ll call the Hawkmaiden!
Release date: January 22, 2015
Print pages: 267
* BingeBooks earns revenue from qualifying purchases as an Amazon Associate as well as from other retail partners.