The wondrous village of Pawkett is famous for their red-gold honey. An enchanted delicacy worth more than diamonds. The towns reputation is shattered when elite Citizens die at an early tasting. Is the honey poisoned? Who is to blame? Investigators are summoned, only those desperate enough to risk their life, apply.
Meet Carmen Avel, a young forest elf in exile for treason against her god. On the run and haunted by a presence she cannot comprehend; Carmen will stumble into a nightmare a thousand years in the making. Pawkett has secrets. Children vanish, never to be spoken of again. Legends tell of a monster that stalks the nearby woods.
Suspicion abounds, even among Carmen’s companions. Who can she trust? The disgraced sergeant so poor her armor doesn’t match? The Copper eyed diplomat with the predatory smile? Can she depend on the genderqueer priest who sees the world in shades of gray?
Surrounded by blood magic, lies, and peril, the group must work together, or be destroyed. In a final confrontation to decide the fate of Pawkett, will Carmen embrace her destiny or will she succumb to the ancient mystery of The Tainted Hive?
I warmed to this story like a cup of hot cocoa. Quirky band of creatures does a recon mission in the land of oversized fuzzy honey bees. The characters' depth builds as their background stories weave through the present day action. Salt has created a fantastical world made vivid in the reader's mind. Looking forward to book 2--
Fantasy with nuance and an excellent sense of humor! I love that the characters are well developed, diverse, and relatable, including strong women and nonbinary folks. While it's set in a fanciful, high-fantasy world, the challenges the characters face feel relevant to my life and experience. It isn't just another "good vs evil" story arc, but more of a mystery investigation, touching on themes that feel current and relevant.
A fast-paced story that pulls you in from the beginning
This is a terrific read. I enjoyed the characters and their relationships with one another. But the gold of this story (no, it’s not the honey) is the action. It is non-stop. Adventures, battles, heart-stopping drama. It’s all there to soak up. Looking forward to the next book in the series.