Secrets Ever Green

The Everlight Series, Book 1

Narrated by Kim Churchill
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Book 1 of The Everlight Series
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Pub Date 9 Feb 2024 | Archive Date 21 Jul 2024

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The secrets were buried . . . until clues began to bloom.

Ivy Rune’s only goal is to pass her final exam and become an Arborist like her late father, even though she fears she’ll never be able to uphold his legacy. Just before her big test, Ivy discovers her father’s secrets . . . and they had nothing to do with the quiet life he led.

Suddenly, clues unspool from wood carvings and old journals, leading Ivy to the outskirts of town and straight to the Count’s forbidden castle. When Ivy uncovers a hidden world of magic, she and her best friend are unexpectedly altered. As they explore their new powers, Ivy realizes she is capable of much more than the simple life her father left for her.

Now Ivy must decide between inheriting her father’s Arborist trade or continuing to uncover the mystery he kept hidden. But uprooting the past might erase her father’s legacy and change the course of Ivy’s life forever.

The secrets were buried . . . until clues began to bloom.

Ivy Rune’s only goal is to pass her final exam and become an Arborist like her late father, even though she fears she’ll never be able to...

A Note From the Publisher

Secrets Ever Green is the first book in The Everlight series.

🌱 Found Family
🌱 Found magic
🌱 Mystery

*Ending: To-be-continued with book two, Castle Ever Dark.

Secrets Ever Green is the first book in The Everlight series.

🌱 Found Family
🌱 Found magic
🌱 Mystery

*Ending: To-be-continued with book two, Castle Ever Dark.

Advance Praise

Selected by Barnes and Noble as a Top Indie Favorite

"What a stunning book to start off 2024 with! Reading Secrets Ever Green had me feeling like I had been transported into a secret fairytale! Knightly’s writing is so beautifully descriptive and colourful that I almost felt as though I was IN the story experiencing everything alongside the main character!" 

-Goodreads review

"I didn’t know what to expect from this story, but from the first page I found it hard to put down. The cozy, whimsical feeling permeates each page. I find the main character, Ivy, to be a fantastic study in someone who knows her own flaws but still has an air of confidence. I also loved York, her best friend, and how their friendship navigated through twists and turns throughout the book."

-Goodreads review

"All I can say is WOW. This book is so different than anything I’ve read. It’s got some similarities to Secret Garden and maybe a little bit of The Witch and the Wardrobe. The characters are rich and detailed and the world is fantastic. I loved Ivy’s point of view and observations and York was wonderful. I truly hope to see both of them in what comes next."

-Goodreads review

Selected by Barnes and Noble as a Top Indie Favorite

"What a stunning book to start off 2024 with! Reading Secrets Ever Green had me feeling like I had been transported into a secret fairytale!...

Marketing Plan

Mystical nature, abandoned castles, old journal entries, and easily one of my favorite reads in 2024.

"I have to say right up front, I loved how beautifully written the prose was in this book, how uniquely thoughtful the world was built, and how memorable the story was. If this doesn't turn out to be one of my favorite reads of 2024, I'll be shocked."

​-McKenzie Lynn Tozan, editor-in-Chief of lit shark

"The exquisite, emotional adventure of a young woman pushing through grief to uncover magical secrets and follow in her father's footsteps.​"

-Independent Book Review

Mystical nature, abandoned castles, old journal entries, and easily one of my favorite reads in 2024.

"I have to say right up front, I loved how beautifully written the prose was in this book, how...

Available Editions

EDITION Audiobook
ISBN 9798882297083
PRICE US$19.95 (USD)
DURATION 8 Hours, 18 Minutes

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (AUDIO)

Average rating from 38 members

Featured Reviews

Secrets Ever Green is a fantastic start to a fast paced fantasy series. I absolutely loved this book and cannot wait for the second one! Ivy is studying to become an arborist like her late father. As the fears and doubts mount up, she meets a mysterious man in the woods. Telling her her father has left her one last secret, Ivy is determined to find out what it is. Work factions, magical trees, secrets, mysteries, best friend potential romance, this book has it all! I could not put it down! I received a digital copy of this book from NetGalley in trade for my honest opinion. My thoughts are my own.
YouTube Review: 07/10/24
YouTube Handle: KeenCat

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I received the audiobook version of this, and it was a quick and cozy listen. This book was very easy to follow along with the story, and it was not too complicated. The world building was simple and I am hoping that this gets expanded on in the next book.

I am a bit confused as to why Nicholas was introduced, he messed with the FMC's life a bit, disappeared, and never showed back up. I get why it was important to introduce him to get the ball rolling, but I feel like it would have made more sense story wise to have him make another guest appearance and explain a thing or two. There are still a lot of things that were not quite explained, so I still have a lot of questions.

York was also an okay character, he was a good friend at times, until he, you know, disappeared when he got a little jealous, even though Ivy really needed him.

I am very interested to see where the next book leads.

Thank you to Sara Knightly, Portal Publishing, and Netgalley for the audiobook.

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I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The world building is consistent throughout and is so easy to follow and clearly imagine. I was surprised at how absorbed I was and just couldn't get myself to 'put it down'.

At first I didn't particularly like Ivy, an arborist student following in her late father's footsteps, who however, is unsure of what she wants in life. However, she quickly grew on me and I was completely invested in her journey and future. Being YA there were some aspects that I did think were immature but keeping the genre in mind they're easy to overlook (ex. York and Ivy avoiding each other for absurd reasons - but again, this fits with the intended audience).
The story kept me engaged and interested. There are still quite a few things that need to be explained and I'm hoping this is done in detail in book 2. I cannot wait to read it!

Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for an audiobook ARC of this book in exchange for this honest review.

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Ivy Rune is on a journey to follow in her late father’s footsteps and become an Arborist, or so she thought. When she begins to find hidden clues, everything she thought she knew about her father’s quiet life begins to unravel.

This book beautifully sets the stage for what we can expect in book two while also being an enjoyable and entertaining read on its own. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions for Ivy, and we, the readers, are riding along with her.

There is so much to explore in book 2, Castle Ever Dark! I cannot wait for its release. Get started on the journey and add this to your TBR.

4.25/5 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Thank you, Victory Editing NetGalley Co-op, for the Audio ARC of Secrets Ever Green by Sara Knightly. #NetGalley #SecretsEverGreen

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The following is a review of Secrets Ever Green from Audio ARC provided by Victory Editing NetGalley Co-op.

Overall I would give this a 4/5. I was intrigued by the story and thought the narrator did a great job. I genuinely want to read the next book(s) in the series.

Spoiler warning:

Overall I thought the characters were interesting thought a bit predictable. So much could have been avoided if the MC communicated better. I do understand and appreciate the feeling of trying to follow in someone’s footsteps or do a career that isn’t your calling but feel pressured into.

I liked that the story didn’t feel too predictable. I found myself making guesses as to what would happen next and for the most part, I wasn’t correct which is refreshing.

One frustration I had was that we were introduced to a secret garden but so little happened with it. Yes, I understand that there will be more books that will detail what the secret garden is, etc., but I felt like the story took a turn and I wanted to know more about the garden and her/her family’s involvement.

I ended up finishing the audiobook within 36 hours so I did enjoy it, but I very much want more and am bummed to have to wait for more information. In a way, this story felt like a lot of setup. That being said the story took turns I wasn’t expecting.

Shared on Goodreads on 6/27/24:
Amazon review:

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"Secrets Ever Green" is an enjoyable YA fantasy with a main character who is a bit frustrating at times due to her youth. Ivy Rune is trying to understand what happened to her father when he disappeared years before, especially as she is coming into a crucial new phase of her life, where she's expected to assume her father's position in society. However, she feels extremely ill-equipped and ill-prepared to do so.

Her best friend York is also wrapped up in his own problems with an unstable home life and a major test of his skills that will affect the entire direction of his future. So, it's hard to rely on him much.

As the story progresses, we're introduced to a mystery that Ivy needs to unravel, but it seems like every decision she makes only leads her farther away from the home and village she loves. The question is, is that a good thing or not?

I truly enjoyed how the village people were depicted. For the most part, they were supportive of Ivy and stood in as her surrogate family, even offering her food and shelter when the only parent she knew disappeared when she was only seven years old. The themes of family are explored in the various family structures we see here and a light is shone on the ones that are healthy versus the ones that are not.

Being a YA fantasy, of course, there's a bit of a cliffhanger. The story is not fully wrapped up in this one book. So I'm looking forward to reading the next installment in the series when it's available!

Thank you to Sara Knightly, Portal Publishing and NetGalley for an advance review copy.

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Sara Knightly’s "Secrets Ever Green" embarks readers on an intriguing journey into a world brimming with mystery and charm. As the first installment of a promising series, it introduces us to a vivid and enchanting setting, offering a glimpse into the secrets that lie beneath the surface of the seemingly tranquil town.

From the outset, Knightly captivates with her engaging prose and well-crafted characters. The protagonist's journey of discovery is both relatable and compelling, making it easy to become invested in her story. The descriptions of the town are lush and detailed.

The pacing is swift, making for a light read. There are hints of greater mysteries to come, and so I am excited for the next book.

Overall, "Secrets Ever Green" is a charming start to a new series with potential. It’s a book that offers a delightful escape. I look forward to seeing how the story and characters develop in future installments.

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I really enjoyed Secrets ever green by Sara Knightly. It was a tad slow in parts but that didn’t stop my enjoyment. We all now someone like the main character!

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Thank you NetGalley for the audio ARC in exchange for an honest review.

No spice/YA
4⭐️ Narrator

I had such a fun time reading this book! It was a great coming of age story with cozy mystery vibes.

The FMC was really relatable and so lost in the beginning of the book. I felt very connected to her and it was sad to see inside her mind in the beginning when she feels suffocated and like she has no place in the world. Watching her grow into herself and start to find the place as the book goes on was really great.

The friendship between her and York was great as well. They have a lot of ups and downs and feels like a very realistic teenage friendship.

I normally read romance books, but I really liked the plot of this and couldn’t put it down, I didn’t even realize that there wasn’t a romance plot because there was so much more interesting things going on.

There were so many mysteries and questions I had during the entire book. I couldn’t put it down and listened in one sitting because I needed answers. The ending was the perfect amount of questions answered while still leaving more and setting up book 2 really well.

Overall I loved the book and am definitely gonna be starting the second one immediately because I still need answers!

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Title: Secrets Ever Green, The Everlight Series, Book 1
Author: Sara Knightly
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Kim Churchill

Ivy Rune is a young girl about to be turned young woman, as she comes to the end of her education. She has studied and trained to become an Arborist, like her father who disappeared into the forest when she was younger, and the results of the exam will determine whether she can inherit her childhood home, or if she has to find another life path. She runs into a man who knew her dad, who her dad had told to safeguard an object when he was alive. Ivy takes this item and finds a thread of clues she follows that opens up her world beyond her little village.

This is a fantastic book 1. It does a great job setting up a world that values nature in an academic sense. It sets up the expected educational path and opportunities, which was a good contrast for how Ivy breaks beyond those normal expectations. And it also injects magic in a way that grows throughout the book as we learn about the world too.

Ivy is also a very likeable character. She's loyal, curious, down-to-earth, and not infallible. One of the things that turn me off really quickly is when a main character sounds too whiny, and I am ever so grateful Ivy does not fall under this category.

Since the book does so much world building, the adventures felt fairly basic for a magical world. At the same time, the path of clues and secrets uncovered did enough to keep me interested. And really, I'm just dying to read book 2.

I am definitely planning to read the second book, so this is something I'd happily recommend to others. I rated it 5 stars.

Audiobook Impressions:
The narrator's voice is that of a young woman, which really matched my impression of the main character. The pacing was great. I don't think I had any negative feedback to give on the audiobook. Definitely worth a listen!

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Thank you to NetGalley for allowing me to listen to this audiobook.

I really enjoyed the narrator for this book, she really became Ivy for me and I felt like I was in the characters head for the entire book. I enjoyed the book and can't wait to pick the next one to see what happens next.

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I found this book to be pretty interesting. I really liked the premise of the vocation test system and how their society is shaped by it. I found the main topic of trees it to be a bonus and how mysterious her special trees are was especially intriguing. I enjoyed following Ivy on her journey thus far. It feels very academia-like. I do think we’ve gotten an immense amount of questions with very little answers. There is so much the reader has yet to learn. I’m excited to start book 2.

I thought the narrator did a good job with this book. I enjoyed the performance, and it helped to easily keep my attention on the story.

Thank you to NetGalley, Sara Knightly, and Portal Publishing for a copy of the audiobook ARC.

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I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

"You live in a town, among people at all times. Don't you ever get lonely?"

Secrets Ever Green was an interesting start to the series. In this, you will meet Ivy. At the moment, she is just trying to get by in life. And by that, I mean she is trying to pass her final exam to become an Arborist.

Sure, she should be excited that she's almost done but it doesn't really seem like she is. Why? Eh, well it doesn't really seem like she wants to be an Arborist. Or to really follow in her dad's legacy. If I'm being completely honest here, I don't think Ivy truly knows what she wants to do with her life.

If you really think about it, Ivy doesn't know her parents that well. So, it might be a coincidence that she starts to discover her father's hidden secrets when the big test is basically around the corner. Or maybe it really isn't and it's all a big distraction for her?

There's definitely some mystery to unfold along the way. Especially when it comes to the secret garden she found. I also have questions about certain things that happened throughout the book because they were never answered. Maybe we will get those in the next book?

In the end, I'm all kinds of intrigued with how this ended. I need to know what's going on with York and if he's okay. What's going to happen at this mysterious castle Ivy is going to. Oh, and will they bring her horse?

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Thank you to the author, publisher, and Net Galley for an ARC of this book. The review is entirely my own. I enjoyed Secrets Ever Green. I liked the world building. I felt like I was walking right beside Ivy in Windimere. I liked the characters and their story. I am looking forward to continuing the story. I feel like we were just getting to the meat of the story. and are left at a major cliff hanger/turning point.

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I thoroughly enjoyed this read and was so sad when I finished because I was absolutely not ready for it to be over!! The world building was pretty good and the characters seemed to be well thought out. I can't wait for the next one!

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I will say this was a 4.5 star read. I wish we can do half stars.
I enjoyed the story. It was different than what I’m used to. It was similar to Divergent, to where you pick your profession for your life and how it’s a big deal. But the fact the job categories were very different — One that deals with plants and one that deals with carving.
The story is about a girl who is taking a test to be an Arborist. Her father was a famous one and she felt the need to live up to his legacy. She ends up meeting a man in the forest that reveals some secrets that she didn’t know about her father and her world.
She then has to navigate learning the trade to become an arborist or find out more about these new secrets.
The only thing that annoyed me in the book (and not terribly) was how much she questioned things but didn’t talk to anyone. This is definitely a YA book. The main character has a very YA mentality. But overall it was a cool story.
I do believe, based on how it ended, that there will be a second book. I would like to continue the series for sure.

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Ivy Rune is just trying to finish her education and pass her final exam to become an Arborist just like her late father. While searching for a plant for her final project, she stumbles upon a mysterious man who claims to know her father. He requests something only her father knew about, in exchange for an item he had been holding onto, for her specifically. This triggers a few events, leading Ivy to find out her father had many secrets. She goes on to discover clues, and magic, trying to balance her time between studying, and unraveling her father’s secrets.

I listened to the audiobook for this, and the narrator had a way of pulling me in from the start. I loved the journey Ivy went on, though I feel she lacked a bit of character development. I’m hoping to see more of that in book 2. There was a lot of descriptive imagery that helped you piece together in your mind the world the author created. I think this flowed together very nicely, and I had a fun time trying to figure out the mysteries along with Ivy. Some of the character relationships felt a little bland, and some characters were completely irrelevant to the story. The end left me feeling uneasy of what’s happening, and we leave off with a lot of unanswered questions. I hope to find the answers in the next one.

I rate this 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4 due to the way the author and narrator held my attention and kept me intrigued and wanting more.

Thank you NetGalley for this ARC!

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Interesting book, interesting premise, good start to the series. I like the idea of a different kind of economy and the hierarchy not based strictly on power but on skill. I also like that it's heavily based in nature. It's mysterious and promises lots of mystery to come. Good character development and plot. Narration is done well, enjoyed it greatly!

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I loved the characters and the story, I couldn't put this down all day yesterday.

This gave me vibes of stories like Eye of the World and Legends and Lattes, which sounds like they shouldn't go together, but they do! I loved the themes of searching for purpose, finding your own path, and embracing the scary unknown to be a better version of yourself.

I'm so excited to read the second book!

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It is almost time for Ivy Rune to sit her Arborist exam and then take over her late father’s shop. But a stranger brings a message held from her father. This will distract her and set her on a search for hidden magic ivy and her best friend will follow the clues that leads to a magical grove of trees, and now there are more questions than answers. Can Ivy find out what is going on?

Enjoyed this well written and well narrated novel (I listened to the audiobook). Great characters in a world that was thought to be settled and organised. Lives will be turned upside down and magic revealed. Good book one and look forward to future novels.

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Thank you to NetGalley, Portal Publishing, and Sara Knightly for an ARC of this audiobook narrated by Kim Churchill in exchange for my honest review.

I found myself picking this audiobook up every chance I could because the academia mystery of this book really sucked me in and kept me intrigued.

The beginning does start off a little abrupt after the prologue, to the point where I had to go back and listen a few times to make sure I didn’t miss something. This book is a slower story that builds a beautiful world filled with family secrets, academic rivalries, mysterious strangers in the woods, a seemingly recluse count hiding secrets in his castle, and friends trying to figure out their place in the world.

I would like a little more backstory on how the Carvers seem to be the more prestigious trade over the Arborists when the job of an arborists seems more beneficial to the town.

Overall, this was a great story and I can’t wait to dive into the next book to see where Ivy’s choices will take her!

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Interesting premise and a lot of information given about this book’s world that sets up for a long, entertaining series. I enjoyed this one and think I would like the next book even better, given that it’s probably less background information and more character development. I listened to the audiobook and liked the narrator, I recommend this one and will definitely read the next one.

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I really enjoyed this audiobook. I thought the narrator did a really nice job and kept the story moving and me interested in it. I thought the story itself was good and a great start to a series.

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Thank you for the opportunity to review this book.

This has all the cosy fairytale storybook feels in a really intriguing setting. I think we all knew roughly where the plot was going to go, but this story didnt need a grand twist. I do wish we had a bit more context of Ivy's life and more about the friendship with York. As others have said it did feel a bit more like telling us rather than showing us, but I do think that is appropriate for a younger audience.

Overall, a really good 3.5 for me. and I do want to discover where the story is going to go in the sequel.

I really like the narrator on this audiobook. The audio is clear and the voice actor really engages the audience with her expression and tone. My only comment on the audiobook itself, is that some of the pauses between chapters may be a little long - I've had to check that I haven't accidentally pressed pause a couple of times. However, I am not sure whether this may have been due to the app rather than the audiobook itself.

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I absolutely loved this! Plants, mysterious castles, a little bit of magic…what more do you want? The narrator really suited the main character and I was able to distinguish the other characters well. The plot flowed smoothly and the ending leaves you wanting to carry on without massive cliffhangers that I personally find very irritating. Overall highly recommend and thank you for letting me listen to this. I’ll be purchasing book 2 to find out what happens next!

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Thank you NetGalley for an ARC audio version of “secrets Ever Green”.

In “Secrets Ever Green”, the author takes readers on an enchanting scavenger hunt that beautifully intertwines nostalgia and discovery. Ivy, a determined young woman, seeks to honor her late father's memory by unraveling the clues he left behind. The way the story unfolds is both charming and engaging, with delightful little twists that keep you eagerly flipping pages.

The writing is effortlessly easy to follow, making this an enjoyable read for anyone looking for a heartfelt adventure. Each clue Ivy uncovers adds layers to her father's character and their shared past, creating a compelling connection that resonates deeply. The pacing is just right, leaving you wanting to know what happens next without feeling rushed.

I found myself completely invested in Ivy’s quest, rooting for her every step of the way. This book is not just a story; it's a sweet exploration of love, loss, and finding one’s own path. I loved it and am already counting down the days until the sequel arrives. Highly recommend for anyone looking for a delightful escape!

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I loved this fantasy with mystery elements. I loved the nature themes and the magic that was found. Such a great book for anyone wanting to explore the fantasy genre without having to go too other worldly.

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I finished this book a few days ago and I still find myself thinking about it, I want book 2 SO BAD.

I loved how easy the book/plot was to follow, our characters were all easy to love, and the story was really entertaining! It's a really short and fast paced fantasy that would 100% be a fantastic starter fantasy series.

overall it was a great book! Excited to read more of Sara Knightly's works.

Thank you Netgalley and the publishers for a copy of the audiobook in exchange for an honest review!

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This was an intriguing story of coming of age. Ivy was an orphaned girl who lived with family friends. She was working toward learning her father's trade as a botanist and arborist. The only problem was she was terrible at it.
As she tries to navigate her career choice, the final test she has to pass in order to move back into her family home, and misunderstandings with her best friend, York, she learns of secrets her father had been keeping.
I really enjoyed the mystery and sweetness of Ivy and York's relationship, the people who cared for her, and the town seemed so quaint. I loved the hidden secrets that seemed to be hiding around the edges that only Ivy could see.
This is just the right amount of fantasy to hook you and keep you wanting more. I'm looking for the next book in the series!

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Wow. I couldn’t put this down! I began listening to this as something to fill the time while I walked around the neighborhood with my sleeping baby and it turned into a much longer walk and I just couldn’t stop! When I did put it down I found myself just thinking about what could be coming next. I need book 2.

The plot was easy to follow, the characters were all easy to love, and the story was quite entertaining! It's short and fast paced fantasy that makes it a great starter series for someone looking to try or get into the genre.

Thank you Netgalley and the publishers for a copy of the audiobook in exchange for an honest review!

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