Mistwood, by Leah Cypess
Long ago, a Shifter was bound by magic to protect the kings of Samorna whenever they were in need. When Prince Rokan finds the Shifter in the Mistwood, Isabel has no memories and no recollection of her abilities as a Shifter. But Rokan has a secret and a reason that he doesn’t want Isabel to get her memories back.
Isabel is a complex and mysterious character, who doesn’t even know herself. Throughout the course of the book, she begins to discover the truth behind her past and slowly discovers her humanity. And eventually, Isabel is forced to make a decision that goes against her very nature.
This is medieval fantasy geared towards young adults, though is still appropriate for middle readers as well. There are brief scenes of action and magic, but the main story revolves around the interpersonal drama of Isabel and those around her. This is not a simple, light-hearted read. Situations and decisions are presented to make the reader stop to think and ponder. It’s a quick read, but stayed with me for long after I was finished. The surprising climactic ending, was both exciting and heart-breaking. Slightly dark and completely mesmerizing, this dramatic fantasy had me hooked from the start.