Young Rachelle was trained to protect her people from the dark creatures that surround them, which she has always been determined to do. But she hasn't wanted to simply defend, she wants to boldly attack them. She learned the hard way that, unfortunately, sometimes the only effective way to attack the darkness is to embrace it. Now she clings desperately to her soul as one of those creatures, trying to hold off the darkness within herself while still protecting the people. And her work has moved her from a woodland village to the court of the king.
Hodge has meshed a nice array of elements into an enjoyable story. The mythology of looming darkness, with the Devourer at its heart and "forestborn"--which felt to me like a cross between vampires and woodland fairies--as its agents, and with legends of the ancient heroes who previously defeated it. A strong, complex, conflicted heroine. A not-awful love triangle (though I didn't feel it the way I would have liked). High society intrigue plus action plus horror. Writing that at times was lovely (and at times was repetitive). Intriguing secondary characters. I found myself quite caught up in all of it and recommend it to anyone intrigued by the sound of it.