Raffa lives near the Forest of Wonders with his parents and anticipates trips into the forest to gather plants for their family's apothecary business. Nearby, his beloved uncle, Ansel and his cousin, Garith live in a cabin, also apothecaries. The cousins enjoy learning the trade under their parents tutelage although Raffa wearies of his father's cautionary and controlling style. When Raffa heals a bat with a mysterious vine from the Forest of Wonders, he encounters a secret that could unleash new possibilities.
When his parents and his uncle are given the opportunity to work for the Chancellor on a top-secret project, Raffa is dismayed to learn his parents have turned down the chance. After his uncle and cousin Garith leave, Raffa discovers that Garith has taken some of the cuttings from the vine. To spare Garith and Ansel painful side effects from the vine, Raffa steals away in the middle of the night to warn them, without his parents' blessing. When he is reunited with his uncle and cousin, he realizes not everyone will uphold the apothecary code to heal. Raffa must decide between a career of a lifetime and helping others. Maybe his father's philosophy and instructions were correct?!
The ending definitely leaves the reader hanging!
-I like how he must wrestle with what he believes is right. The pull towards evil is strong and appealing.
-Borrowed from the library.
Book #2 is to be published March 7, 2017.
Points to discuss/Warning: violence/cruelty towards animals; Raffa is disrespectful and rebellious towards his father at points; disobedience; lying