This is hopefully the first book in an excellent new series. Hunter Joyeaux is dragooned from her cold nest in the mountain monastery by the rulers of Apex. Joy is a hunter of creatures and she uses magic and her hounds for that purpose. Her hounds are not dogs but outsiders from some other place. We are never sure where or what that other place may be. This book is her initial adventures in Apex.
Joy is an orphan and her only family is her Uncle, the Prefect in Apex. Political and magical intrigue are rampant in Apex. Joy is more used to the rural outback where if folks don't stick together they end up dying alone.
Lackey's character development shines in this book. She creates a realistic and hyper-capable teen who is laudable and nearly believable. Mercedes Lackey has that rare ability to elicit a strong emotional response to her characters. I can only hope this is just the initial book in a new series.
I highly recommend the book.
web site: http://www.mercedeslackey.com/
This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.