This is an interesting story, but I didn’t like how the main character, Zelia, was so abused for much of her life and how she had such a hard time overcoming her guilt over what others forced her to do. Zelia is basically a nice person – whatever kind of being she is supposed to be – and amazingly, she manages to remain a nice person despite the abuse and the guilt.
Zelia is a – well, she doesn’t know what she is. For the duration of this book, she appears to be a little girl, although she is five hundred years old by the end. She lives with the elves, to begin with, but she is not an elf. However, she loves the elves she lives with, and they appear to love her in return.
Then one day they take her to a group of wizards who send her into a mysterious valley for a ‘test’ of some sort. She is attacked by creatures called ‘darkans.’ She is advised to use her powers. She has been given two pebbles. She holds one in each hand and squeezes tightly. Fire and ice come raging out, and the darkens are dead. So is Zelia. But gradually, over a period of years, she knits back together, a very painful process. This begins a period of some of the most painful abuse anyone I have ever heard of, real or imaginary, has had to undergo.
Eventually, she is rescued, but even then, her troubles are not over…