Sea of Shadowsby Kelley Armstrong
Synopsis:In the Forest of the Dead, where the empire''s worst criminals are exiled, twin sisters Moria and Ashyn are charged with a dangerous task. For they are the Keeper and the Seeker, and each year they must quiet the enraged souls of the damned.
Only this year, the souls will not be quieted.
Ambushed and separated by an ancient evil, the sisters'' journey to find each other sends them far from the only home they've ever known. Accompanied by a stubborn imperial guard and a dashing condemned thief, the girls cross a once-empty wasteland, now filled with reawakened monsters of legend, as they travel to warn the emperor. But a terrible secret awaits them at court--one that will alter the balance of their world forever.
Twin sisters Ashyn and Moria were born to be the Seeker and the Keeper of Edgewood. Their duty is to protect the village and obey the spirits that live there but once a year the Seeker must perform a Seeking, entering the Forest to bury the dead and put their spirits at rest while the Keeper protects the village from any malicious spirits that try to flee. With their sixteenth birthday passed the girls perform the Seeking by themselves for the first time and when Ashyn enters the forest the monsters she finds there are creatures right out of Moria's legends. When most of the village is massacred, the girls are separated and flee the village in search of the each other. As they cross the Waste, with the help of their bonded animals and two very different boys, they must battle more legendary creatures and wonder if they will ever see their twin again. In Sea of Shadows, Armstrong has switch from her usually genre of paranormal to fantasy with surprising skill though of course there is still the romantic drama one expects from Armstrong. Ashyn and Moria are both very well written characters with strong personalities that aren't afraid to take the harder (or more difficult moral) path to set wrongs right. Full of action, romantic drama that was already mentioned, and a few monsters, Sea of Shadows is a fantastic opener it what is bound to be an amazing trilogy.