This story was okay and not much else, yet it could have been so much more. The beginning really grabs your attention, makes you get comfortable in the chair as you focus on what is going on with this child, Ilan, cast loose in the world alone. Her unintended rescue by Dimmingwood brigands led by Rideon the Red Hand sets the stage for what could have been an engaging and gripping tale. However, after that poignant start, the tale just sort of fizzles like a dud firecracker. Sure, it hisses and smokes a little, but it never really explodes.
The main reason for this was our heroine herself. The author turns Ilan into something of an anti-heroes. Not in the classic mold of Elric of Melnibone or Thomas Covenant, but in the more modern vein of a teenager who feels she is being "mistreated" by life in general. Ilan, therefore, becomes progressively more sulky, whiny, and hateful as the tale goes along. By the end, she spends the majority of her time complaining, insulting her family/friends, and casting them into harms way to further her own ends. Sure, she might feel a moment of remorse occasionally, but a reader never sees any "growing up" on Ilan's part just more immature self-destructive behavior.
How exactly does one WANT to read about that sort of person?
I didn't by the end. Throw in the fact she "stumbles" upon a magic bow, which whispers into her mind how to kill people, and I personally lost interest in seeing what became of little Ilan.
What could have been a fine story of a lost girl growing up into an adult while she overcame obstacles and rediscovered a forgotten past turned into a teen whine-fest.