Ariel and her best friend, Zeke, are ready for Namingfest, a day when they choose one of the twelve trades and are tested to become an apprentice. Though Ariel will test to be a Healtouch like her mother, she worries it isn’t her true calling. Then she and Zeke find a telling dart, a mysterious remnant from the past. Its message appears lost, but Ariel knows the dart itself tells a story somehow meant for her. When two Finders come to their fishing village looking for the dart, Ariel reluctantly hands it over, but in the process marks herself as a potential Farwalker, a long-lost trade. The strangers kidnap Ariel, and, with Zeke following, her quest to find the source of the dart and her true purpose has begun. This stand-alone fantasy has a unique setting with an intriguing history and a suspenseful plot. Ariel, as headstrong as she is thoughtful, is an appealing character, and her strong bond with her companions—Zeke and Scarl, her taciturn but caring protector—makes their journey one to follow. Grades 5-8. --Krista Hutley
A Bank Street Best Book for 2010 --Bank Street College of Education
This is a solid and well-paced fantasy in which the journey is more important than the conclusion. The theme of finding and accepting one's true calling resonates. --School Library Journal
[T]he book is at once elegant and lyrical, while also offering an intensely paced and action-driven plot for readers who are seeking adventure along with poetic contemplation.
--The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
This stand-alone fantasy has a unique setting with an intriguing history and a suspenseful plot. --Booklist
The story offers crisp dialogue, an exciting plot, and strong secondary characters. --Kirkus