Nandana's Mark (Queen of the Realm of Faerie, #1)

Nandana's Mark - Heidi Garrett Nandana's Mark is the beguiling story of three sisters, daughters of a faerie woman now separated from her mortal lover. Melia, Plantine, and Melusine live in Faerie their unhappy mother, the stigma of their mixed birth a constant distraction. But it seems their father isn't content to let go, and his plans to rejoin his wife may risk the safety of Faerie, and more.

This book lies right in the heart of young adult fantasy. Its core character, Melia, is eighteen, and trying to come to terms with adulthood and a difficult, unusual family. Ms Garrett wraps us up in the enchantment of Faerie and the pixies, trolls, and dwarves that make it their home. But she leaves plenty of room for us to sympathize with a young woman's everyday troubles, and to share her fears about the path unfurling before her as she slowly learns more about her future - and her past.

The story moves forward at a rapid pace, discoveries and threats piling on each other, but not so fast that it's hard to keep track. Garrett does a good job of distinguishing and letting us empathize with major characters, including the flawed, driven father and mother. Despite the grim events looming in the near future (and suggested for the next book, The Flower of Isbelline), there's plenty of time for humor, friendship, even what appear to be a couple of budding romances. And, of course, magic dark and light.

Recommended for fans of exciting, romantic young adult adventure and fantasy.