Publisher: Harper Collins

Twelve has given everything to the Lodge since her family were killed – as she thinks – by the evil Cave clan. As a Huntling, a trainee warrior, she has given up her name, her past and replaced it all with a bitter determination to be as powerful a warrior as possible. Her aim is revenge and the last thing she wants is friends – until the Lodge is attacked by goblins, and monsters erupt into the world, kidnapping the gentle, defenceless Seven.

Twelve heads off to rescue her, but she doesn’t expect to be joined by the great stone Dog who guards the Lodge, and other Huntlings who might just become friends as they bond on their desperate race to rescue Seven.

This is a breathlessly fast-paced, gripping quest with a richly imagined world reminiscent of Tolkien’s, with its sentient trees and giant spiders. This classic fantasy world, however, feels fully up to date for young readers in 2021. It is packed with great twists and turns and well-developed characters, including a strong and memorable female lead in the tough yet vulnerable Twelve. It is a hugely enjoyable option for readers who are not yet old enough for The Hunger Games.

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