Warrior of the wild by Tricia Levenseller
Palgrave USA, 2020. ISBN: 9781250233653.
(Age: 13+) Recommended. Fans of fantasy and survival stories are in for a treat with this easy to read, engaging story. Rasmira is the daughter of the village chief and when she fails her coming of age trial, she is banished to the Wild and given an impossible task: kill the god who demands a tribute each year from the surrounding villages, making it difficult for them to survive. No one else who has been banished has ever succeeded and she is expected to die.
Rasmira has been trained as a warrior and is strong and determined. When she meets two other boys, Soren and Iric, who have been banished, her grit and intelligence and emerging leadership skills come to the fore. Together they decide that they will complete their virtually impossible tasks and show the villagers their skills and the injustice of their exile. Initially Rasmira is depicted as a self-centred young woman who is very confident about her ability as a fighter but has little knowledge of the skills needed to lead. Her father's favouritism has led to her mother feeling left out and the village boys are not happy with the attention given to her as well. It is in the Wild that she comes to realise what skills are needed as a leader and begins to discover that valuing the abilities of Soren and Iric and their resulting teamwork is necessary if they are to succeed.
The story is written is a very easy to read style with the dialogue sounding almost modern. With its tones of a Viking type lifestyle, the emerging relationship between Rasmira and Soren and Iric's love for a village boy, it will appeal to a wide readership, and the fact that it is a stand-alone will make it an easy choice for readers who don't want to commit to a series. It was one of a 2020 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers.