Run...run...RUN! This is what I think when I think about Journey to Landaran. Twins, Tavish and Aidah are on the run for their lives throughout the book. Ms. Goodwin takes us through a familiar, yet not, world of magic and war. I love the details of the creatures and magics in the book. I had to crawl under a blanket to read her descriptions of a snow storm they were so vivid! I also loved learning about the different peoples in this world and hints of lands to come.
I do have a huge caution for readers though. This book is listed as YA, and while the protagonists are both 14, there are some heavy duty issues they face. Death and war are the least of them. While blood and gore are kept to a minimum, they are there.
The biggest caution is the themes of rape, torture, and grooming of a child. This is ongoing and a major part of the story. I think Ms. Goodwin handles the topic well with not too much visual to the reader. She handles the emotions well and this story could be a boon for those who are dealing with similar hurts in their lives, but readers should be aware of the graphic nature in order to discuss with younger YA, or limit reading to older YA.
Overall this was an extremely fulling read, that was intense both in action and emotion that any fantasy reader will enjoy. Then ending tied up this first book but left much to be discovered in the next and I can't wait!