Avira by Corinne Foster

Avira: Prequel to Secret of the Phoon

The fearless Avira is accustomed to wielding a sword alongside her father and brothers to defend their home. Injured and abandoned, she is taken by a stranger to a place where she embarks on a happy new life learning woodcraft and herblore. But her old life draws her back to the dangerous outside world when she has to rescue her family. Although her new magical powers are put to good use, she still finds help – and more – from an unexpected source

I found this book very fun to read and full of great characters. There are several different perspectives we follow as the story progresses. Beginning with how some of the characters paths cross. We are introduced to the House of the Unloved in which unwanted girls are taken in and schooled, trained in skills and learn to hone their talents. This house is tied with the Phoon, a mysterious and at times dangerous force that mostly lives in the surrounding woods. 

When Avira is found beaten and with memory loss she is taken to the house of the Unloved until her strength and memories return. She is a fighter, she used to fight for her land along with her brothers and father, until they were defeated and their land taken. Avira soon starts out on her travels to find her father and surviving brothers. In her travels she rediscovers family and finds new friends and enemies along the way, even a potential romance sparks. 

There is a focus on female characters in this story and they are all very strong and smart women. Living in a medieval time and with war happening all around them flourish in the house learning skills and working with nature and magic to survive and stand against the odds. 

There is a lot more to this story, sword fighting, healing, friendships and family to name a few. It is pretty fast paced and imaginative, I really enjoyed the read and recommend it.  
4 Stars