Lark Rising by Sandra Waugh | Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Lark Rising

Lark Rising

4.3 6
by Sandra Waugh

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Full of romance and nature magic, this debut fantasy is perfect for fans of Shannon Hale, Juliet Marillier, and Kristin Cashore.
Lark has foreseen two things—she will fall for a young man with sage green eyes,and he will kill her.
Sixteen-year-old Lark Carew is happiest close to home, tending her garden and gathering herbs


Full of romance and nature magic, this debut fantasy is perfect for fans of Shannon Hale, Juliet Marillier, and Kristin Cashore.
Lark has foreseen two things—she will fall for a young man with sage green eyes,and he will kill her.
Sixteen-year-old Lark Carew is happiest close to home, tending her garden and gathering herbs for medicines. But when her Sight warns her that monsters called Troths will soon invade her village, Lark is summoned on a journey to seek help from the legendary Riders of Tarnec. Little does she suspect that one of the Riders, Gharain, is the very man who has haunted her visions. Or that the people of Tarnec have called her there for another reason: Lark is the Guardian of Life, the first of four Guardians who must awaken their powers to recover four stolen amulets. Together, the amulets—Life, Death, Dark, and Light—keep the world in Balance. To take back the Life amulet, Lark will have to discover her true inner strength and give in to a love that she swears will be her downfall.

“A beautifully realized world, a unique voice, and a compelling, action-packed story. This is a striking debut novel with a lovely folkloric flavor.” —Juliet Marillier, author of Wildwood Dancing

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The village of Merith is about to be massacred by grisly beasts called the Troths, plunging 16-year-old Lark Carew into a quest to summon the legendary Riders to save her people. In Waugh’s debut, first in the Guardians of Tarnec series, Lark discovers a secret kingdom and her rightful place as the Guardian of Life. The fantastical realm is depicted in vivid detail, simultaneously ethereal and concrete, and populated by both kindly and menacing characters to guide and torment Lark, making this novel a tantalizing glimpse of what is yet to come. Lark’s “Sight” initially appears to be more burden than blessing, causing her physical illness and forcing her to relive the murder that brought a ghastly severed hand to her door. Over time, she learns to control her powers and communicate fully with the natural world, revealing a formidable heroine beneath her reserved and gentle demeanor. As Lark’s story unfolds, her self-confidence becomes the key to unlocking her potential and overcoming her own uncertainty. As the king and others remind her, “Trust that you will know what to do.” Ages 12–up. Agent: Jenny Bent, Bent Agency. (Sept.)
VOYA, October 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 4) - Ava Ehde
When a fox drops a severed hand in her reclusive garden where she raises herbs for her grandmother’s medicines, Lark Carew attempts to understand the warning implied. She cannot avoid using her Sight to replay the violence and untimely death of her fellow villager by the hateful, goblinlike Troths. This Sight often brings Lark haunting visions, including one of a beautiful young man with sage-green eyes . . . that will kill her. Signs and messages direct Lark’s journey as she seeks the help of the twelve Riders, the Keepers of Tarnec, to defend her village of Merith against the coming devastation by the Troths. Her cousin Evie, friends Quinn and Raif, and three-legged dog Rileg must all be left behind. Her frightening two-day trek past the northern edge of the Dark Wood to the Rowan tree to suspend the distress flag and wait for help must be undertaken alone. Lark soon realizes that she has no choice in her future and that her fate is intertwined with those of the Keepers and the Four Amulets of Balance. This suspenseful debut, first in a romantic fantasy series, is filled with animism, magical storytelling, and lyrical prose. Featuring a strong and courageous heroine who is constantly reminded to seek balance and to trust herself, the story promises more to come for readers that will be hooked. Reviewer: Ava Ehde; Ages 11 to 18.
Kirkus Reviews
A young seer discovers her destiny in this opener for a new fantasy series. Timid Lark, rendered vulnerable by her prophetic Sight, prefers solitary gardening to adventure. Yet after a vision in which bestial Troths devastate her village, she bravely agrees to seek aid from the mysterious Riders. At their stronghold in Tarnec, Lark is stunned to be hailed as one of the destined Guardians of Balance, bound to seek the stolen orb of Life. She's paired with the inexplicably hostile Gharain (quite literally the man of her dreams), who she foresees will break her heart…and kill her. The refreshingly original magical system of this world allows for images of aching beauty, describing Lark's connection to the Earth and all its creatures. Unfortunately, Lark herself is vacillating, weepy and prone to bouts of melodramatic self-pity. Her successful use of her powers seems more lucky coincidence and authorial fiat than any personal strength. Her torrid romance with Gharain (who exhibits no discernible personality whatsoever) feels equally forced, and the remaining characters are bland, spouting unnatural dialogue constructed of stilted aphorisms and cryptic hints. The slow pacing of the first half accelerates into an exciting climax filled with lurid torture, grisly violence and genuine courage. Unfortunately, the denouement simply waves away all obstacles to a fairy-tale conclusion, leaving just enough dangling to set up the obvious sequels. Disappointing. (Fantasy. 10-15)

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Guardians of Tarnec Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.30(d)
750L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 Years

Meet the Author

SANDRA WAUGH grew up in an old house full of crowded bookshelves, in walking distance of an old library that allowed her to drag home a sack of six books at a time. It goes without saying, then, that she fell in love with an old house in Litchfield County, Connecticut, because of its many bookshelves, and she lives there now with her husband, two sons, and a dog who snores. Loudly. Lark Rising is her first novel. For more information, reveries, and an author blog, visit

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