Editorial Review: Rise of the Raidin by Susan L Markloff
Jennifer Monroe is totally average in every teenage girl way - in the dragon-slaying and energy-wielding warrior ways though - she is extraordinary. Even by the standards of a world where dragons and energy-wielding warriors are fairly normal.
The first book in The Human-Born Era series, The Rise of the Raidin opens on Jen a year after she discovered the truth about herself. She might be a decent student with a few good friends and a semi-secret crush on a certain boy, but she is also in training for the fight of her life. She's human-born, and thankfully she has her Zaheri to guide her through what that means. These guardians and mentors come in various forms: a werewolf, imposing men with impressive abilities, and huge furred creatures with immense strength. Though Jen is not without her own power. The ability to wield energy, bone spikes, and produce wings that give her the capability to fly are certainly nothing to be overlooked. In fact, she's so powerful that she's attracting the attention of Cregorous and surprising even her Zaheri.
Her training is progressing just fine, and she's even getting a night off when a bratak’ra attacks her at school. Totaling her car - and many others in the lot - in the process of fighting off the massive beast, Jen manages to protect her friend and survive. But this is just the beginning. A siege situation arises where the enemies are not just the beasts without but also the people within who don't understand what's going on and will do whatever it takes to be allowed to leave - regardless of how that would go for them.
When her Zaheri finally reveal the truth of her nature to her it opens more questions than answers. Juggling the attention that follows, SAT's, her training, and explaining everything to her family would be hard enough without the impending threat of what's coming or the memories of Cregorous.
Susan L Markloff has pulled off a fantastic story here, with depth of plot and characters that leave you wanting to read more. Young Adult Fantasy readers will find a whole world to love in The Rise of Raidin, and the premise fits nicely within the genre. Superbly written, with great humor and attention paid to each character that makes the whole read thoroughly enjoyable.
A truly engaging and entertaining read, The Rise of the Raidin is a promising first installation of The Human-Born Era series.