Wow! – What a fantastic teen read in this first title in a trilogy being written by Jeri Baird.
Set in Puck’s Gulch, in a country that aimed (but failed) to have all tribes equal, the 16 year-olds in the village must undergo a quest to discover their talents and future place in the community. Leading up to the trial the teenagers are trained and Fate is a constant presence, handing out Tokens for good deeds and Omens for wrongdoings. Even with their unique magical gifts, Fate seems determined to stop them from completing their dangerous rite of passage—can they break the rules and cheat Fate?
Zander trusts Fate and has had experience living and surviving in the forest whilst helping his father in the fur trade. Alexa only trusts herself and tires to control her encounters. With others in the group their is a telling mix of friendship and trust and animosity and bad deeds. How can the group survive when there are more evil omens than good tokens to overcome them.
Jeri Baird has created a believable and engaging alternate world with a strong underlying theme of earning your place in the world and taking responsibility for the choices you make. The challenge throws a divergent group of teenagers with different classes, talents and attitudes together. Relationships are volatile at times but also demonstrate deep bonds of friendships, compassion and trust. Tokens and Omens offers everything that you could ask for in teen fantasy with strong male and female protagonists, adventure, excitement and a challenging quest to survive. I can’t wait for the next installment – Curses and Warfare.
As well as providing an engaging high interest read for pleasure, Tokens and Omens has great potential to stimulate class discussion and debate. An excellent opening to explore the Ethical Understanding and Personal and Social capabilities in the Australian Curriculum.