For fifteen years, Lark Ainsley waited for the day when her Resource would be harvested and she would finally be an adult. After the harvest she expected a small role in the regular, orderly operation of the City within the Wall. She expected to do her part to maintain the refuge for the last survivors of the Wars. She expected to be a tiny cog in the larger clockwork of the city.
Lark did not expect to become the City's power supply.
Her only choice is to escape; follow the birds into the wilderness beyond.
Into the Iron Wood...
Summary courtesy of Amazon
In a domed city set in a post-apocalyptic world, Lark Ainsley waits to finally be 'harvested' of her magic, but when the time does come, she realizes that to continue living in the city would mean something close to slavery. So she sets out beyond the protective boundary of the Wall in search of the Iron Wood. But first, she has to survive the ravaged wilderness outside the city.
For a person who loves both science fiction and fantasy, I didn't think it could get much better than that. But, oh, it did. Add fantastic character development, unexpected plot twists, and a broody, intense, perplexing male charrie, and this book would be one of the best a SFF (sci-fi fantasy) lover could wish for.
Lark's development as a character was written very well. She went from a stumbling, unsure, dependent (and frankly, sometimes annoying) girl to a person who knew her mind and could hold her own in a world torn and devastated. Most of the book was devoted to Lark's journey from her City to the iron Wood, and I felt it was a bit monotonous at times, but the well-placed turns in the plot kept me reading, particularly from the part where she meets Oren.
Oren. I have a particular affinity to characters who are complex, moody, and hard to read. These are the type of characters who fascinate me and turn out to be completely lovable in the end, once I've figured them out. Oren became my favourite character since the first time he talked with Lark. He was probably the best part of the book.
The only thing which I thought was missing from this book was satisfying world-building. Though I could gather that there was a disastrous event resulting in the destroyed world, I didn't get enough details on how it actually happened. There is not enough information on what the world was like pre-apocalypse. Because of the inclusion of magic, it obviously wasn't exactly like ours. But apart from that slight inadequacy, I loved it.
Who would I recommend this book to?
Skylark is a post-apocalyptic fantasy read, complete with cannibalistic mutations, a dominating dystopian society and a healthy dose of magic. It's perfectly tailored for SF&F fans.