Age of Legends, Book 1
Description (taken from Kelley Armstrong's website):
In the Forest of the Dead, where the empire’s worst criminals are exiled, twin sisters Moria and Ashyn are charged with a dangerous task. For they are the Keeper and the Seeker, and each year they must quiet the enraged souls of the damned.
Only this year, the souls will not be quieted.
Ambushed and separated by an ancient evil, the sisters’ journey to find each other sends them far from the only home they’ve ever known. Accompanied by a stubborn imperial guard and a dashing condemned thief, the girls cross a once-empty wasteland, now filled with reawakened monsters of legend, as they travel to warn the emperor. But a terrible secret awaits them at court—one that will alter the balance of their world forever.
This is set in an ancient fantasy world; I like to think of a magical China-era world. However, the main characters in this book have blonde hair due to them being Northerners. Anyways, it's set in a world with spirits and magic, and the girls have one of the most dangerous jobs: to give peace to the spirits and protect their home.
Every year, the Seeker makes a trek into the Forest of the Dead to release the angry spirits (in plain English: to bury the bodies). All criminals are exiled here where they usually perish quickly. This year is Ashyn's first time as the Seeker. But when her party begins to go missing and zombies appear, everything goes a little crazy. As the city is ambushed, Moria only cares about finding her sister and protecting what's left of the city. But as they try to find help, they find the root of these evil forces and a sinister plot that involves them.
Sounds like a promising novel, right? I struck out again. It moves too slow, and I got bored with it. Being in the Forest of the Dead, I was questioning whether or not they really heard the spirits and all of the mythical creatures seemed like a bunch of voodoo. And I just didn't care enough; my goal was to finish the book. There's even an aha moment that I didn't catch onto, but it just didn't salvage it for me. This seems like an awesome fantasy, but the execution of it just didn't work for me.
I'd say fans of Kelley Armstrong should test this book out. But if you're new to Kelley Armstrong, I'd recommend you start with her young adult or adult paranormal series.