Mistwood by Leah Cypess

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Publication Date:
April 27th, 2010
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN:  0061956996
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy/Adevnture
Source: Library
Lootability: ***
The Shifter is an immortal creature bound by an ancient spell to protect the kings of Samorna. When the realm is peaceful, she retreats to the Mistwod.
But when she is needed she always comes.
Isabel remembers nothing. Nothing before the prince rode into her forest to take her back to the castle. Nothing about who she is supposed to be, or the powers she is supposed to have.
Prince Rokan needs Isabel to be his Shifter. He needs her ability to shift to animal form, to wind, to mist. He needs her lethal speed and superhuman strength. And he needs her loyalty—because without it, she may be his greatest threat.
Isabel knows that her prince is lying to her, but she can't help wanting to protect him from the dangers and intrigues of the court . . . until a deadly truth shatters the bond between them.
Now Isabel faces a choice that threatens her loyalty, her heart . . . and everything she thought she knew.
The Kings of Samora have always had one great weapon to protect the royal line. The Shifter is an ancient creature of unknown power that resides in the Mistwood. An ancient spell keeps the Shifter loyal to the royal family after it has been summoned to protect them.
When Prince Royan summons Isabella to be his Shifter he unleashes a series of evens that may do more harm to his Kingdom than good.

What I Liked: Isabella's exploration of herself through her discovery of her abilities as a shapeshifter and the recovery of her unwanted history. As she discovers new things about herself and her powers, Isabella finds her loyalties are being twisted in a way the Shifter has never been before.
The characters are complicated, determined to hide 'unnecessary truths' and manipulative to the point of forcefulness and more resourceful than I could have imagined.
Isabella's memories and history remained an intriguing mystery until the moment of revelation. I wholeheartedly enjoyed the surprise and was able to understand the clues retrospectively. I appreciated Cypess' imaginative writing.

What I Didn't Like: Sometimes, to keep secrets hidden and mysterious, it felt like Cypess just made the narrative confusing. Particularly when sorting through Isabella's thoughts. It was almost as though she was trying to stop anyone guessing the twist.
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