Vaughn, J D The Second Guard, 432 p. Disney, 2015. $17. Mature Content: G; Language: PG (3 swears); Violence: PG (fighting, some deaths, low on gore).
Like all second-born children in her country, Tali, 15, is ready to serve her time in the Second Guard - the elite fighting force for her small country of Tequende. Her first friends are Zarif, from the Moon (scholar) guild and Chey, one of the Earth (laborer) class; Tali is a Sun (merchant) guilder, so their three guild friendship is an anomaly. The four years of training and service are rigorous and not all will succeed, nor even want to try - those will serve six years. Tali, Chey, and Zarif keep each other balanced during the initial training, but disturbing rumors reach their ears and they are worried that someone highly placed and highly trusted is actually a traitor. The key, however, is to figure out who they can trust and be killed to keep deep secrets.
An excellent older level high fantasy book! I can’t wait to add this to my collection. Vaughn draws vivid characters and scenes, adding in the right pinch of magic, other, and adventure to hold any good fantasy reader.
MS, HS - ESSENTIAL.
Cindy, Middle School Librarian, MLS.