A 2016 Library Journal SELF-e selection, and a 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Award finalist!
Seventeen-year-old Groundling, Fennel, is Sightless. She's never been able to see her lush forest home, but she knows its secrets. She knows how the shadows shift when she passes under a canopy of trees. She knows how to hide in the cool, damp caves when the Scourge comes. She knows how devious and arrogant the Groundlings' tree-dwelling neighbors, the Lofties, can be.
And she's always known this day would come—the day she faces the Scourge alone.
The Sightless, like Fenn, are mysteriously protected from the Scourge, the gruesome creatures roaming the forests, reeking of festering flesh and consuming anything—and anyone—living. A Sightless Groundling must brave the Scourge and bring fresh water to the people of the forest. Today, that task becomes Fenn's.
Fenn will have a Lofty Keeper, Peree, as her companion. Everyone knows the Lofties wouldn’t hesitate to shoot an arrow through the back of an unsuspecting Groundling like Fenn, but Peree seems different. A boy with warm, rough hands who smells like summer, he is surprisingly kind and thoughtful. Although Fenn knows his people are treacherous, she finds herself wanting to trust him.
As their forest community teeters on the brink of war, Fenn and Peree must learn to work together to survive the Scourge and ensure their people’s survival. But when Fenn uncovers a secret that shatters her truths, she’s forced to decide who and what to protect—her people, her growing love for Peree, or the elusive dream of lasting peace in the forest.
"One of the Best Books I've Ever Read! . . . Buy it, borrow it . . . whatever, just read this book!"
"The prose flows smoothly and easily but there are much deeper issues lying beneath the surface of the story that are captivating and will hold the interest of readers of any age . . . I was quickly transported into the world of The Scourge and plummeted breathlessly toward the resolution. This is a very good book and a good look at just what science fiction can achieve when in the hands of a capable writer."
-- Josef Hernandez, Examiner
RECOMMENDED SERIES READING ORDER:
The Keeper: A Brilliant Darkness Story
The Gatherer: A Brilliant Darkness Story
The Fire Sisters