Thirteen-year-old Elissa has lived in the peaceful and remote town of High Crossing her whole life, knowing no life but the peaceful village and the mountains around her town. Her caretaker, whom she calls Nana, tells her only that her mother is dead and never speaks of her father. And though Nana keeps the secrets of Elissa’s family to herself, the two share another: Elissa has a magical Gift that enables her to speak to animals.
Elissa assumes she will spend her whole life in High Crossing, but one day, a man called Lord Falk comes, telling Elissa that he is her father and has come to take her with him. Elissa leaves, and soon learns that she is to be sent to the Khan, a nefarious ruler with dark intent, to ensure the success of a battle for her father’s kingdom. And after that, it doesn’t take long for her to discover a mysterious prophesy—one she seems to have a roll in, which everyone seems to know about, and that could change her life forever.
Elissa’s Quest is a good story with an interesting plotline and some character development. Although it is the first book in the Phoenix Rising Trilogy, Elissa’s Quest does not have a bad ending—and all three books are out, which is nice. There were strong—and interesting—both main and supporting characters, and there is a slight bit of mystery—near the beginning about Elissa’s parents and later around the prophesy. Even though Elissa is a couple of years older than I am, it was not a large part of the story. However, by the third book, she is 15—and although it’s not very pronounced that she’s older, I would highly recommend Elissa’s Quest and the other two books in the Phoenix Rising Trilogy to readers ages 10 and up, since although there is several evil characters, they are not very scary.