Kestrel's Midnight Song by J.R.Parker
(Summary and picture from Goodreads)
The land of Gable--renowned for its birds, revered for its legends and secrets--is home to the grandest castle in the known world. Inside this castle, in a narrow cell atop the dungeon tower, the legendary Marauder known as James Kestrel awaits his hanging.
Amidst the anticipation and speculation surrounding his execution, rumors are spreading that the Marauders will come out of hiding for the first time in seven years to free Kestrel and unleash the secret he so carefully guards. But only a wandering giant and a slave girl masquerading as an innkeeper know the truth.
And everything will fall to the shoulders of a journeying shepherd boy . . . with no knowledge that his treacherous adventure will decide the pending fate of the world.
This review may contain **spoilers**
This book follows the journey of Micah, a shepherd, who would do anything to protect his sheep even risk his own life. He is part of a plan that he knows nothing about. A plan to help free Kestrel. On his journey he meets Bart, an unusual traveling companion who wears a mysterious symbol that is also branded on Micah's sheep. Micah also meets Robbyn and Drift. Robbyn is a girl trying to hide the fact that she is a slave. Drift is a giant and sworn protector of Robbyn. They are all traveling to the same destination for different reasons. On their journey they run into all sorts of fierce creatures including the Marauders. The Marauders fight, steal, cheat, murder and lie. One Marauder, Issac Ganthorn, is starting to feel guilty about his past. He has nightmares about the crimes he has committed. This story is full of monsters, greed, friendship, forgiveness, love, redemption and self sacrifice. It also has good battle scenes. I think this book is good for anyone who likes fantasy and adventure.
My thanks to J.R. Parker and Goodreads for previewing this book.