Soren is a young owl who is taken from his home and brought to St. Aegolius. He's told that it's an orphanage, but he's suspicious of the true motives in bringing all of the young owls there. All these young owls are put into a program of re-education, where they are brainwashed into forgetting all about their past and learn to blindly follow the rules. Soren and his friend Gylfie secretly resist this and seek to discover the real purpose of St. Aegolius, placing their own lives in peril.
I was surprised with how this story starts. From the blurb on the back of the book, I expected it to start either with his capture or already capture. Instead, there are several chapters where we view Soren's life with his family. The reader gets a realistic view of an owl embedded within this fantasy-adventure. You learn about what an owl eats, how he learns things from his mother, and so forth. I think I was just impatient to get to the real action of the story, so it seemed to be a slow start. Once Soren is captured and the intrigue starts, the pace increases and I finished it in a flash.
Fans of animal fantasies will flock to this book, for it has everything they're looking for. A solid start to the series, I give it a B.