The Farwalker Trilogy by Joni Sensel, consists of The Farwalker's Quest, The Timekeeper's Moon, and The Skeleton's Knife.
The world has lost its past to generations of blindness and can no longer understand and use the knowledge left over, despite the return of sight.
It all starts with Ariel's best friend Zeke bringing her to his favorite tree, who refuses to speak to him. Ariel doesn't know the art of Tree-Singing, but she feels an urge to climb and fetches a relic from its branches. It is a telling dart, a device used in the past to deliver a message that only opens for the person who is meant to receive it. She doesn't think of it as anything more than an interesting trinket... until two strangers come to their tiny little village to find it, and its recipient. Suddenly, she is kidnapped by Elbert and Scarl and whisked away from her hometown.
Her rescue and escape starts off a new adventure for Ariel and Zeke, must find unlikely allies and flee from many more pursuers, who are out to prevent the rediscovery of knowledge and the resurrection of Ariel's new-found name— Farwalker.
Provides examples of:
- Anti-Climax: Ariel and Co. spend the book trying to prevent the Big Bad from killing her, and when they are finally on Mason's doorstep, he lets them go, because she never found what he didn't want her to find. Ironically, she then realizes how to find it.
- Because Destiny Says So: Essentially why Ariel must ply her Farwalking trade. That, and there are people out to get her.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Elbert seems the kinder one of the two Finders at first.
- Call-Back: Quite a few. Ms. Sensel seems to be fond of these, which is very refreshing.
- The Ariel and Zeke take shelter in Tree-Singer Abbey before they even learn what they need to find. It turns out that the Vault of ancient knowledge was hidden in the Abbey.
- Functional Magic: Each of the thirteen trades have their own system of skills and abilities relying on a certain sixth sense brought about mostly by the blindness.
- Gaia's Vengeance: The trees let Mason Tree-Singer die.
- I Gave My Word: Scarl promised the woman he loved that he would protect Ariel and Zeke from Gust's gang of Finders. He tries to abandon them when the Finders are all killed by Zeke's request for a rockslide, along with two innocents, but he doesn't get very far.
- Last-Name Basis: Significant when used, since everyone's last name is their trade. Ariel is often called Farwalker, and Gustav is called Fool as an insult.
- Meaningful Name: Farwalker. And Stone-Singer.
- Prophecy Twist: A Tree-Singer that Ariel and Zeke meet tells Zeke that he will no longer be a Tree-Singer. Then stones start giving him advice.
- Spirit Advisor: Misha the ghost helps out as much as he can, even if he is kind of terrifying, leaving BloodyHandprints everywhere as his signature and giving Ariel nightmare messages.
- You Can Run, but You Can't Hide: The pursuers are mostly Finders, which is a trade that involves being able to find things, and people.