Ok I am just going to say everything I remember about the book. So it started with a boy and his uncle and they found a girl, and I believe she was hurt. They went to a hotel and the girl marveled at the hot water in the bath. She also ate a good meal but she threw it up outside of the hotel.

Also the setting of the book is kind of older; they ride horses and such. Anyhow they leave the hotel and they go to this city which they call a safe haven, or something similar. They get her a job at the academy type thing where the teens learn to control their powers.

While she is working she befriends a woman who can put emotions into potions. They find out the girl has powers, and assassins try to kill her. The girl learns archery and while she is practicing she finds that she can hear a horse’s thoughts. The town then plays a war game to see who is the strongest. An assassin breaks in and actually hurts the girl. I don’t remember anything else other than in the end her father gets her. Please help if you can; this has been bothering me for years.

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    I have found the book. It is called The Iron Butterfly.
    – Amber
    Apr 18, 2020 at 14:21
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    The Iron Butterfly by Chanda Hahn. Amber, you can post this as an answer to your own question so we can mark this as closed. Or one of us can post it as an answer if you want us to. Apr 18, 2020 at 15:19

1 Answer 1


Per a comment by the OP and some legwork by user John Rennie, this book is The Iron Butterfly (2012) by Chanda Hahn.

According to the plot summary found on the goodreads.com entry for the book:

Imprisoned, starved and left with no memories, Thalia awakens to find herself at the mercy of an evil cult known as the Septori. Their leader has chosen Thalia as the test subject for a torture device of untold power, designed to change and twist her into something that is neither human nor Denai.

Escaping, Thalia finds an unwilling warrior to protect her and an unlikely Denai to befriend her. After finding a home at the Citadel as a servant, Thalia’s worst nightmare comes to life and she begins to show signs of power. Scared and unable to control her gifts, she tries to hide her past to fit in among the Denai. But the Septori want their latest test subject back and will stop at nothing to retrieve her, dead or alive.

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