Elissa's Quest. Phoenix Rising Trilogy, Book 1, By Erica Verillo.
I loved this book. Tore through it in a day and a half. A story of a girl that can talk to animals. Perfectly done. Not sappy or campy. Seemed adult themed to me: war, wives, becoming a woman, all woven into a tale set in the desert. A stand alone book, but thankfully there is a book two, and three. Can't wait.