In Darkwood by M.E. Breen, Annie lives with her aunt and uncle (following the deaths of her parents and older sister), in a world where darkness falls instantly every night, and the forest is populated with terrifying, child-eating beasts called kinderstalk.
To escape a terrible fate after her uncle sells her to the local mine, she runs away with her two cats as her only companions, although she meets two helpful sisters along the way. After being captured and escaping once more, she goes to find the king to warn him about the evil man who runs the mine (the adversary).
She acquires new and surprising companions (one of whom betrays her briefly) in her quest to rescue a family member and an old friend and stop the adversary’s evil plan. Unfortunately, in the end she doesn’t have much of a confrontation with the adversary, but she does discover she is more than she ever imagined.