The waking forest has secrets. To Rhea, it appears like a mirage, dark and dense, at the very edge of her backyard. But when she reaches out to touch it, the forest vanishes. She’s desperate to know more–until she
finds a peculiar boy who offers to reveal its secrets. If she plays a game.
To the Witch, the forest is her home, where she sits on her throne of carved bone, waiting for dreaming children to beg her to grant their wishes. One night, a mysterious visitor arrives and asks her what she wishes for, but the Witch sends him away. And then the uninvited guest returns.
The strangers are just the beginning. Something is stirring in the forest, and when Rhea’s and the Witch’s paths collide, a truth more treacherous and deadly than either could ever imagine surfaces. But how much are they willing to risk to survive?”
This story reminded me a bit of a Sleeping Beauty meets Rumpelstiltskin meets The Hazelwood meets Pan’s Labyrinth. Completely mesmerizing, the writing is literally emotive. I was transfixed throughout the entirety of the book. This was a most unusual story for me. The narrative is exquisite and moving. Wees’ prose was nothing short of wondrous, transporting the reader to a world that is highly unique, magical, and descriptive in its detail. So descriptive in fact, that you are spellbound by it.
The plot is beguiling. Told in alternating POV, Rhea’s and the witch’s -it’s hard to describe without giving away any spoilers, but it is just so entrancing that you keep turning page after page, addicted to the story. Utterly fascinating and bewildering at the same time. I suppose you can tell that this one is a MUST READ, IMHO. You won’t be able to fully understand how captivating this dark, fantasy novel is, until you have it in hand, and are reading it for yourself.
The pacing seems slow, but is actually perfect for the story, introducing characters and merging them with perfect timing on the author’s part. The characters are diverse and richly drawn and their humanity makes them relatable. I love the exploration of anxiety the characters feel in this book.
All in all, this is a magnificent tale that is written poignantly and beautifully. I will definitely be reading more from this gifted author. 5/stars.
I was given this eBook by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
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