Seven Endless Forests

I was incredibly intrigued by the sound of this book through the synopsis and I really enjoyed The Boneless Mercies, so I knew I had to pick Seven Endless Forests up. Luckily, the awesome Laurie McShea at Simon and Schuster sent me a copy to review.



Trigger warnings: animal death, death, grief, flashbacks to child death, gore, blood, fire, emotional abuse

On the heels of a devastating plague, Torvi’s sister Morgunn is stolen from the family farm by Uther, a flame-loving wolf-priest who leads a pack of ragged, starving girls.

Torvi leaves the only home she’s ever known and joins a shaven-headed druid and a band of roaming Elsh artists known as the Butcher Bards. They set out on a quest to rescue Torvi’s sister, and find a mythical sword. On their travels, Torvi and her companions will face wild, dangerous magic that leads to love, joy, tragedy, and death. . .

Torvi set out to rescue a sister, but she may find it’s merely the first step toward a life that is grander and more glorious than anything she could have imagined.

My Thoughts:

Seven Endless Forests is a brilliantly crafted fantasy that pays homage to its inspiration, while always feeling fresh and new.

Tucholke writes with such grace and inherent beauty to her words. Her language is gorgeously lyrical, imagine and evocative, almost putting you under a spell that you cannot seem to break out of. I really liked how she weaved in aspects of the Arthurian tale while definitely putting her own spin on the legend. I wouldn’t call this a straightforward retelling, it’s more akin to an inspiration that weaves its own tale from the bones of the original.

In terms of world-building, Tucholke’s is stellar. It feels so full and realised that I would read many more books set in this world, or even a spin off collection of the myriad of mythology embedded between the pages. She deftly builds on the rich world we started to explore in The Boneless Mercies, but also works as a standalone story. Personally, I felt like reading both of the books allowed for a more immersive experience, as you could spot her nods to certain plot points and feel like you were in on the secret.

I really liked Torvi as a character and felt invested in her emotional backstory. All her life, she’s been belittled and sidelined by her mother, before tragically losing everyone she’s loved in a short space of time. The story centres around her development and being able to move beyond these restricted expectations of her, while dealing with her immense grief, in order to realise her true potential. The rest of the characters felt fleshed-out and unique, creating an evermore tangled web of people and places, all richly described in minute detail. There is such a variety of cultures and even their food and drink is described so you feel as though you are right there with them.

Overall, this was an utterly immersive, thrilling fantasy novel told by a beautifully poetic voice in YA.



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