September 2, 2020

Book Review: Forest of Souls

With the influx of YA fantasy titles that have been released in the last couple of years alone, it’s rare that I discover a story as personally appealing as Forest of Souls. Lori M. Lee’s latest title centers around a young woman named Sirscha Ashwyn, who is determined to be picked to become the next assassin/spy known as the Queen’s Shadow. Her life is driven off-track when her best friend Saengo dies and Sirscha brings her back to life - an ability that only shaman lightwenders possess, and one that earns her the summons of the Spider King to help contain the dark threat that the Dead Woods poses to the world. 

Forest of Souls felt reminiscent of older YA fantasy reads (specifically the Tortall universe that Tamora Pierce writes in, though they are definitely different), and I was very excited about that since I haven’t read anything similar in some time. But while Forest of Souls might have started out in the typical YA fantasy style, the similarities were something I quickly forgot about as I got swept up in the story. Lee successfully combined the elements I enjoy in my fantasy reads:

  • a thoughtfully crafted setting & lore (and there's a glossary included for reference)
  • a well-paced plot (if you're looking for romance, there is barel
  • an interesting, likable cast of characters (though none of them are particular standouts... yet)

I was pleasantly surprised by Forest of Souls. Though it did take a number of chapters before it happened, Sirscha's story eventually did sink its hooks in me. And after the adventure Lee takes us on in this first installment, I'm very much interested in seeing where Sirscha's story goes next.

Pub Info: June 23, 2020 by Page Street Kids | Add it on Goodreads | Buy the book!


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