In her forest-veiled pagan village, Évike is the only woman without power, making her an outcast clearly abandoned by the gods. The villagers blame her corrupted bloodline—her father was a Yehuli man, one of the much-loathed servants of the fanatical king. When soldiers arrive from the Holy Order of Woodsmen to claim a pagan girl for the king’s blood sacrifice, Évike is betrayed by her fellow villagers and surrendered. But when monsters attack the Woodsmen and their captive en route, slaughtering everyone but Évike and the cold, one-eyed captain, they have no choice but to rely on each other. Except he’s no ordinary Woodsman—he’s the disgraced prince, Gáspár Bárány, whose father needs pagan magic to consolidate his power. Gáspár fears that his cruelly zealous brother plans to seize the throne and instigate a violent reign that would damn the pagans and the Yehuli alike. As the son of a reviled foreign queen, Gáspár understands what it’s like to be an outcast, and he and Évike make a tenuous pact to stop his brother. As their mission takes them from the bitter northern tundra to the smog-choked capital, their mutual loathing slowly turns to affection, bound by a shared history of alienation and oppression. However, trust can easily turn to betrayal, and as Évike reconnects with her estranged father and discovers her own hidden magic, she and Gáspár need to decide whose side they’re on, and what they’re willing to give up for a nation that never cared for them at all.
I saw a flash of a picture of this book for a giveaway and was practically sold. Then I saw a flash on the description, a girl who has no magic because she has been abandoned by the gods, based on Hungarian history and Jewish myth, and the only survivors of a monster attack being Évike, the main character, and the cold, one eyed captain of the Woodsman. Then I basically fell head over heels for this book and definitely, definitely, wanted to read it. Trigger warnings: torture, antisemitism, physical abuse by parental figures, vomiting, animal death, self-harm, gore, body horror
The forest is a dangerous place, where siren song lures men and women to their deaths. For centuries, a witch has harvested souls to feed the heartless tree, using its power to grow her domain. When Owen Merrick is lured into the witch’s wood, one of her tree-siren daughters, Seren, saves his life instead of ending it. Every night, he climbs over the garden wall to see her, and every night her longing to become human deepens. But a shift in the stars foretells a dangerous curse, and Seren’s quest to become human will lead them into an ancient war raging between the witch and the king who is trying to stop her.
A friend of mine (hi Mo!), has read and loved some of Meyer’s other books, which means that she was definitely on my radar. I wasn’t sure when I was going to pick this one, but it was one that piqued my interest. Siren stories are always hit or miss for me, and I find that I’m so picky with them. But, when I saw for the cover for this one, I was just enraptured. The horns and the green and the gentle delicacy of it all just drew me completely in. I knew I wanted to give it a shot. Trigger warnings: torture, blood, gore
Cerys is safe in the kingdom of Aloriya. Here there are no droughts, disease, or famine, and peace is everlasting. It has been this way for hundreds of years, since the first king made a bargain with the Lady who ruled the forest that borders the kingdom. But as Aloriya prospered, the woods grew dark, cursed, and forbidden. Cerys knows this all too well: when she was young, she barely escaped as the woods killed her friends and her mother. Now Cerys carries a small bit of the curse—the magic—in her blood, a reminder of the day she lost everything. The most danger she faces now, as a gardener’s daughter, is the annoying fox who stalks the royal gardens and won’t leave her alone. As a new queen is crowned, however, things long hidden in the woods descend on the kingdom itself. Cerys is forced on the run, her only companions the small fox from the garden, a strange and powerful bear, and the magic in her veins. It’s up to her to find the legendary Lady of the Wilds and beg for a way to save her home. But the road is darker and more dangerous than she knows, and as secrets from the past are uncovered amid the teeth and roots of the forest, it’s going to take everything she has just to survive.
I’ve been excited for this book since it was announced along with the sequel to Heart Of Iron. It’s Ashley Poston, which is basically all I need to know to pick up a book. But this had so much more than just be written by Ashley Poston. A Beauty And The Beast retelling with a sexy fox and a creepy woods. I was so excited for it that I was literally hit with a wave of dizziness when I saw it was up on Edelweiss. And then I absolutely completely freaked out when I was approved. Yes, I was very, very excited haha.
Hello and welcome to my first character interview! I never quite knew what I thought about character interviews, since writing the responses always seemed so daunting to me; I would want to be sure it was exactly right. Though, Christine, who knows these characters better than anyone else, was kind enough to answer these questions herself! And who am I interviewing? None other than May Hawthorne, sister of Justin Hawthorne and reader of The Deck Of Omens.