Rating: 3.5 / 5
I received this beautiful special edition of FOREST OF SOULS by Lori M. Lee in a Fairy Loot box. This is one I had not heard anything about previously, but I joined in with the Fairy Loot readalong.
FOREST OF SOULS follows Sirscha Ashwyn, a young woman who has come from a meager background, but she is determined to become the queen’s next royal spy, relentless in her training to advance. When she learns something that throw her whole planned future into question, she sets off on a quest with her best friend Saengo tagging along. Out of nowhere shamens attack and Saengo is killed, but the death doesn’t take? Somehow Sirscha has used powers she didn’t know she had to bring Saengo back to life.
Sirscha and Saengo are summoned to the realm of the Spider King. This is a dangerous journey through the Dead Wood which is a forest possessed by souls which have usually been kept under control, but that control is now slipping. Sirscha is caught up in the politics between the shamenborn and the human and between kingdoms.
First off, this one is not for those who do not love spiders just in case the cover and the Spider King name didn’t tip you off. I’m not particularly concerned with spiders, but there are some pretty creepy spider-ey and web-ey moments in this one. That forest is also super creepy!
I really enjoyed Sirscha and her determination to make her way in the world against difficult circumstances and her willingness to step up for those looked down upon and mistreated for being “other” because of their magic. Sirscha doesn’t know how or why she was able to bring Saengo back to life and she has no clue what that means going forward. The Spider King and others around her give her a lot of cryptic messages, but everyone has their own agenda.
Overall this is one that I liked but didn’t love, so I won’t necessarily be racing to pick up the sequel, but I am curious to see where the story goes from here!