Forest of Souls (Shamanborn #1)
Lori M. Lee
Page Street Kids
Published June 23, 2020
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About Forest of Souls
Sirscha Ashwyn comes from nothing, but she’s intent on becoming something. After years of training to become the queen’s next royal spy, her plans are derailed when shamans attack and kill her best friend Saengo.
And then Sirscha, somehow, restores Saengo to life.
Unveiled as the first soulguide in living memory, Sirscha is summoned to the domain of the Spider King. For centuries, he has used his influence over the Dead Wood—an ancient forest possessed by souls—to enforce peace between the kingdoms. Now, with the trees growing wild and untamed, only a soulguide can restrain them. As war looms, Sirscha must master her newly awakened abilities before the trees shatter the brittle peace, or worse, claim Saengo, the friend she would die for.
Danger lurks within the roots of Forest of Souls, an epic, unrelenting tale of destiny and sisterhood, perfect for fans of Naomi Novik and Susan Dennard.
Is it just me, or are there a LOT of seriously great books coming out this year? I feel like every review, I’m saying something like, “Wow! This was such an amazing book!” But seriously, I’ve read some really amazing books this year! I promise I don’t think every book is amazing. Ha.
FOREST OF SOULS, though… was pretty amazing. I got caught up in the story world (though I wish there had been a map!) and in the layers and layers of intrigue. Also, there are CREEPY TREES. Like, the stuff of nightmares kinds of creepy. I’m usually not into that, and it definitely came right up to the edge of what I’m comfortable reading. But they also kept me turning pages and needing to know what would happen.
The relationships between the characters are great, too. I loved the friendship and understanding between Sirscha and Saengo and the condescending banter between Sirscha and Theyen.
This is a series I can tell I’m going to need to follow. The second book won’t be out until next year, though, so I’ll have to keep myself busy between now and then.
Do you ever wish books were like Netflix series? Where the whole series got published all at once and we could just binge read them all at our own pace?? I realize there are reasons it doesn’t work that way, but it’s a nice fantasy, especially right now.
At any rate, I think readers who enjoyed the SHADOW OF THE FOX series by Julie Kagawa or FOREST OF A THOUSAND LANTERNS by Julie C. Dao will want FOREST OF SOULS on their shelves.
Recommended for Ages 14 up.
Based on Hmong belief that spirits are responsible for what happens to you. Asian-coded characters.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Profanity used very infrequently.
There are three races of humans. Two have magical abilities related to souls. Some can destroy souls or guide them. All require a soul in a familiar to access their magic.
Violent Content – Trigger Warning
Lots of battle violence and some scenes showing or referencing physical punishment akin to abuse or torture.
Note: I received a free copy of FOREST OF SOULS in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but which help support the costs of running this blog.