The Forest Grimm
Published September 19, 2023
About The Forest Grimm
Where fairy tales come to life with dark, deadly twists…
“Tell me again, Grandmère, the story of how I die.”
The Midnight Forest. The Fanged Creature. Two fortune-telling cards that spell an untimely death for 17-year-old Clara. Despite the ever-present warning from her fortune-teller grandmother, Clara embarks on a dangerous journey into the deadly Forest Grimm to procure a magical book – Sortes Fortunae, the Book of Fortunes – with the power to reverse the curse on her village and save her mother.
Years ago, when the villagers whispered their deepest desires to the book, its pages revealed how to obtain them. All was well until someone used the book for an evil purpose―to kill another person. Afterward, the branches of the Forest Grimm snatched the book away, the well water in Grimm’s Hollow turned rancid, and the crops died from disease. The villagers tried to make amends with the forest, but every time someone crossed its border, they never returned.
Now, left with no alternative, Clara and her close friend, Axel―who is fated never to be with her―have set their minds to defying fate and daring to accomplish what no one else has been able to before. But the forest―alive with dark, deadly twists on some of our most well-known fairy tales―has a mind of its own.
One of the things that most intrigued me about this story was the idea of a magical forest filled with twisted versions of well-known fairy tales. I was just talking with someone the other day about how many of the versions we’re most familiar with are very different from the darker original versions. I liked the idea of including references to those darker stories in a new tale.
And that’s one of the elements I enjoyed most about reading this book. I really liked the forest, too. It felt old and dark and filled with deadly magic. The story centers around Clara and her developing relationship with Axel, a plotline that I also followed with interest. I think I would have enjoyed a little bit more focus on Henni’s relationship with Clara. The way the story ends left me hopeful that Henni would be a critical character in a follow-up tale. All I can say to that is, yes, please!
On the whole, I think readers who enjoy reimagined fairy tales or books like THE GREYMIST FAIR by Francesca Zappia will definitely want to give this one a read.
Recommended for Ages 12 up.
Clara describes a back problem as having an S-curve that makes her hips uneven. She wears a special insert in her shoe to help her walk more comfortably.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Mild profanity used very infrequently.
Kissing between boy and girl.
Clara’s Grandmère uses cards to predict someone’s future. A curse descends on Clara’s town, changing the forest into a dangerous place, isolating the village, and drawing certain villagers into it. In the forest, Clara encounters magic in the form of dark fairytales. She sees a ghost and monsters.
Situations of peril. Some battle situations between Clara and her allies and residents of the forest.
Hallucinogenic mushrooms cause Clara and her friends to see strange things. (They were tricked into eating them.)
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