Cover Image: Forest of Souls

Forest of Souls

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Member Reviews

Ooooh. Ok, this was way more interesting than I was initially expecting. I was prepared for a typical YA fantasy, perhaps with a healthy dose of love triangle, but instead got a gripping and enticing read that was fast-paced with quick turns that I was never quite able to predict. I loved how foolhardy and headstrong Sirscha was, and honestly kind of feral LOL. We love that in a woman. My only complaint was that a lot of the story hinged on her just speculating on what was going on, and I'm so used to that being a method of unreliable narration that I spent a lot of the book questioning whether or not she was actually right. Overall though, I really enjoyed it and I'm looking forward to starting book 2!

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I dnf’ed this book at about 23% but I did want to elaborate on why that was. I just felt like this book wasn’t for me. I did however find the writing enjoyable, it’s just the story itself that isn’t my cup of tea.
Thank you however to Netgalley for providing me with this eARC in exchange for an honest review

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A great first book kicking off a promising fantasy series

Forest of souls has now become one of my favourite ya series. The plot is thick with action, the FMC is a complex and well developed character whose arc is fancinating, the world around her described vividly and in a manner I can't get enough of. This book is every YA fantasy lover's dream.

The creatures we meet throughout the world are so interesting and so is the lore/ history of the kingdom. Despite the 400 hundred pages the reader FLYS through the book with his fast pace and addicting it gets.

I cannot recommend this enough if you're in a reading slump and/ or looking for a new fantasy series to get sucked in.

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This book started off a bit slow, and I wasn't sure if I'd enjoy it at first.

But as I kept reading, I found myself drawn into the richly crafted world the author created. My main issue was with the main character - she seemed to have it all figured out from the start, which made her feel a bit too perfect.

I wished we could have seen more of her growth, maybe some scenes showing her training or struggles along the way.

The side characters didn't leave much of an impression on me either - they were okay, but nothing special. Usually, it's the characters that really make a story for me, but in this case, it was the evolving plot and the vividly described world that kept me engaged.

And the ending left me eager to know what happens next. Overall, despite not connecting strongly with the characters, I found the storyline to be quite captivating.

Thank you to netgalley and Page Street Publishing for Providing me the e-Review Copy.

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4 star rating from me. Lovely book. Amazing storyline. The plot os fantastic. So so good. But it's not one of my favorite reads so far.

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OH MY GOD!!! THIS IS SO GOOD!!! LIKE SO GOOD!! Like I have no words!! I'm still processing things and I will say I love the magic elements in this book!!!! I liked all of this book!!!

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Absolutely loved this story! YA isn't usually for me but found this story to be riveting! I do wish we got more background on our FMCs training but overall I really enjoyed the book!

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DNF At 30%.
Thanks to Netgalley for an ARC.
The premis of the book seemed incredible! There was a great magic system set in place, but some of the world building wasn’t fully explained/fleshed out. Many of the characters also fell a bit flat, but I’m not sure if that’s just me. I’m sure this book would appeal to others, but I ended up losing interest.

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Maybe I wasn't in the mood for a fantasy, I have read two fantasies already this year, but idk, I was a little bored through it and it took me a while to finish. It is okay, but sometimes, for me, the plot was a little up and down

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Im afraid this book wasn't exactly my cup of tea, although I see a lot of potential in it, I barely got through it because its too slow in some parts, reading it felt like a chore

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I read this and then listened to the audio a couple of weeks later to see if maybe that would help it sink in. Alas, I am still confused as to exactly what happened in this novel.

There's nothing inherently wrong with it, I think that maybe I read too fast to have caught all the intricacies.

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I loved this book! The MC Sirscha gave off Celaena Sardothien vibes and the story as a whole reminded me for Shadow and Bone (the show, sadly haven’t read the books yet but that’s next up on my tbr after this series).

You have magic wielders described in a way that reminded me of Avatar the Last Airbender. Their magic is elemental based but there are different types beneath each element. You also have shadow and light wielders. Of course our magical beings all have familiars! There are dragon like creatures which are badass. And I’m just so in love with the world building.

This story is a little dark, but has strong friendships, beautiful detailed fight scenes, and a couple potential love interests (both I love and can’t decide who I want her to end up with—if she ends up with anyone). Though romance is not really seen much in this book, there are connections and chemistry that I felt between the characters. These connections though could be just great friendships though.

Overall, I loved this book. It’s a great start for a series in a crazy magic filled world. Full of chaos and friendships. If you love magic, fantasy, clever bad ass females, and adventure pick up this book!

Thank you Netgalley and Hear Our Voices for gifting me a copy of this book!

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This is such a great fantasy with hauntingly beautiful world-building and a unique plot. My favorite part of this book was the friendship as the focus over romantic love. It was done so well!

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I was sent an ebook copy of this title in preparation to read an advance copy of Calling of Light.

I was immediately sucked in with Sirscha and her goal-oriented focus. So many tropes that I love are included here: an orphan girl with no knowledge of her parents being trained in the arts of combat and stealth when hidden power awakens. Plus a strong female friendship? It’s a win all around.

I feel like Lee did a great job also of calling out the things we find unbelievable in fantasy. Like, this girl suddenly knows what’s best after a month of barely working in her powers? Hmm. No.

There is a (for me) refreshing lack of romance in this book as well. It might be set up for romantic relationships to develop in the future, but this book stuck to the bonds of friendship, mentorship, and tenuous alliances to make its point.

I loved it and am diving immediately into book 2!

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I really enjoyed this YA fantasy! It's a great introduction to high fantasy with the world building, writing style, and characters. It also sets a strong foundation for the rest of the books in this series. I think the author did a fantastic job. Would recommend.

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I received an e-arc from Page Street in advance of the release of Calling of Light. I also listened to part of the book on audio.

This was one of the best fantasy reads I’ve had in a long time! There are so many things to love like the descriptions of the cities (Vos Gillies was my favourite), the depth of the worldbuilding and how Lee does not shy away from naming the persecution and prejudice the Shamanborn have faced. The prose is decadent and every sentence is beautifully crafted.

I loved the friendship and connection between Sirscha and Saengo the most, but I also interested and emotionally invested in all the other characters throughout the book.

Another thing that I appreciated is that there is no romance in this book. Given Sirscha’s position and the fight for survival that she’s always endured, it made sense that there was no romance subplot or clear love interest yet. It was more heartfelt to see Sirscha just make friends, honestly.

I know I’m going to reread this one again and can’t wait for the rest of the series.

Content warning: spiders (descriptive)

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Such a great start to this fantasy series! I was so happy to get to read a fantasy book about Asian characters and I’m so glad that books with Asian representation are more readily accessible now than when I was growing up! Sirscha is an orphan who comes from nothing and through her training and hard work is in the running to compete to become the queen’s royal spy. When her best friend Saengo is killed by shamans, Sirscha somehow brings her back to life and realizes that she is a shaman herself. She is then summoned by the Spider king to help keep the Dead Wood at bay while attempting to master her craft. Little does she know that she will be entrenched in a fight to save her country from war.

Sirscha is such a powerful main character and I love that she is on a journey to determine not only who she is but also her own self worth. This is also a story of friendship and sisterhood which I always enjoy reading about. Like most fantasy novels there are numerous characters, places, and creatures and was happy that the author included a glossary at the beginning which was really helpful. I really do like the author’s writing and how detailed and descriptive the scenes are set up so that I can really picture it in my mind. My one critique is that I would have loved a bit more of the back story and relationship building between Sirscha and Saengo. I hope to see more of this in the next 2 books!

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This was a fun, fast read. It's great if you're looking for a palate cleanser and want something quick and that you will love.

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Thank you Netgalley, Lori M. Lee and the publisher for providing this copy for me to read!

I found myself reading through this fairly quickly, it was quite nice! The worldbuilding was interesting, I liked the plot, and the magic system was also intriguing and had me quite entertained all along. I also liked the way information was revealed - it wasn't all out of the blue, but also not immediately visible since page one. And I loved the friendship between our FMC and her best friend!

Think you'll like this if you like Young Adult/Fantasy and cool fight scenes!

Overall, enjoyed reading this, and will possibly read the second book too!

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I devoured this book, because it was so much fun. I loved Sirscha's character and also her interactions with others that bring out all the different sides of her. The magic system and politics in this novel were also intriguing.

Sirscha is a fun protagonist and seeing her overcome both external and internal struggles was interesting to read and her growth was well done. The relationships she had with each character were also unique, though she is only really close with Saengo for the majority of the novel. While this wasn't the most exciting part of the novel, I would say, I hope that there are more complexities and layers revealed in the sequel. The other important side characters couldn't really shine much, but since it's the first book in this series, I didn't mind a lot, especially since the focus was so much on Sirscha and Saengo which was also quite important.

The world building was explained and shown gradually throughout the book and not all at once which made it more interesting to learn about and not too overwhelming. It made sense plot-wise as Sirscha was just discovering more information on the Shamans and Shadowblessed gradually with new experiences. In general, I thought the different abilities were great, since there were so many, but it didn't feel random as they were organised into groups (like the different callings of shamans). The Dead Wood was such a unique place in the novel as well. I liked both the idea and execution very much.

The plot also mostly moved at the right space, so it wasn't boring which constantly led me to continue reading the novel, although the beginning was sort of slow. The glossary was very helpful, especially in the beginning.

What I want more of though is just more depth to the important side characters and more of an exploration of Sirscha's powers in the sequel which I will definitely be reading.

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