Synopsis from Macmillan Publishers:
In Seven Endless Forests, the gorgeous standalone companion to the critically acclaimed fantasy The Boneless Mercies, April Genevieve Tucholke spins a bold and blood-hungry retelling of the King Arthur legend that is perfect for fans of Naomi Novik, Garth Nix, and Laini Taylor.
On the heels of a devastating plague, Torvi’s sister, Morgunn is stolen from the family farm by Uther, a flame-loving Fremish wolf-priest who leads a pack of ragged, starving girls. Torvi leaves the only home she’s ever known, and joins a shaven-skulled druid and a band of roaming Elsh artists known as the Butcher Bards. They set out on a quest to rescue Torvi’s sister, and find a mythical sword.
On their travels, Torvi and her companions will encounter magical night wilds and mystical Drakes who trade in young men. They will sing rowdy Elshland ballads in a tree-town tavern, and find a mysterious black tower in an Endless Forest. They will fight alongside famous Vorseland archers and barter with Fremish wizards. They will feast with rogue Jade Fell children in a Skal Mountain cave, and seek the help of a Pig Witch. They will face wild, dangerous magic that leads to love, joy, tragedy, and death.
Torvi sets out to rescue a sister, but she may find it’s merely the first step toward a life that is grander and more glorious than anything she could have imagined.
About: Seven Endless Forests is a young adult retelling written by April Genevieve Tucholke. It will be published on 3/31/2020 by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers, 352 pages. The genres are young adult, fantasy, retelling, and fiction. This book is intended for readers ages 14 to 18. This book is a companion to The Boneless Mercies. According to the publisher’s website, “Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers, established in 1953, is an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group. We are committed to publishing books of the highest literary quality for children and teenagers. FSG BYR is known for its award-winning list of fiction, nonfiction, and picture books.” Please see below for more information about the author and publisher.
My Experience: I started reading Seven Endless Forests on 12/13/2019 and finished it on 12/17/2019. This is my first read from the author. It’s a bit of getting used to because the character and location names are so foreign to me though Pig Witch and its living situation is funny. This story relive the past often, like how Torvi met Viggo, how the Butcher Bard came to town, wolf-priest came to their farm, etc. I’m not a fan of flash back. The knife dance is interesting and the Bard are sure bold to wear it in that place they chose. I like the old beliefs that the needles of the red pine tree can whisper secrets. The siblings with the names start with i’s are hilarious! The cover of this book is gorgeous!
This book is told in the first person point of view following Torvi, 18. The snow sickness, a kind of plague, that comes once a year in winter and kills people. This year her mom and a couple of servants along with her lover Viggo are among the dead. Surviving at the one thousand acres farm in Voresland now are just her and her sister Morgunn, 14. They worry the wolf-priests will come to hurt them. They plan to wander. Then Gyda came and told them she’s in search of a magical sword. Before they take off, Morgunn disappeared. Now Torvi and Gyda join a group of Butcher Bard to rescue Morgunn.
Seven Endless Forests is imaginative and well written. It’s a bit dark for young readers with all the interests in slitting throats of enemies and animals. I like the supporting characters of Madoc, Ink, Stefan, and Gyda. The Drake and all of their knowing is cool. The story on the sword is good. I enjoyed the actions and adventures and the friendship even though at times the wolf-priests are too feral for me. I’m a bit overloaded with this book because there’s not one kind, but a bunch: magicians, wizards, witches, etc.
Pro: retelling, siblings, humor, action & adventures, friendship, cover
I rate it 4 stars !
About the Author:
April Genevieve Tucholke is the author of Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, Between the Spark and the Burn, Wink Poppy Midnight, and The Boneless Mercies. Her books have been published in fourteen countries, and have received eight starred reviews. They have been selected for the Junior Library Guild, Kids’ Indie Next picks, and YALSA Teens Top Ten. When she’s not writing, April likes walking in the woods, exploring abandoned houses, and drinking expensive coffee. She currently resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband. (Photo obtained from the author’s website and info obtained from Macmillan’s website).