Here there are no droughts, disease, or famine, and peace is everlasting. It has been this way for hundreds of years, since the first king made a bargain with the Lady who ruled the forest that borders the kingdom. But as Aloriya prospered, the woods grew dark, cursed, and forbidden. Cerys knows this all too well: when she was young, she barely escaped as the woods killed her friends and her mother. Now Cerys carries a small bit of the curse—the magic—in her blood, a reminder of the day she lost everything. The most danger she faces now, as a gardener’s daughter, is the annoying fox who stalks the royal gardens and won’t leave her alone.
As a new queen is crowned, however, things long hidden in the woods descend on the kingdom itself. Cerys is forced on the run, her only companions the small fox from the garden, a strange and powerful bear, and the magic in her veins. It’s up to her to find the legendary Lady of the Wilds and beg for a way to save her home. But the road is darker and more dangerous than she knows, and as secrets from the past are uncovered amid the teeth and roots of the forest, it’s going to take everything she has just to survive.
Hardcover, OwlCrate, 338 pages
Published October 20th 2020
by Balzer + Bray
This book was part of my November Owlcrate box. I love the cover, this photo doesn't do it justice, its bright, shiny and glittery. What endeared me to this book was the author note that came with it. I could feel her emotions as I read which just made me love this book all the more.
"Just because you are born a gardener's daughter doesn't make you any less worthy than someone born into royalty."
I loved the characters - Cerys, Fox and the bear. The back and forth bantering eased the tension as danger surrounds this trio. The scenery was vivid and the woods filled with danger. The story was unique and not too predictable. It's magical and thought provoking.
You aren't alone, fox. Burdens are meant to be shared.
This is YA and even though this adult reader loved it, I think it's geared for the younger end of the YA genre. It would make a great Disney movie and will appeal to those that love fairy tales.
This book was part of my 2021 Reading of My Shelf Challenge.