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Forestborn (Forestborn #1)
Elayne Audrey Becker
TO BE BORN OF THE FOREST IS A GIFT AND A CURSE.
Rora is a shifter, as magical as all those born in the wilderness–and as feared. She uses her abilities to spy for the king, traveling under different guises and listening for signs of trouble.
When a magical illness surfaces across the kingdom, Rora uncovers a devastating truth: Finley, the young prince and her best friend, has caught it, too. His only hope is stardust, the rarest of magical elements, found deep in the wilderness where Rora grew up–and to which she swore never to return.
But for her only friend, Rora will face her past and brave the dark, magical wood, journeying with her brother and the obstinate, older prince who insists on coming. Together, they must survive sentient forests and creatures unknown, battling an ever-changing landscape while escaping human pursuers who want them dead. With illness gripping the kingdom and war on the horizon, Finley’s is not the only life that hangs in the balance.
-Excerpt taken from Goodreads.
Check Goodreads to see the book’s ratings.
(5 / 5) So. Well. Done! This is my 3rd 5 star read of the year. I was getting worried I’d only have two. But this book snuck up on me and stole my heart.
Rora is magical born and is tasked with spying for the king. When his son (and her best friend) falls ill to the sickness that is ravaging the kingdom, she begins a journey to find the cure. Her journey leads her to where she grew up, a very dangerous wilderness that has claimed many lives. Not only does she need this cure, but she needs to get her and her companions out alive and it proves to be more difficult than expected.
It’s beautifully written. Right off you can tell the writing is polished. It almost had an adult fantasy feel and I actually slowed down my reading slightly to absorb it and not miss a thing. I was completely immersed and didn’t want the story to end.
The world building is phenomenal. The magic system is one of the best I’ve read. It complimented their world and brought in such allure. The journey into the wilderness had me on my seat not knowing what they would run into around each turn. There are animals, changing landscapes and many things that can go wrong.
This is Becker’s debut novel and I am floored. The writing was too refined to be a debut. I will read anything this author puts out. My only complaint is that some of the chapters were really long but I stopped noticing after a while and just enjoyed the story.
Content Summary: Very little language! The intimacy is minor also. There are two young men that love each other but they do it from afar. There is no relationship (yet). Violence was a bit more with corpses and wounds from fights. I honestly feel that most people will enjoy this one and that the content is within YA limits.
Thank you to Tor Teen for the gifted copy and helping me finding a 5 star read!
The book releases August 31, 2021.
Detailed Content Review
Derogatory terms etc-
Alcohol, Drugs, Smoking
Wine is served at a dinner. Teens partake.
A young woman applies a chewed up plant to an injury. It makes the pain subside but she goes in and out of consciousness because of the leaf.
A man smokes a cigar
Intimacy, Sex, Immodesty
*Minor _LGBTQ+ aspects included*
A father suggests young men for his teen son to marry.
Two women are engaged to be married.
A young woman strips off her clothes to shift. She does this multiple times. Many times a young man is near and he looks away.
Two young men love each other.
A young man kisses a young woman passionately.
Violence, Weapons, Crime, Blood
Magical people are being beaten and mugged regularly.
At 5 and 6, a sister and brother had their village burned to the ground, their mother abandoned them and they almost died. Their father was shot in the back and killed.
A story tells of a woman going mad and trying to kill her 4yo son. She failed and her husband had her killed and put her head on a spike.
A young woman comes upon a group of men, one has been injured by an animal. His abdomen is ripped open with intestines spilling out.
A man shoots an arrow at a young woman. Someone grabs her arm and she lashes out with claws.
A group attacks a group of three. They fight with swords and claws, many are injured. A young man is tied but gets loose, a man hits him on the back of the head and falls. An arrow is shot at a young woman but hits a young man. Blood drips from the wound. They take a young man captive. Many are dead.
A young woman knocks a man out then hits others, she hits a woman in the throat and knocks a man unconscious. She smothers them until their hearts stop. She hits another man, knocking him out.
A man hits a young woman in the gut then a knife is held to her and she’s taken captive.
A young man tells of a woman’s head “decorating” a gate. He grabs a young woman and pushes her against the wall with his forearm, holding a knife to her.
As punishment a young woman is punched then thrown into a shed full of corpses. She is severely traumatized by this and has a very difficult time.
A man’s head is mounted on a post.
Potentially Intense Themes
A young woman comes upon the body of a woman. She most likely died from an illness.
An illness is killing humans.
Previously, a woman falls off a horse, breaks her neck and dies.
In a forest there are many life-threatening animals; marrow sheep like to chew bones, widow bats spin toxic webs, changeling wolves camouflage perfectly, wildcats hypnotize you then paralyze your legs and kill, timber bears that are stronger than grizzlies, plants that cause sleep for 100 days, sinking sand, landscape changes frequently, and more.
A young woman comes upon piles of new and old corpses.
A city is on fire.
**SPOILER**A young man falls into a river and a young woman jumps in after him. She pulls him out but he has stopped breathing.
**Any quotes from the book are taken from the advance copy and therefore may not be fully accurate or correctly compare to the final copy of the book.
**As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.