Treacherous. Evil. Dark. Dorcha Wood is all of these things. And none of them.
The people of Felmore talk of Dorcha Wood in whispers, if they speak of it at all, fearing the wrath of the Cú-Síth should their words be carried on the wind. Those murdering beasts still roam the darkness of the forest, the last remnants of the cursed Aos Sí, a race of elves, long since vanished from the world.
But to Fiadh, it is home. Haven. A forest whose secrets become known only when it chooses to reveal them. Her life is one of balance until the outside world shatters it.
From the moment Fiadh set eyes on Gideon, the peaceful rhythm of her life was lost. As a new path unfolds, Fiadh confronts the reality of old hatreds, the consequences of things hidden, and the truth of who she really is.
**Content Warning: medieval battle violence, blood, gore**
Kristin Ward is an award-winning young adult author living in Connecticut. A science and math teacher for over twenty years, she infuses her geeky passions into stories that meld realism and fantasy. Kristin embraces her inner nerd regularly, often quoting 80s movies while expecting those around her to chime in with appropriate rejoinders. As a nature freak, she can be found wandering the woods – she may be lost, so please stop and ask if you see her – or chilling in her yard with all manner of furry and feathered friends. Often referred to as a unicorn by colleagues who remain in awe of her ability to create or find various and sundry things in mere moments. In reality, the horn was removed years ago, leaving only a mild imprint that can be seen if she tilts her head just right. A lifelong lover of books and writing, she dreamed of becoming an author for thirty years before publishing her award-winning debut in 2018. Her first novel, After the Green Withered, is one of many things you should probably read. Social Media & other links are all in one link: https://bit.ly/KWardAuthor
My thoughts: this is the beginning of a magical fairy tale, inspired by Irish mythology (and the author’s heritage) set in a wood full of creatures that most dismiss as folk tales to scare children. But at its heart is Fiadh, the girl of Dorcha Wood. She’s a healer like her mother and can communicate with the animals of the woods. Something very special. But she doesn’t belong in the world of men with their swords and violence and the wood protects its own.
Intriguing and mystical, the wood and Fiadh raise a lot of questions and it seems all the men in the story, from Gideon who wants to help and protect her, to the awful local lord who wants her captive, see nothing wrong with using force to get their way. Fiadh is alone and unused to this and puts herself at risk. Hopefully the second book in the series, Blood of the Lost Kingdom, will answer some questions.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.