The Forest Grimm

The Forest Grimm
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Release Date
September 19, 2023
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A spellbinding romantasy from #1 New York Times bestselling author Kathryn Purdie, where fairy tales come to life with dark, deadly twists.

"Tell me again, Grandmère, the story of how I die."

The Midnight Forest. The Fanged Creature. Two fortune-telling cards that spell an untimely death for 17-year-old Clara. Despite the ever-present warning from her fortune-teller grandmother, Clara embarks on a dangerous journey into the deadly Forest Grimm to procure a magical book―Sortes Fortunae, the Book of Fortunes―with the power to reverse the curse on her village and save her mother.

Years ago, when the villagers whispered their deepest desires to the book, its pages revealed how to obtain them. All was well until someone used the book for an evil purpose―to kill another person. Afterward, the branches of the Forest Grimm snatched the book away, the well water in Grimm’s Hollow turned rancid, and the crops died from disease. The villagers tried to make amends with the forest, but every time someone crossed its border, they never returned.

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Exciting Fantasy Adventure with a Fairytale Twist
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Not at all what I was expecting, but still a great read! The Forest Grimm by Kathryn Purdie is the first book in a duology about a magical forest and the people who are lured in. Clara has spent her entire life in her little village on the edge of the Forest Grimm, learning fairy tales and folk lore from her grandmother. Years earlier, the forest turned on the villagers and took its magical book, the Sortes Fortunae, back. The villagers would whisper their dreams to the book, and it would tell them how to reach those dreams. Now, the book is gone, their water rancid, and crops diseased. The village is dying, and every time they make an appeal to the forest, it takes another villager. Now, Clara and her best friend venture into the forest, defying fate in the hopes of saving those they love and have lost.

Clara is an interesting character, and the book is told from her perspective. Her grandmother is a fortune teller and has read Clara’s fate many times. It always ends the same: death. Clara isn’t necessarily afraid of her fate, but she wants to make sure everyone she loves is safe. So she plans to take fate into her own hands, entering the forest. She is brave, a little reckless, and a lot in love with her best friend. I adore Axel. He stands behind Clara always, and despite her constantly pushing him away, he’s always there when she needs him most.

This book is a good mix of character-driven and plot-driven. So much happens in this book! I was surprised when I reached the end and realized it was a duology. I expected it to be over. Clara’s story follows Grimm’s Little Red Riding Hood. There’s a forest and a large wolf hunting her, plus she has her huntsman in Axel. I liked how the author weaved in her story with the source material creating something new. We see several stories played out in this one including Rapunzel, Cinderella, and Hansel and Gretel. These make an interesting addition to the story by adding mythos to the Forest Grimm.

Overall, while it took me a while to read, I really enjoyed The Forest Grimm. It’s an exciting adventure with wonderful world building. Clara and Axel are easy to root for both as friends and the potential for more than friends. Highly recommend for fans of fantasy!
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