Book Review: The Forest of Fallen Stars
The Forest of Fallen Stars
Written by Elfie Riverdell
Publication date: 1st June 2019
Summary (from Goodreads):
The Forest of Fallen Stars is a story of friendship and magic. We follow Alura, a shy but stubborn sixteen year old, as she tries to navigate a dramatically changing world. Following her village’s tradition, Alura is forced to participate in a ritual that doesn’t turn our quite as she had planned. Finding herself on the run, Alura is rescued by two mysterious girls, who request her help in protecting their village from Eslanda; a young woman seeking revenge for her abandonment. Alura, along with her new friends Kara and Loria, must fight against magic, enemies and nature itself to restore peace to their homes. But are they aware of the sacrifices they must make?
Trigger warning: Mild violence
Nobody knows when the ceremonies began. For centuries, people have told of them. Stories of children dressed in white, lined up at the edge of the forest. Tales of parents planting kisses on foreheads and sending their beloved children into the forest,praying to the gods for their safe return.
I knew she was only trying to make me feel better, make me feel as if it was normal, but I knew it wasn’t. I’d been preparing for years, we all had.
As soon as we were old enough, we’d practice fighting against each other, building up our strength. Nobody could avoid the ceremonies, so we each tried to become the strongest in our class. The stronger you are, the more chance you have of getting out of
the forest without life threatening wounds.
The fiercer you are, the more chance you have of fighting the wild creatures off.
First impressions: The title is what immediately drew my attention to this one, as I love fantasy, stories set in forests and anything with ‘star’ in the title, generally. As soon as I read the summary I knew that I had to read this, even though I was actively trying not to sign up fr too many blog tours, knowing that I would be busy with the new arrival in our household, our baby girl. Yet, as soon as I saw mention of magic, I was sold.
The reader is instantly thrown into Alura’s world, a village on the outskirts of a dark and dangerous forest, full of wild creatures who will not hesitate to attack. In Alura’s village, there is an annual tradition that children travel into the forest (normally too dangerous and therefore forbidden) and appeal to the Goddess to gift them an animal companion who will accompany them and protect them from that day onwards. Some of the children who enter the forest do not return, or return with life-threatening injuries.
Alura is gifted with a dog, whom she names Skygge, but her whole life is thrown into disarray when she meets two young girls who seem to have magic…and tell her that there is more to the stories of missing children and the legends she has listened to growing up, more to her world than she could ever have imagined.
The pace of the story doesn’t let up for a second, dragging you along with Alura as she tries to learn about what is going on while events rush past her. This can be a bit confusing for the reader at times, while at other times Alura is being given information about the world in a large chunk at times when it feels a little unrealistic for her to have the time to process it e.g. during a battle.
Overall, this is a creative fantasy adventure with lots to recommend it, especially if you enjoy books featuring magic, battles and animal sidekicks.
Amazon US – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1795217928/
The sun was beginning to warm the sky as we took our first break from walking.
How many hours away from my own home I was, I had no idea.
I didn’t want to think about it. Loria had told me that it was too dangerous to go home on my own, but taking the safer option meant leaving my family to worry about me. I pictured my mother,
standing at the window and crying. My father, trying to console her.
What if he sent the men from the village to search for me?
What if the danger Kara mentioned caught up with them before it caught up with us?
What I liked: The dark forest setting, the idea of animal companions, Alura’s relationship with her siblings and parents (yay for parents who actually care about their children rather than are absent as in so many YA books!),
Even better if: I would have liked a bit more information about the world, as the folklore and traditions seemed really interesting but weren’t explored fully. I also wanted more about the animal companions, especially Skygge – he is so cool!
How you could use it in your classroom: This would be a good recommendation fir any young reader who enjoys fantasy and would be suitable for readers aged 10+
About the Author
Elfie Riverdell is a middle grade and young adult fantasy author from the UK. She is currently studying English Literature and Creative Writing, and lives with her family, two dogs and four chickens. Elfie’s debut middle grade novel The Forest of Fallen Stars was published on June 1st 2019.
Twitter – https://twitter.com/ElfieRiverdell
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/elfieriverdellauthor/
Bookstragram – https://www.instagram.com/balletandbooks_/
(Thank you to Booktamins for giving me the chance to read an e-ARC)
What did other people think?
Don’t miss the other stops on this blog tour!
1. Jessica Belmont >> review
2. Barbs Book Club >> review
1. Nikkie Reads >> review
1. The Bookish HedgeMom >> guest post/promo post
2. The Paperback Voyager >> review
1. Cynthia D. Griffin >> guest post
2. Chrikaru Reads >> review
3. LCB Reviews >> review
1. This Witch Reads >> review
2. Book, Blog and Candle >> review
3. Read to Ramble >> review
While you’re here, why not check out my reviews of Invisible Women, Girls in Politics, Welcome to Our World, Together We Can, Herstory, The Burning, Female Pilots, It’s Your World Now, Throne of Swans, Diary of a Confused Feminist or The Deepest Breath?
Thanks for reading!