I can’t even express how happy I am to be back writing a book review!
Besides almost every other bookish thing on this blog, my other fav thing to post is book reviews. Being able to gush or express my emotions from reading a book that either gripped me or maybe, sadly, didn’t and discuss it with other readers is what I think most book bloggers do this for!
The Drowned Woods was published last month and it made its way into my September TBR.
I mean look at that gorgeous cover and tell me it’s not making its way onto your TBR too?
Note: this is a non-spoilery review
The story follows a girl who is deemed the ‘last living water diviner’. She was previously employed by a Prince who used her powers for evil, unbeknownst to her. When she finds out, she escapes and that’s where the story really opens up. She is then approached by someone in her past who brings her a compelling proposition. Join in on the heist to steal and destroy the prince, and all her problems go away. With a group of eccentric, all with their own baggage, characters, they embark on this crazy adventure.
Mererid: I absolutely loved her. From the beginning I see her struggle, I could feel her pain, and I can almost taste the desire to just escape and live a life free from someone else’s hold. She was a fearless character but with flaws. The author did wonderfully in writing Mer. I don’t always immediately love the protagonist, but everything Mer did and how she acted felt true to her and the plot of the story.
Renfrew: Renfrew is the Spymaster for the prince. He was a character I did not like right away. I was wary of him and his intentions throughout the book, which I guess makes for an intriguing character. I felt that he seemed flat at times, especially when he was speaking with Mer… I would have thought there would be more compassion between them since Renfrew practically raised her in some sense, but i also think it makes sense to the relationship to have them not be super close since he was a Spymaster working for the Prince at one point.
Fane: I adored Fane. He was well and truly that cinnamon roll that you want to protect but also he can kick ass. His entire backstory was revealed to pace and it made him seem more relatable. I loved his banter with the rest of the group especially Mer and the sparks between them was part of the reason why I read the book in one sitting.
Ifanna: She was the one that felt the most real to me. She had a complicated past she was working through, she had responsibilities beyond her control, she was a badass fighter but carried so much burden. I felt she was the most authentic of all the characters and wished to see more of her. Her interactions with the other characters and the world felt all too real as well, considering her past with them and her own.
If you like non complex or complicated worlds, this would be a perfect read… however I did not enjoy it much. There were aspects of the world that were written so well that I felt like I was there. In particular the environments they were in. The shops and houses and villages they would pass by as they are travelling were described nicely. But the magic system fell short for me. It was not given proper page time as Fane’s magic was lost on me. I couldn’t follow how or why things were happening the way they were for him. Mer’s magic was described to lengths, her being the main character, but everything else magic-wise was not explained enough to make me feel it was an integral part of the story and more so the world.
I found this book an enjoyable read. I flipped through the pages rather quickly, as the plot thickened and got more gripping. I love heist books and especially fantasy adventure, and this gave that to me enough to keep me happily reading! I felt most of the characters were well rounded and the world was described nicely, although lacking in some places. However, I do wish there was more diversity. The story is based on Welsh folklore or inspired by it at least, but that doesn’t mean that no representation should be established at all to some degree.
The book is also tied to another one of Emily Llyod Jones’ books called The Bone Houses, although you don’t need to read The Bone Houses to read this one.
📜 Plot: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
🧙🏼♂️ Characters: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
❤️ Romance: ⭐⭐⭐
🧕 Diversity: ⭐
Have you read this book? What did you think?
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