THE FOREST GRIMM, by Kathryn Purdie, Wednesday Books, Sept. 19, 2023, Hardcover, $20 (young adult)
A young woman sets out into enchanted woods to save her family and village in The Forest Grimm, by Kathryn Purdie.
“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.
Now, left with no alternative, Clara and her close friend, Axel ― who is fated never to be with her ― have set their minds to defying fate and daring to accomplish what no one else has been able to before. But the forest ― alive with dark, deadly twists on some of our most well-known fairy tales ― has a mind of its own. —Synopsis provided by Wednesday Books
The Forest Grimm takes those familiar fairy tales you know and turns them upside down. Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood all make an appearance, and they’re all delightfully dark and twisted.
At the center of the story is Clara, a young woman who is desperate to find her mother. Clara’s only thoughts have been about taking on this monumental task. But when she finds herself alone with Axel, she realizes there’s more to her fate than just saving her mother. Clara’s fairly single-minded when it comes to her destiny. She’s thought things through. But she’s only been looking at them one way. With Axel comes a new way of thinking and a future Clara never dared to dream about.
Author Kathryn Purdie deftly intermixes familiar tales with her own imagining, creating something entirely new. Her pacing is solid and there are some nice surprises in store
The Forest Grimm is a fast-moving adventure, mystery, fantasy and romance all mixed into one. The book ends with a big twist, and I’m excited to see where Purdie takes the story next.
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