Sirscha Ashwyn comes from nothing, but she’s intent on becoming something. After years of training to become the queen’s next royal spy, her plans are derailed when shamans attack and kill her best friend Saengo.
And then Sirscha, somehow, restores Saengo to life.
Unveiled as the first soulguide in living memory, Sirscha is summoned to the domain of the Spider King. For centuries, he has used his influence over the Dead Wood—an ancient forest possessed by souls—to enforce peace between the kingdoms. Now, with the trees growing wild and untamed, only a soulguide can restrain them. As war looms, Sirscha must master her newly awakened abilities before the trees shatter the brittle peace, or worse, claim Saengo, the friend she would die for.
“It is not from the world that I need acknowledgement of my worth.”Forest of Souls, Lori M. Lee
Forest of Souls just reminded me so much of the relationship dynamics seen in Truthwitch, and the magic system of The Grisha Trilogy and the other Grishaverse books, but with a lot of Asian culture influences and different types of dragons. Yes, the many types of dragons and lizards here got me really excited.
It is a story about an orphaned girl named Sirscha who is currently training to be the Queen’s next spy, but suddenly finds herself in an attack that kills her best friend and unexpectedly brings her back to life using powers that she didn’t know she had, but it is an ability possessed by a certain group of people that is being hunted and put down by the reigning queen. It’s a well-versed story about fighting against oppression and rising above one’s station, tons of friendship, and magic and politics.
The entire storyline and plot progression were executed nicely, but it didn’t have a greater intensity of stakes that I would have liked to have happened. It definitely had that page-turning factor, and it was written in a manner that it wasn’t confusing to the reader. While I would have liked a bit more immersive feel brought towards its world-building and atmosphere, I do appreciate the effort of providing a lot of historical events and mythology into the story which made the current conflicts more interesting to follow.
Sirscha is one badass yet very stubborn character. She is definitely flawed in many ways, but I do admire her perseverance and tenacity, especially with how she has been treated by other people. Her character growth wasn’t pronounced yet in this book, so I’m hoping it changes in the next one. She had a lot of potential with her powers, but I wished it was fleshed out more in this book because I was really curious to see what else she could do with it. The other characters also had this superficial character depth to them, and I’m obviously wishing to see more of them being explored into, although I did like their interactions with Sirscha. There was also no nonsense romance in this book, which made me really glad, because this book was so clearly written to showcase other relationship patterns and dynamics.
One of the selling points of this book was obviously Sirscha and Saengo’s friendship. I always love a good friendship story that is totally platonic in nature. Both Sirscha and Saengo were so different from each other in many ways, but there were fine minute details that connected one another, and it was so much fun to see those little nuisances between them. I also really admire the dedication these two had, and that spirited loyalty that have for each other.
I’m really curious to see how things will turn out in the next book.
About The Author
Lori is an avid writer, reader, artist, and lover of unicorns. She should probably spend less time on the internet (but she won’t). She considers herself a unicorn aficianado, is fond of talking in capslock, and loves to write about magic, manipulation, and family.