Forest of Souls by Lori M Lee

Hi everyone! Today I’m very excited to bring you my review of the incredible Forest of Souls by Lori M Lee as a part of the ‘Hear Our Voices Book Tour’! I absolutely ADORE this book and it is one of my new all-time favourites, I hope you love it too! Pre-order now and you can get your hands on some stunning pre-order prizes!! And make sure to pick it up, release day is June 23rd – Amber ❤

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.

Have you ever just felt so connected to a book, even before you’ve read it, so much so that you already know it will be a new favourite? That’s exactly how I felt with Forest of Souls, from the moment I discovered it, I had been yelling about the cover and how amazing it sounded, so when Sasha told me she’d managed to get her hands on an arc and wanted me to have it, I literally cried.

This book is PHENOMENAL. There is no other way I can describe it. Lori M Lee creates such a luxurious, encapsulating world, so vivid that if I had the artistic skills, I could draw it from memory. This book is dark, spooky, captivating and unforgettable.

Our main character, Sirscha, is such a badass lead to this book. She’s a nobody, and the people around her are not about to let her forget that any time soon; but her determination to become the queen’s shadow keeps her going and pushing through. I love Sirscha’s resilient, stubborn and powerful nature, she’s so strong and fierce that you instantly fall in love with her.  When Sirscha discovers new information that she thinks will give her a better chance at becoming the queen’s personal spy, she takes off from a mission with her best friend Saengo, but it ends up with Saengo dead after a shaman attack.

When Sirscha restores Saengo to life, she sets off a ripple of powerful magic that is felt by shamans everywhere. But shamans are outlaws in Thiy and imprisoned by the queen, so when the Spider King, the enforcer of peace between the kingdoms, she has to go. We witness Sirscha and Saengo go through a tough journey together, one where they learn lots about each other, and themselves. Sirscha and Saengo’s friendship is so beautiful. I love a platonic f/f friendship with 2 strong, independent women and that exactly what their friendship is; yet they’re also each other’s confidant and only people they feel that can open up to.

The world building and imagery in this book is so vivid and beautiful. I love reading about Asian characters and settings, and while this book is not set in an Asian-inspired setting, rather in a Western-medieval fantasy setting, Sirscha and many of the other characters are Asian themselves and I love the contrast it creates. The horror elements in this book are incorporated so well and it’s something I hadn’t really read before. I loved how there was an underlying theme of creepiness throughout the book; it made the whole book more intense and enticing. The magic system in this book is also so unique, and I cannot wait to see more of it develop in book 2!

The dead wood was one of my favourite aspects of this book; it’s creepy, dark and utterly thrilling to read about. The dead wood is controlled by the Spider King, who keeps it so that the souls living inside it don’t escape, however people have been whispering about it expanding and the possibility that the Spider King is losing his control over it. So when he announces that Sirscha, untrained and only newly aware of her powers, as the only living soulguide in living history, is to be the one to restrain the souls, she’s astounded. Sirscha is confused, horrified and scared about the revelation that she is a shaman, even more so that she may be one of the most powerful to live; so she focuses all of her feelings into being able to control her powers so that she can save Saengo.

This story is jam-packed with action, political intrigue and deadly magic. Everything about this book draws you in and tangles you in a web that you cannot escape, forcing you to continue reading and find out where the story is going. The plot is fast paced and filled with rich world building and incredibly complex characters that you’re sure to not forget any time soon. I read this book in December of 2019 and then again in February 2020 and will most definitely be picking it up around release day, I have not stopped screaming about it since; it’s definitely one you’ll be adding to your favourites list!

 

PRE-ORDER NOW :

*please pre-order from an indie bookstore if you can!*

Book Depository

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PRE-ORDER INCENTIVES INFORMATION: Click here.

I’m holding a giveaway for 3 pre-orders on my twitter! Click here.

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