Saturday, October 2, 2021

Review: Edgewood by Kristen Ciccarelli


by Kristen Ciccarelli
Wednesday Books
YA Fantasy
384 pages

JANUARY 22nd, 2022!!!

Internationally bestselling author Kristen Ciccarelli weaves an epic love story of a girl forced to return to the home she's left behind in order to break a terrible curse

No matter how far she runs, the forest of Edgewood always comes for Emeline Lark. The scent of damp earth curls into her nose when she sings and moss creeps across the stage. It’s as if the woods of her childhood, shrouded in folklore and tall tales, are trying to reclaim her. But Emeline has no patience for silly superstitions.

When she learns her grandfather disappeared from his nursing home, leaving only a milky orb in his wake, the stories Emeline has always scoffed at suddenly seem less foolish. After searching for him almost everywhere, Emeline finally succumbs to the call of Edgewood, entering the forest she has spent years trying to escape.

Emeline finds herself in the court of the fabled Wood King himself. She makes a deal—her voice for her grandfather’s freedom. Little does she know, she’s stumbled into the middle of a curse much bigger than herself, one that threatens the existence of a life she has worked so hard to forget.

With the help of a handsome and brooding tithe collector, a surly blacksmith, and a lost childhood friend, Emeline sets out to not only save her grandfather’s life, but to right past wrongs, and in the process, discover her true voice.



Mossy forests, an evil witch, a Wood King, music and a curse, which threatens to destroy it all...this one is rich with fantasy and and a vivid world.

Emeline is finally about to reach her goal of becoming a famous singer, and that despite the woods, which only she sees, sprouting around her when she that brings troubles. When her grandfather disappears from the retirement home, she's forced to return to the town she wanted nothing more to do with because she refuses to believe that the folklore surrounding it truly exists. But when a search for her grandfather has her facing the deadly creatures, she finally gives into the truth and realizes she must seek out the Wood King, she always believed to be a myth. He has her grandfather but will only release him for an that ties her to the kingdom for the rest of her life. That's if she survives.

The world grows and expands off the page, drawing in with magic and wonderment. The scenes are well depicted, and that without long paragraphs of descriptions. Rather, the pacing remains steady and increases as the tale moves along in a hard-to-guess adventure. While some moments are predictable, most are impossible to see coming, and this is what holds the reader in the pages until the end.

This is a rich fantasy, which starts out in the modern day world, and then, dives into the realm of myth and folklore. It gave a chance for Emeline to gain a bit of personality and background, which does make her easier to connect with before the ember horses and shadow creatures appear. There were a couple hazed areas in some of the connections and logic, but when the rest of the story unfolds, this becomes unimportant. Emeline is easy to root for, and her determination is inspiring the entire way through.

While battling evil witches, dragons, curses, an insane king and sly court members, Emeline also has a lot of character arc as she needs to discover who she truly is. This involves a romance...which I thought would be more epic than it is. It all leads to an unexpected and lovely ending, which rounds off the entire to create a wonderful fantasy in one book.

And here she is...

KRISTEN CICCARELLI grew up on her grandfather’s grape farm where she spent her childhood running through his vineyards and adventuring in the deep, dark woods behind his house. She now resides in a blustery seaside cove on a misty island in the North Atlantic. When she’s not writing, you can find her hiking in the headlands with her dog, playing board games with her husband, or sipping tea by the wood stove. She is also the author of the internationally bestselling Iskari series.

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