So I was supposed to be on this other Forest of Souls blog tour, but it got cancelled. Then Hear Our Voices Blog Tour decided to ask the original participants if we still wanted to post, and voila! This
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.
If you missed it, I already posted a review of all my love for Forest of Souls. Today I wanted to do a creative post combining one of my favorite things – tea – and books! I’m going to pair Sirscha, Saengo, the Spider King, and the Dead Wood all with tea!
She so desperately wants to be something – to be someone. This drive, this ambition mixed with tenderness and vulnerability, was so relatable and endearing to me. She’s driven by her desire for being someone more than who she thinks she is, but also by her friendship with Saengo.
The tea I’ve decided to pair Sirscha with is from Brooklyn Tea which is a Black owned tea business. I picked the Wild Purple Tea because while it has a similar feel to black tea, it’s something that is entirely its own. The notes for this tea are eucalyptus and sugarcane. I wanted something that felt unique and determined (hello caffeine), but also something a little fresh. Because Sirscha is incredibly determined, but there’s a bit of a impulsivity that can lead her into trouble.
To me, Saengo is this force of her own in Forest of Souls, but her relationship with Sirscha is complex. She is driven by her friendship to Sirscha, the way she doesn’t accept people’s expectations, and how she doesn’t really get caught up in her background.
I wanted to pick something that felt regal and composed, but also had something more to it. I also wanted to pick a tea type we didn’t have before and I’ve just started getting more into white tea. The Royal Wedding tea from Harney and Sons has flavors of almond, coconut, and vanilla. There are also flower petals – roses, marigold, and cornflowers – within the tea. This glorious tea will also pay homage to the amazing friendship between Sirscha and Saengo.
The Spider King
I knew that the Spider King was going to be the hardest to pick the tea. He’s illusive and even after finishing I’m not sure I even have a good sense of him. Always full of shadows and secrets, the Spider King remains a mystery. While Lee does a fantastic job with the eerie atmosphere of the world, see more in the next tea, the Spider King is a part of that. There’s a piece of him that seems to blend right into the forest, to the tenuous balance of power.
I wanted to pick a tea that would pack a double punch: the caffeine of black tea plus the flavors of bourbon. And I found Black Cask Bourbon Tea from Harney and Sons! There’s something sweet and almost charming, disarming, about the vanilla and caramel, but all with a smoky flavor.
The Dead Wood
There’s something certainly eerie about the Dead Wood and so while I figured I could pick black tea for all of these, because they’ve all got some steel, I wanted to pick a green tea for the woods. Does that make sense? But it had to be something that was fresh, spicy, and gives you a bit of a zing.
Let me introduce you to Pukka’s Ginseng Matcha Green Tea! There’s some ginger and lemongrass notes to give you a bit of a zing and to elevate this tea. There’s also some matcha to give you a little jolt.
About the Author
Lori M. Lee is the author of FOREST OF SOULS, first in the Shamanborn series, as well as GATES OF THREAD AND STONE and THE INFINITE. She’s also a contributor to the anthologies A THOUSAND BEGINNINGS AND ENDINGS and COLOR OUTSIDE THE LINES. She considers herself a unicorn aficionado, enjoys marathoning TV shows, and loves to write about magic, manipulation, and family.
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