If you’re looking for a fantasy where you think you might be familiar with some of the elements – dark creatures, a quest to the capital, knights and magical power, Snaith still manages to surprise you in Between the Water and the Woods.
Emeline’s quiet village has three important rules:
Don’t look at the shadows.
Don’t cross the river.
And don’t enter the forest.
An illustrated fantasy filled with beauty and power, BETWEEN THE WATER AND THE WOODS sweeps you into a world where forests are hungry; knights fight with whips; the king is dying; and a peasant girl’s magic will decide the future of the realm…
When Emeline’s little brother breaks all three of their village’s rules, she is forced to use her family’s forbidden magic to rescue him from the dark things he awakens, the Ithin. Now that the Ithin are afoot in the land, she must, by law, travel to the royal court and warn the king. But the only way she and her family can make the journey to the capital is with the protection of a sour magister and a handsome, whip-wielding Lash Knight. Will Emeline survive in a city where conspiracies swirl like smoke and her magic is all but outlawed?
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
Between the Water and the Woods is a quiet book. Emeline was my favorite element of the book. Incredibly protective of her family, Emeline is motivated by love and a sense of community. Not only that, but she grows into her own decisions as she leaves her small village and has all sorts of new experiences. Not to mention, her relationship with Reese was a lovely contrast not only between their personalities, but between their backgrounds.
At the same time Between the Water and the Woods really picks up by the end transcending everything I expected. Society is divided by those who believe in magic and those who deny it, transforming their village sighting into one of politics, with all sides who have a stake in what Emeline and Dale stumbled into.
I found this aspect of the book, which doesn’t effect the book too much at the beginning, gains a foothold by the end of the book. There seems to be two parts of the book, before the capital and in the capital. Both of these parts offer different elements from a charming story of family, to a deeper story of politics, agency, and the fate of the kingdom.