You know I’m always here for some YA Fantasy Retellings! Seven Endless Forests is technically a King Arthur retelling, but it actually transcends the original material! Set in a companion world as The Boneless Mercies, Seven Endless Forests revolves around a heroine everyone underestimates and a group of Bards! Keep reading this book review to find out all the reasons I liked Seven Endless Forests!
On the heels of a devastating plague, Torvi’s sister, Morgunn, is stolen from the family farm by Uther, a flame-loving Fremish wolf-priest who leads a pack of ragged, starving girls. Torvi leaves the only home she’s ever known, and joins a shaven-skulled druid and a band of roaming Elsh artists known as the Butcher Bards. They set out on a quest to rescue Torvi’s sister, and find a mythical sword.
On their travels, Torvi and her companions will encounter magical night wilds and mystical Drakes who trade in young men. They will sing rowdy Elshland ballads in a tree-town tavern, and find a mysterious black tower in an Endless Forest. They will fight alongside famous Vorseland archers and barter with Fremish wizards. They will feast with rogue Jade Fell children in a Skal Mountain cave, and seek the help of a Pig Witch. They will face wild, dangerous magic that leads to love, joy, tragedy, and death.
Torvi set out to rescue a sister, but she may find it’s merely the first step toward a life that is grander and more glorious than anything she could have imagined
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
Seven Endless Forests is not so much of a retelling, as a story about a girl trying to save her sister. Told by her mother that all she is every going to be good for is someone’s bride, Seven Endless Forests is a story about her journey of agency. A companion novel to The Boneless Mercies, you don’t need to read the first to enjoy this one! The writing in this book was gorgeous, toeing the line between epic and lyrical, with emotional. My favorite aspect of Seven Endless Forests was the main character, Torvi.
If you like a character who has to figure out how to listen to her heart, embrace her destiny, and prove our parent’s wrong, then you will enjoy Torvi. Her character growth was my favorite element of the story and I think YA needs a lot more of these heroines. The ones who have to find their voice, who are told they cannot be heroines, and who have a quiet strength.
Seven Endless Forests is a story about revenge and people’s paths. It features a troop of bards and a druid! If you are expecting a pretty faithful re-telling of King Arthur, then you should re-adjust your expectations of Seven Endless Forests. I didn’t mind because the story I read ended up to be better, but it’s just worth noting! I wish I had gotten more details about the side characters, as I really loved the traveling bards and wanted to heart so much more about them! I love side characters and while I liked Torvi, give me some more!