Book Review: Forest of Souls by Lori M. Lee [INT Blog Tour]

 

THE BOOK

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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.

REVIEW

Disclaimer: This review is not sponsored. I was part of the International Blog Tour for this book and I was given an e-ARC of the book by the publisher and author in exchange for an honest review.

Let me start by telling you that I picked this book up with the slightest idea of how the plot and the world building would look like. I only know that a.) it was a fantasy novel and written by a badass Asian author, and b.) the cover art was illustrated by Charlie Bowater. I know going into a book blind is risky, but most of the time it turns out to be a wild ride. That’s what happened with Forest of Souls. 

Dark, unique and fast-paced. Those are the three adjectives that would best describe this book. It took me by surprise in the best possible way and once the story picked up, I couldn’t put it down! It’s also hard to write this review without getting to spoilery, so I decided to just tell you three reasons why you should add it to your list instead:

1.) This is a story of friendship and sisterly bond.

You can really see how the first book gives importance to Sirscha and Saengo’s bond. Their relationship, I believe, is the anchor and the heart of this book. I loved how their story was depicted, how they would do every thing to protect and defend each other. It’s beautiful to see how, in their moments of being lost, they were each other’s north stars. That alone made me love how this book was written.

2.) There is no insta-love.

Don’t get me wrong! I do love me some good insta-love, but sometimes it comes off as unnecessary, especially when it’s a story about searching for your identity and self-worth. I am still in awe that this book only gave us a taste potential romances but not totally focusing on who likes who. I’m rooting the potential romance of two characters, but I don’t want to tell who because I might jinx it! I’m dying to find out how their stories will play out in the next books (yes, it’s a trilogy)!

3.) If you like Avatar: The Last Airbender, Children of Blood and Bone and Grishaverse, you will love the magic system in this book.

This book is so awesome, it included Shamans! For me, that’s a breath of fresh air. The Magic is reminiscent of all the fandoms I’ve mentioned above. As what Lori said, this is a mishmash of all western fantasy tropes infused with her own cultural influences. I like how the concept of a Familiar (souls of beasts that bonds with Shamans) was presented in this book, and I’d love to explore more of it in the coming ones!

Overall, Forest Souls was a complete experience! I know in my heart that I will be continuing this series, and would love them as much (if not more) as this book. It was surprising, gripping and it serves you twists like a full-course meal when you least expect it! Yes, I still have unanswered questions (thus, my rating), but I’m certain that those will be answered in the upcoming books!

Forest of Souls by Lori M. Lee is now available for purchase worldwide! Please don’t forget to add it on Goodreads and order your books from the links below:

AMAZON  |  BOOK DEPOSITORY  |  BARNES & NOBLE | INDIGO | INDIEBOUND 

RATING

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Huge thanks to Raf from The Royal Polar Bear for letting me join this International Blog Tour! Please also check out the stops of these amazing Bloggers and BookTubers who are joining the tour:

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June 22nd
June 23rd
Donna from Biblioxytocin
June 24th
Sammie from The Writerly Way
 
June 25th 
Anjedah from Bookriot
Avery from B for Bookslut
June 26th
Munayda from Nanacosis
Ruthsic from YA on my Mind

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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. Follow her on Instagram.

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