In this gorgeous standalone companion to the critically acclaimed fantasy, The Boneless Mercies, April Tucholke spins a bold and blood-hungry retelling of the King Arthur legend that is perfect for fans of Naomi Novik, Garth Nix, and Laini Taylor.
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.Seven Endless Forests, April Genevieve Tucholke
April 28, 2020
I love Arthurian retellings. I really enjoyed Amy Rose Capetta and Cory McCarthy’s Once & Future. But Tucholke’s Seven Endless Forests just didn’t do it for me.
Tucholke’s prose is something else. It’s brutal and wonderful to read. Her world building really is a masterpiece. I understood the world so well even in just the five chapters I did manage to finish reading. These factors alone could have carried the book well to someone who clicked with the book.
Unfortunately, I was not that someone.
I couldn’t connect to the characters and I felt like I was lost in whatever minor plot did show up in the early pages. It drawled one for a long time. Five chapters where the main character buries her family (not really a spoiler since it’s the opening scene) and then meets a wandering druid and a local town burns down took too dang long to establish. Maybe I’m used to a more fast paced writing style, but Seven Endless Forests meandered more than it moved forward, giving us flashbacks and long expositions of setting or character.
I wanted to love this one, but it just wasn’t for me.