“The Forest God would have never before suspected that simple domesticity could be so pleasant. It had never understood humans before, had never gained any insight into why they lived as they did. But now it could see the appeal of a warm hearth, of regular meals, of the company of loved ones.”
The forest god, an apprentice witch, and a young lord find their lives entangled. The forest god, currently reborn as a hare is just ready to live and die again, such as the cycle. However, when he finds himself in the care of the apprentice witch, he realizes that this life is going to be different. The village is withering and the forest is in a precarious balance. The witch and the young lord want to fix the balance, but they can only do it with the help of the forest god, but will he help them?
I devoured this novella in one sitting. Partially because it is a novella and partially because I was swept up in this simple, but beautiful story. Nothing is overdone in this novella. It isn’t too lean or too heavy in certain areas. It was crafted with precision, so even though I greatly enjoyed the story, I was very satisfied with the ending. I don’t need it to be extended or changed in any way. However, because it is so short I don’t want to say too much about the plot and give anything away.
I also grew attached to the characters and their cozy setting rather quickly. While they all banter back and forth, they grow closer together and learn lessons about responsibility, love, and how what we may view as our greatest weakness may be our biggest strength. These are good lessons for people of any age to learn and I like the fact that it doesn’t shy away from the idea that sometimes it is necessary to make a hard decision. There are situations in life where we won’t get what we want because of our responsibilities.
I would highly recommend this for fans of Dianna Wynne Jones, Studio Ghibli, the Redwall series, or just fantasy in general. Also, while I believe that this novella is shelved for adults, it would be appropriate for upper teens as well (there isn’t anything steamy in the romance). I look forward to reading more of Jamie Lackey’s work.
Length: 82 pages
Published: June 5th 2020 by Air and Nothingness Press
Content Warning: Hunting, Blood, Curses
Awards: None yet.
Also by: Left-Hand Gods (2016), The Blood of the Four Gods and Other Stories (2017), A Metal Box Floating Between Stars and Other Stories (2018), and others.
Book Depository: Not on Book Depository.
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