Title: The Forest of Fallen Stars
Author: Elfie Riverdell
Publication: 1st June 2019 – Independently Published
Format: Ebook – 224 pages
Hello Hello! How are you?
Welcome to my stop for my second #blogtour by @booktamins. Thank you so much for the book and the opportunity to take part in this tour!
I had a horrible migraine all day yesterday and as soon as it eased off I started reading this book and got totally sucked into it. I read it so fast and it made me feel so much better! Keep reading to find out what I thought about this captivating book.
The Forest of Fallen Stars is a story of friendship and magic. We follow Alura, a shy but stubborn sixteen year old, as she tries to navigate a dramatically changing world. Following her village’s tradition, Alura is forced to participate in a ritual that doesn’t turn our quite as she had planned. Finding herself on the run, Alura is rescued by two mysterious girls, who request her help in protecting their village from Eslanda; a young woman seeking revenge for her abandonment. Alura, along with her new friends Kara and Loria, must fight against magic, enemies and nature itself to restore peace to their homes. But are they aware of the sacrifices they must make?
Trigger Warning: mild violence.
The Forest of Fallen Stars can be described both as a children’s and YA fantasy book. From page one we are sucked into a strange world in the forest where children are thrust into the woods on the day of their ceremony and they have to reach a clearing, ask the Goddess for their companion and make it back through the forest without getting killed or injured too badly. On the day of Alura’s ceremony, everything goes smoothly except on her way out of the forest, and she walks back towards her family and her village unscathed by this supposedly traumatic experience. From page one, I was absolutely captivated by this story and it only took me a few hours to whizz through this one!
I really like how this setting seemed really described but at the same time, not overly described. You get a really strong sense of what the forest feels like, I could see it in my mind’s eye, but it wasn’t described in the usual drawn-out way of other fantasy books. I think that this is one of the reasons that I read this book so fast because there wasn’t any extra detail that didn’t serve a purpose. Everything I needed to understand the plot and follow the story was there, and that was perfectly enough.
For most of the book, we are in the forest. It is described as a dangerous place where wild animals live and the only person who isn’t in danger from these animals is Alura.
There were quite a few characters in this book and they were all really well developed, I enjoyed reading about them and there wasn’t a character that was just not enjoyable to read about, they all had their place in the book. It was so fun following them on their journey through the forest to safety! These are my favourites.
Alura: Although Alura is only 16 years old, she doesn’t come across as childish. She is very mature for her age and she is determined to help when she can. She is unsure of what happened during her ceremony and also further on in the book when her abilities are revealed, but throughout it all, she stands tall and doesn’t throw a tantrum. I really appreciated her calmness during the whole story. She is a very strong and down-to-earth character and I really enjoyed her story although I would have preferred some more information about her and some more adventures.
Kara and Loria: Kara and Loria are the two girls she meets one day and they take her away from her village because it apparently isn’t safe for her. This was the aspect that I found a bit strange in this book and the main reason I didn’t give it a full 5 stars. These two girls turn up and tell her to come and she doesn’t protest and goes off into the forest with them. Although I really enjoyed these two characters and really loved reading about their friendship, I think that this bit of the plot was a bit too forced, a bit too suspicious, I definitely wouldn’t follow two strangers into the forest. But otherwise, I found these two girls to be lovely additions to the story, they also both appeared a lot older than their years and I really enjoyed reading about the friendship they had with Alura.
Skygge: He is Alura’s companion. He is a big dog and although he isn’t a “character”, I really did enjoy this part of the plot so I wanted to mention him. He does a great job of looking after Alura and protecting her and the group of people she is with. Elfie did a really good job of writing him into the story and I really did enjoy reading about a dog in a fantasy novel.
This book went by so fast, I’m sure there are loads of other themes that I could talk about, but I feel like friendship is the most prominent and important one.
Friendship: I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’ve been reading a lot of books about friendship this year and really enjoying them. Once again, this book portrayed a beautiful friendship, both between Alura, Kara, and Loria, but also between Alura and Skygge. It was really nice to read about a group of friends fighting for their safety and survival, how they all stuck up for each other and how Skygge protected them all. I do feel like their friendship was a bit rushed, however. They “save” Alura from her village, walk into the woods and it seems like they are immediately friends and very close ones as well. I think that this part could have been drawn out a bit more and there could have been a bit more suspicion on Alura’s part. This is a children’s and YA book and I think that maybe things happened a bit too rapidly for me. I did end up really liking the friendship though.
MY THOUGHTS AND RATING
The thing that surprised me the most about this book was the speed in which I read it. I don’t know if it had something to do with the font size of the ebook or because it was such a fast-paced read, but I literally flew through this book. It may also be because I feel like the events in this book happened extremely fast as well. The girls come for Alura, they cross through the forest and then go off into more forest for safety and I feel at times that it could have maybe benefitted the story if it was slowed down a bit. You don’t really get a chance to stop and think about what is happening because it’s going so fast and the ending was also very fast, there were a few ellipses at the end and that made it seem even faster.
Despite the little bits of the story that I didn’t like as much as the rest of this book, I gave this book a solid 4 stars. I really did enjoy my time reading it and it’s a beautiful book about friendship. Alura is such a likeable character and I loved reading all about her abilities, the things she learns about her land, the people around her and different peoples’ abilities. This was a really good book and I highly recommend.
Thank you once again to Booktamins and to Elfie for a chance to take part in this tour and thank you for the book!
That’s all for now, I hope you enjoyed this review. See you soon, stay safe,
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – ELFIE RIVERDELL
Elfie Riverdell is a middle grade and young adult fantasy author from the UK. She is currently studying English Literature and Creative Writing and lives with her family, two dogs, and four chickens. Elfie’s debut middle grade novel The Forest of Fallen Stars was published on June 1st, 2019.