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TO BE BORN OF THE FOREST IS A GIFT AND A CURSE. Rora is a shifter, as magical as all those born in the wilderness--and as feared. She uses her abilities to spy for the king, traveling under different guises and listening for signs of trouble. When a magical illness surfaces across the kingdom, Rora uncovers a devastating truth: Finley, the young prince and her best friend, h TO BE BORN OF THE FOREST IS A GIFT AND A CURSE. Rora is a shifter, as magical as all those born in the wilderness--and as feared. She uses her abilities to spy for the king, traveling under different guises and listening for signs of trouble. When a magical illness surfaces across the kingdom, Rora uncovers a devastating truth: Finley, the young prince and her best friend, has caught it, too. His only hope is stardust, the rarest of magical elements, found deep in the wilderness where Rora grew up--and to which she swore never to return. But for her only friend, Rora will face her past and brave the dark, magical wood, journeying with her brother and the obstinate, older prince who insists on coming. Together, they must survive sentient forests and creatures unknown, battling an ever-changing landscape while escaping human pursuers who want them dead. With illness gripping the kingdom and war on the horizon, Finley's is not the only life that hangs in the balance.


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TO BE BORN OF THE FOREST IS A GIFT AND A CURSE. Rora is a shifter, as magical as all those born in the wilderness--and as feared. She uses her abilities to spy for the king, traveling under different guises and listening for signs of trouble. When a magical illness surfaces across the kingdom, Rora uncovers a devastating truth: Finley, the young prince and her best friend, h TO BE BORN OF THE FOREST IS A GIFT AND A CURSE. Rora is a shifter, as magical as all those born in the wilderness--and as feared. She uses her abilities to spy for the king, traveling under different guises and listening for signs of trouble. When a magical illness surfaces across the kingdom, Rora uncovers a devastating truth: Finley, the young prince and her best friend, has caught it, too. His only hope is stardust, the rarest of magical elements, found deep in the wilderness where Rora grew up--and to which she swore never to return. But for her only friend, Rora will face her past and brave the dark, magical wood, journeying with her brother and the obstinate, older prince who insists on coming. Together, they must survive sentient forests and creatures unknown, battling an ever-changing landscape while escaping human pursuers who want them dead. With illness gripping the kingdom and war on the horizon, Finley's is not the only life that hangs in the balance.

30 review for Forestborn

  1. 5 out of 5

    Claire

    Forestborn is a work of art. I am absolutely enamoured with this book. The characters are so painfully human, it is easy to root for, cry and fall in love with them. The settings are lush, the prose stunning, and let's not forget just how completely amazing this cover is. I will never stop singing praises. This book should be on everyone's lists. Forestborn is a work of art. I am absolutely enamoured with this book. The characters are so painfully human, it is easy to root for, cry and fall in love with them. The settings are lush, the prose stunning, and let's not forget just how completely amazing this cover is. I will never stop singing praises. This book should be on everyone's lists.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Maddie

    ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. I'm kind of conflicted on how to feel about this one. It's not a bad book, by any means. There were actually quite a few aspects I really enjoyed, such as the magical forest and the discussion of selfish vs selfless not always being a black and white thing. However, I really didn't enjoy it? I'm not sure if the fault lies with me or the book itself, but reading this felt like trudging ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. I'm kind of conflicted on how to feel about this one. It's not a bad book, by any means. There were actually quite a few aspects I really enjoyed, such as the magical forest and the discussion of selfish vs selfless not always being a black and white thing. However, I really didn't enjoy it? I'm not sure if the fault lies with me or the book itself, but reading this felt like trudging through quicksand. And try as I might, I can't entirely figure out why. From a completely logical perspective, this book was well-written with pretty good pacing and an easy to follow plot, and yet I felt completely and totally disconnected the entire time I read. So. Yeah. Not much of a coherent review this time, more of me questioning why I didn't enjoy this more than I did. I will say, it reminded me a bit of Defiance and Onyx and Ivory so if you enjoyed either of those, definitely give it a try!!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Renaissance Kate

    ARC received!! I'm loving the sound of this one! Also Katy Rose Pool blurbed it, so you know that means it's good. Thank you to Macmillan-Tor/Forge via Netgalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. ARC received!! I'm loving the sound of this one! Also Katy Rose Pool blurbed it, so you know that means it's good. Thank you to Macmillan-Tor/Forge via Netgalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lou

    Forestborn is the first instalment in the eponymous epic fantasy duology and a compelling and deeply ambitious debut from Becker. Rora and her brother Helos are shapeshifters, but only olive-skinned Rora is welcome in the Telyan court after they both fled their home in the Western Vale. She can morph into a goshawk, a mouse and a lynx but also has the ability to disguise herself using another person’s face. She uses her spectacular abilities to spy on behalf of the royal court of King Gerar whil Forestborn is the first instalment in the eponymous epic fantasy duology and a compelling and deeply ambitious debut from Becker. Rora and her brother Helos are shapeshifters, but only olive-skinned Rora is welcome in the Telyan court after they both fled their home in the Western Vale. She can morph into a goshawk, a mouse and a lynx but also has the ability to disguise herself using another person’s face. She uses her spectacular abilities to spy on behalf of the royal court of King Gerar whilst Helos is employed as a healer. Tensions are high between those with magic and those without, with the Eradain king up north proposing ultimatums to surrounding kingdoms about their allowance of magic and a magic sickness known as the Follow Throes seemingly sweeping over nonmagical people. When the youngest crown prince of Telyan and Rora’s closest queer friend, Finley, begins to show symptoms, Rora, Helos and older prince Weslyn are sent to the Vale, the dangerous, magic-infused forest Rora and Helos left as children, to barter for stardust to heal the ill. Between Weslyn’s seeming hatred and mistrust of the shifters, childhood traumas resurfacing and the presence of magical and human threats, the three may be forever changed. It's a mission fraught with danger and they soon discover that one of Telyan’s neighbouring autocratic kingdoms is threatening war in a disturbing attempt to exterminate all forestborn magical entities. Will they make it out alive? This is a truly bewitching and exquisite fantasy that is filled with a nature-centred fantasy aesthetic, emotional arcs centred on processing trauma, an enchanted forest, engaging sibling bonds, royalty, interesting shapeshifters, a slow-burn enemies to lovers scenario and an overall adventure saga in which the clocks are ticking to save their magical kind. The worldbuilding is intricate and in the Forestborn world, one tradition spans the 3 realms—an annual Prediction reading offering guidance or warnings for the year ahead; this is the one day each year Rora dreads above the rest. The characters are complex, diverse and Rora and Helos are determined to succeed despite their traumatic pasts; the whole story is a potent blend of self-reflection, grim realities, dark atmospherics and a series of challenges with personal growth and much-needed hope. I see many of my favourite fantasy elements collected in one—danger and action, friendship and romance, high stakes and magic. A slow-burning, enthralling and entertaining tale both of survival and self-discovery. Highly recommended.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Madison Mary

    This book ended up being subpar for me in terms of my YA fantasy standards. It has been two weeks since I finished it and I can now say that the reason why this didn't work for me is because the plot was too slow and it wasn't fleshed out enough. I really enjoyed the magic system, learning about the different magical creatures, and the political intrigue. Rora, our main character, was my favourite character of the novel. I adored her shifter magic! It was so much fun to learn about and it was rea This book ended up being subpar for me in terms of my YA fantasy standards. It has been two weeks since I finished it and I can now say that the reason why this didn't work for me is because the plot was too slow and it wasn't fleshed out enough. I really enjoyed the magic system, learning about the different magical creatures, and the political intrigue. Rora, our main character, was my favourite character of the novel. I adored her shifter magic! It was so much fun to learn about and it was really intriguing to see how she functioned differently to humans and how her upbringing shaped her. She also had so much personality, and she was well fleshed out. That being said, a lot of the other characters didn't feel nearly as developed, which let the story down. I enjoyed the plot twist/reveal at the end of the book-but it did feel like it came out of nowhere. There was a lot going on in this novel and it seemed like nothing was ever fully fleshed out. There is romance but it is extremely, extremely slow-burn and a subplot - which meant that it wasn't developed enough. There is potential for this author in the future, but it is clear that this is a debut. I am unsure if I will continue on.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sage

    I am MAD that this is a duology because I want more IMMEDIATELY 😭 Wow wow wow wow wow I didn’t expect to love this book as much as I did, and I wasn’t sure what I would think of it at the beginning but ASDFGHJKL. Throughout reading, it kind of reminded me of The Queen of the Tearling but I also feel like this book is well above and beyond. I tore through this book because I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next, and I can’t wait to read it again. I really loved all of the magic and the sh I am MAD that this is a duology because I want more IMMEDIATELY 😭 Wow wow wow wow wow I didn’t expect to love this book as much as I did, and I wasn’t sure what I would think of it at the beginning but ASDFGHJKL. Throughout reading, it kind of reminded me of The Queen of the Tearling but I also feel like this book is well above and beyond. I tore through this book because I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next, and I can’t wait to read it again. I really loved all of the magic and the shifters, and thought that Helos and Rora’s sibling bond was so special. Their journey with Weslyn felt very Princess Bride-y with all that they encountered, the mists and the giants etc. The plot twist with Rora’s mother was one I didn’t see coming, and with the neighboring kingdom whose name I can’t remember, and I can’t wait to see how that plays out in Book 2!

  7. 4 out of 5

    _Chaotic_Bookworm_

    Currently in the biggest reading slump ever. I hate school.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Dani Kline

    Wow I am so glad I received this ARC because I am in love with this book. I have a lot to say so buckle up! First things first, I am disappointed that I cannot yet see the map of Alemara that Elayne Audrey Becker herself says is stunning in the Acknowledgements, so I just have to take her word for it until the book is officially released. Okay now on to the actual book. The writing drew me in immediately. Becker's word choice and tone is so captivating and simultaneously haunting and beautiful. Wow I am so glad I received this ARC because I am in love with this book. I have a lot to say so buckle up! First things first, I am disappointed that I cannot yet see the map of Alemara that Elayne Audrey Becker herself says is stunning in the Acknowledgements, so I just have to take her word for it until the book is officially released. Okay now on to the actual book. The writing drew me in immediately. Becker's word choice and tone is so captivating and simultaneously haunting and beautiful. Her writing is just so strong, every word seems to hold so much weight I'd find myself holding my breath for no reason. She's very descriptive and detail oriented, but it doesn't drag out the story in any way. The world building in this book is vital to the plot, and Becker does an incredible job. Every setting is described so that you can picture the entire scene in your head. And the settings are GORGEOUS. All of her characters are very well-written as well. Even characters who don't play an important role leave an impression on you and I was sorry to see some of them go sometimes because I found myself wanting to know more about them. I was especially pleased with the main character, Rora. Many female protagonists in YA novels are not likeable and/or relatable, but I thought Rora was perfect. There is also great relationship representation in this book, including sibling bonds, platonic m/f friendships, romantic m/f and m/m relationships, and parental love. And if you like slow burn angsty romance with a hint of enemies to lovers thrown in, this is 100% for you. Which then brings me to the character of Weslyn. I won't say much because I don't want to include any spoilers (the real reason is because I could talk about him forever and I don't have that kind of time) but I will say the way Becker wrote him was i m m a c u l a t e *chef's kiss* He is my favorite kind of character. Think Mr. Darcy meets Annabeth Chase. I think that speaks for itself. But now I also need to briefly mention Finley, who happens to be Weslyn's brother, because he instantly stole my heart. He immediately gave off Nikolai Lantsov vibes, but closer to sobachka than korol rezni. Helos, Rora's brother, also deserves a mention. However, he was mostly characterized in reference to his relationship with either Rora or Finley, which made sense for the plot, but in the second book I would love to see more of his natural personality. Speaking of, I CANNOT WAIT FOR THE NEXT BOOK! There's so much that still has to happen, and I am impatient. :( Anyway, I could go on about all my favorite super specific tropes included in this story, but I'll spare you. Long story short, 10/10 highly recommend if you like pain :)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Julie - One Book More

    Rora is a shifter who lives among humans who distrust any kind of magic or supernatural ability. A spy for the king, Rora and her brother Helios were taken in by the royal family, and they have become particularly close with the youngest son, Finley. When Finley contracts a deadly disease that is running rampant through the kingdom, the king sends Rora to the magical wilderness she came from to obtain stardust, which should heal the sick. Helios and Finley’s older broth Weslyn accompany Rora on Rora is a shifter who lives among humans who distrust any kind of magic or supernatural ability. A spy for the king, Rora and her brother Helios were taken in by the royal family, and they have become particularly close with the youngest son, Finley. When Finley contracts a deadly disease that is running rampant through the kingdom, the king sends Rora to the magical wilderness she came from to obtain stardust, which should heal the sick. Helios and Finley’s older broth Weslyn accompany Rora on the quest. Throughout the story, the trio must learn how to trust each other, even though they are not close. Their complicated relationships are put to the test as they encounter ever-increasing danger and fight to save their kingdom and people. I loved this story! The fantasy elements are unique and interesting, as is the world-building, and the author’s writing brings this world to life and creates an immersive and engrossing story. Though the plot has elements of the typical young adult quest story, it feels refreshingly unique. The animals, the magic, the terrain, and the other beings Rora, Wes, and Helios encounter are original, surprising, and unpredictable, which makes for an entertaining and suspenseful read. Rora is a fascinating character and is a young woman who never quite feels like she fits in. She, and the rest of the characters, suffer through some very intense situations, including returning to the place where her father was brutally murdered. She shows such strength, intelligence, and bravery, and I love how capable she is even when she is afraid and everything seems hopeless. Rora is also vulnerable and insecure, and she doesn’t feel entirely comfortable in her own skin. I enjoyed all of the layers to her character and was totally invested in her story. I also love the sibling relationship. Rora and Helios have their ups and downs, and they don’t always agree, but their love is unbreakable. They have been through so much together, and they are very committed to protecting each other and staying together. I love the messages about family and the bonds of love. These messages are also shown with the prince and his family. They are all so different, but there is nothing they won’t do for each other, and it is clear that there is a lot of love in his family. There’s a ton of action, political intrigue, a deadly illness, a desperate search through dangerous wilds for a cure, and the uncovering of other shocking happenings during their journey. Loyalties are tested, and the characters have to make many difficult decisions that change the trajectory of their journey and their relationships. I found these aspects of the story really interesting. There’s a wonderful enemies-to-lovers, slow-burn romance that I very much enjoyed. Rora and her love interest appear to dislike each other, but miscommunication and misunderstandings are what led to their strained relationship. As the pair gets to know and understand each other better, they develop strong feelings for each other. However, their relationship is riddled with complications, and I’m curious to see how they handle them as the series progresses. Another relationship is hinted at, and I’m curious to learn more about them and what prompted their separation. Hopefully, we will see more of this pair and their relationship in the next book. Forestborn is a great young adult fantasy, and I would definitely recommend it to readers who like YA quest stories with fantastic world-building and characters. Thanks so much to Tor Teen, Elayne Audrey Becker, and NetGalley for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Madison

    I don’t read fantasy novels all that often, but when I do I usually adore them. Forestborn was no different. It is an incredible quest novel. Our three main characters must travel together through perilous terrain, facing the things that haunt them and the pain from their past to find the rarest of magical powers to save the people they love. There is royalty, magic, very cool unique magical creatures, haters-to-lovers romance and a fantastic twist that I just didn’t see coming. The magic in this I don’t read fantasy novels all that often, but when I do I usually adore them. Forestborn was no different. It is an incredible quest novel. Our three main characters must travel together through perilous terrain, facing the things that haunt them and the pain from their past to find the rarest of magical powers to save the people they love. There is royalty, magic, very cool unique magical creatures, haters-to-lovers romance and a fantastic twist that I just didn’t see coming. The magic in this book is unique, which I liked, as were the many magical creatures that pop up throughout the story. Rora is a shifter. As is her brother. Over time, Rora has shifted into her three different animal forms, mouse, hawk and lynx. Her brother has yet to shift into his third form. After their parents were killed along with all the other shifters in their village, the two siblings survived on their own in the magical forest, before finally finding refuge in Teylan. Now, Rora works for the king, but she and her brother have never really been accepted by the humans that surround them. When a magical plague that is killing humans gets worse and Rora’s best friend Prince Findley falls ill, Rora, her brother and the elder Prince Weslyn journey into the magical forest to find stardust in the hope it will cure the disease. What begins as a simple but dangerous quest morphs into a much bigger plot, with a nice twist. War looms and there are biggest politics and more at stake than we readers and the characters realise at the start of the book. I really enjoyed the romance. While there is little time on their journey for much aside for survival, it does allow Rora to see and learn about another side to the usually standoffish Weslyn. She finally discovers there is more to how he acts and that he doesn’t hate her or her kind, as she once thought. They have to work together to survive. There isn’t a lot that goes their way and we readers are going to have to wait for the sequel to see if their relationship that has only just started can withstand so much loss, grief and distance. There is also the promise of a second romance, should Helos and Finley reunite and work out their differences. Forestborn is well written and genuinely easy to read. It was lovely to return to the magical world that felt a little nostalgic (kind of like Narnia in Prince Caspian) but also entirely unique. I can’t wait for the second book. The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own. Find more reviews, reading age guides, content advisory, and recommendations on my blog Madison's Library

  11. 4 out of 5

    Anatl

    What an incredible ride this has been. It evokes all the feels of fantastic films like The Princess Bride and The Neverending Story (I'm specifically naming the films because the book versions are something else entirely). Our heroine Rora is a shifter who lives among humans who distrust magic and fear it. Still she and her brother Helios make a life for themselves in King Gerar's court. She is particularly close to the King's younger son, Finley. When Finley contracts a deathly plague that is s What an incredible ride this has been. It evokes all the feels of fantastic films like The Princess Bride and The Neverending Story (I'm specifically naming the films because the book versions are something else entirely). Our heroine Rora is a shifter who lives among humans who distrust magic and fear it. Still she and her brother Helios make a life for themselves in King Gerar's court. She is particularly close to the King's younger son, Finley. When Finley contracts a deathly plague that is sweeping the land she and her brother volunteer to track through a magical wilderness in search stardust – a rare, magical substance, that might serve as a cure. They are accompanied by Weslyn, Finley's enigmatic older brother. As they traverse through the dangers of the wilderness Rora and Weslyn slowly bond and develop feelings for each other. I loved everything about this book from the magic system and worldbuilding to the careful character development the relationships' portrayal as well as the pacing and the plot twists. It was all executed superbly. Thank you to Macmillan-Tor/Forge for sending me a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. #Forestborn #NetGalley

  12. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    This book is a 4.5 star for me, I LOVED it! I did get an arc from Edelweiss and the publisher, thank you ☺️☺️. Honestly would highly recommend this book, the writing pulled me in right away and I read through it so quickly. Every chapter I finished I was literally dying to know what happened next and I could not put it down. Great fantasy story, the magic was worked in so well and I was obsessed with a lot of the scenes in the forest, they felt so cool and creative and well written. I was rereadi This book is a 4.5 star for me, I LOVED it! I did get an arc from Edelweiss and the publisher, thank you ☺️☺️. Honestly would highly recommend this book, the writing pulled me in right away and I read through it so quickly. Every chapter I finished I was literally dying to know what happened next and I could not put it down. Great fantasy story, the magic was worked in so well and I was obsessed with a lot of the scenes in the forest, they felt so cool and creative and well written. I was rereading bits of the book bc I enjoyed it and wanted to experience it again. I loved the characters too, they felt so fleshed out and real to me. They all had great arcs start to finish. Rora was an amazing protagonist and her relationship with her brother was so well written. Rora went through some major growth in this too and I was so happy for her! Honestly could not recommend this enough I am so happy I got to read this (and low key sad bc I have to wait extra long for the sequel ☹️). Cannot recommend enough please read this!!!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tilly

    5 Stars WOW - what a book! I received this ARC and wasn't sure what it would be like but I certainly didn't expect this incredible book! Forestborn is about a girl named Rora who is a shapeshifter (can shift into any human they havebseen plus 3 animals) from lands with magic who along with her shapeshifter brother Helos had to flee as orphans and ended up in a land of humans who are wary of those with magic. Rora becomes a sort of spy for the King and her brother is a healer in the town. They are 5 Stars WOW - what a book! I received this ARC and wasn't sure what it would be like but I certainly didn't expect this incredible book! Forestborn is about a girl named Rora who is a shapeshifter (can shift into any human they havebseen plus 3 animals) from lands with magic who along with her shapeshifter brother Helos had to flee as orphans and ended up in a land of humans who are wary of those with magic. Rora becomes a sort of spy for the King and her brother is a healer in the town. They are best friends with Prince Finley who comes down with a magical disease killing many humans. Rora along with her brother and the eldest prince called Weslyn set off on a dangerous journey to the magical lands to see the Giants and collect stardust to heal those affected by the illness. The story is FILLED with magic, magical creatures, danger, twists and turns and some romance. The lead characters are utterly brilliant. Rora is a fierce female! She is so brave and strong yet also shows incredible vulnerability. I adored her straight away and loved seeing how she attacked each obstacle. It was so interesting hearing her point of view when she had shifted in her animal forms (mouse, hawk and lynx). Weslyn is such a mystery and I found him really interesting. I loved how he adapted to his new environments and put his all into everything. The romance (I won't ruin it and say who!) is a slow burn and I loved it! It was realistic and not over the top, it took a backstep to the actual story. I cannot wait for the next book to see how it continues! The writing is incredible. Usually when I am loving a book, I race through it but there was SO much detail and depth in this story that I just had to take my time so I took in all of the story. The imagination behind the magic, creatures, landscape and general storyline is phenomenal. I read a lot of fantasy and yet it's not every day I read something so refreshing and imaginative. I highly recommend this book to all fantasy lovers! As you can see by my rave review, I was blown away by the imagination in this book and loved every second of it. I really recommend preordering this book and supporting this debut author! Out 31st August Please note that I was gifted this book in exchange for an honest review.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Alex (The Scribe Owl)

    See this review and more on my blog, The Scribe Owl! Thank you to Tor Teen for an ARC in exchange for an honest review! 4/5 stars Forestborn surprised me! I didn't think I would like it as much as I did, so that's a bonus, but the story was also different than I expected. It isn't dark, per se, but it is a little bit...gloomier than I expected. That said, I really did enjoy this read. Forestborn served up some moral conflicts with the characters. There was a lot of talk about selfish vs. selfless a See this review and more on my blog, The Scribe Owl! Thank you to Tor Teen for an ARC in exchange for an honest review! 4/5 stars Forestborn surprised me! I didn't think I would like it as much as I did, so that's a bonus, but the story was also different than I expected. It isn't dark, per se, but it is a little bit...gloomier than I expected. That said, I really did enjoy this read. Forestborn served up some moral conflicts with the characters. There was a lot of talk about selfish vs. selfless and how it's not always a black and white concept. The characters themselves were great! Rora was an interesting character, to say the least, and Wes was adorable. Not quite sure what I think about Helos, but I'm sure we'll get some of that later. The writing was fantastic. It set the tone of the story perfectly and had just the right amount of figurative language. The writing style is one thing that never really changes over time for an author, so this is definitely a good sign for this debut author! The one element that really tripped me up was the pacing. For the first quarter or so, it was slow goings. I didn't really like the book yet, and I was barely getting through it. But then that second quarter was nonstop action. Stay-up-until-the-night-becomes-the-morning-to-read action. And then we went back to a lot of walking. It was just a little all over the place, but it's not unfixable for later books. I'm still riding the weird wave of emotions from the end of the book, so please excuse the weird tone of this whole review! It really was a good book, and I can't wait to read the second!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sarah {The Clever Reader}

    I enjoyed this YA Fantasy. It picks up very quickly which dives you into the story and keeps on dragging you in. I liked the world building and can't wait to see more of it in book two. Rora was a great MC. She's fierce and no nonsense but she also knows she's not perfect. I liked learning about her magic and seeing her shapeshift when she needed to. The relationship between Rora and her brother Helos was my favorite. I think it's important to showcase sibling relationships because so many peopl I enjoyed this YA Fantasy. It picks up very quickly which dives you into the story and keeps on dragging you in. I liked the world building and can't wait to see more of it in book two. Rora was a great MC. She's fierce and no nonsense but she also knows she's not perfect. I liked learning about her magic and seeing her shapeshift when she needed to. The relationship between Rora and her brother Helos was my favorite. I think it's important to showcase sibling relationships because so many people can relate to them. It's not always about romantic relationships and I'm glad that wasn't the focus of Rora's journey. Weslyn is such a serious personality. He is opposite of Rora and I think that's why she doesn't understand him in the beginning. It's a classic enemies to lovers slow burn romance for sure. You can tell they grow on each other throughout their journey but it isn't the forefront of the story either which made it more intriguing. I'm curious to see where their relationship goes in book two because there's definitely something there. So much happens in this book and we see so many parts of the world, along with some interesting creatures, but the ending I will warn you is on the sad side. I'm curious to see where the journey takes these three characters next. definitely recommend this to anyone looking for their next YA Fantasy and the bonus of it only being a duology. The wait for book two may be long but at least we know we'll get the answers we're looking for!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Aly

    This book jumps right into the plot and keeps on going. I love when stories just go and you learn what you need to know along the way, it prevents info dumps and slow parts. The main character Rora is a good narrator, she knows she has flaws but loves her brother and friend and will do anything for them. We learn early on that the magic in the world has been receding but there's a strange affliction in it's place that's killing regular humans. When Rora's best friend Prince Finley gets sick, she This book jumps right into the plot and keeps on going. I love when stories just go and you learn what you need to know along the way, it prevents info dumps and slow parts. The main character Rora is a good narrator, she knows she has flaws but loves her brother and friend and will do anything for them. We learn early on that the magic in the world has been receding but there's a strange affliction in it's place that's killing regular humans. When Rora's best friend Prince Finley gets sick, she goes on a search for the cure with her brother Helos and Finley's brother Weslyn. The journey to the western land, filled with magic and dangerous creatures, was my favorite part. The trio avoid scary creatures, deadly plants, and water that causes hallucinations. I enjoy survival type stories and I hope that we learn more about shifters, forest walkers, and the other magical people in the sequel. There's a slow burn romance that is really well done. It's there in the background, but not the biggest part of the plot. I appreciated the enemies to lovers relationship, even if it's more of an intense dislike than outright hatred. Weslyn comes across as rude and aloof, but he carries a large burden and seeing Rora realize that was sweet. I already can't wait for the sequel! There are so many open threads to be tied up and I think we'll get to see a war before the end.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Gabriella Crivilare

    Thank you to Tor and NetGalley for providing this eARC in exchange for an honest review. *"Fear is just a story waiting to be told. Learn the story and remember every part of it so you can tell me."* Rora has many things to fear: her past, her former home—and that the general populace of the kingdom will discover that she's a shifter, a person with magic who can take on any human form and three different animal forms by using the matter around her. For the past few years, each of the three kingdo Thank you to Tor and NetGalley for providing this eARC in exchange for an honest review. *"Fear is just a story waiting to be told. Learn the story and remember every part of it so you can tell me."* Rora has many things to fear: her past, her former home—and that the general populace of the kingdom will discover that she's a shifter, a person with magic who can take on any human form and three different animal forms by using the matter around her. For the past few years, each of the three kingdoms on the continent has produced the same prophecy on the day of the Prediction: *Two shifters death*, which has generated distrust toward all the forestborn. Unfortunately, that pronouncement coincided with the arrival of Rora and her brother, Helos, in the kingdom. Despite this, Rora and Helos managed to make friends with the youngest member of the royal family, Prince Finley—the one person Rora can truly say is a friend. And then he falls ill with the same magical disease that she has been tracking for the king. The only solution is for Rora to travel back to the home she fled, to search for stardust. As she fears, she gets more than she bargains for. Our protagonist, Rora, is wonderful. She is deeply loyal once she trusts a person, a survivor, and emotionally complex in a huge way. Since the book is told from her point of view, we are privy to all her conflicted feelings about her relationship with her brother, with Finley, with Wes, and with her own past and nature. I appreciated the fact that she struggled with what she deemed her own selfishness— but in reality were difficult choices in even more difficult circumstances—and I thought that the author dealt with her guilt and trauma very well. The next best character, however is the Vale itself. The depiction of this wild, magic-imbued land is incredible. The terrain shifts and rearranges itself, creates deceptions, and is truly treacherous. The atmosphere that the author creates is simultaneously beautiful and alarming: a meadow is the setting for some perilous moments, and the destination that contains the stardust the characters seek is home to one of the best segments of the story. I didn't expect the political element to come in so strongly towards the back half of the novel, but it utterly delighted me. The foreshadowing was really well done, and now that I know there will be a sequel, I'm excited to see where it leads. I also loved the way magic works in this world and how it ties everything together. As for the relationships—what can I say? I loved them. The slow burn was so slow it even snuck up on me, and I keep an eye out for that kind of them! Rora's bond to Helos can't be overlooked; their trust of each other is so strong that I can feel it myself. And let's not forget the one relationship that I hope is on the mend. There is one sole element that bugs me, and it is literally just a matter of personal preference: occasionally the male characters are described as wearing suits or button-down shirts, and that yanked me out of the fantasy. Obviously there are fantasies where clothing we'd wear in the real world is common, but to me it felt surprisingly out of place every time. Luckily, it wasn't that many times! And like I said, it's a trifling issue, and one that won't stop me from buying a copy and rereading when the book releases. Because this book absolutely belongs on my shelf, and yours. If you love a classic quest narrative, political intrigue, an interesting magic system that gets its tendrils into every aspect of the story, or characters who struggle but are good-hearted and above all are willing to do anything for the ones they love, you're in for the book of your dreams. #ForestBorn #Netgalley

  18. 5 out of 5

    Alex | alexwithabook

    Forestborn is hands down going to be on my top reads of 2021 list. I will be shouting from the rooftops for everyone to pre-order this book and anxiously awaiting any and all announcements regarding the sequel to this incredible fantasy novel. Becker has created a spectacular world filled with the most mystifying magic. The atmospheric writing style will transport readers directly into dazzling and dangerous landscapes alongside the characters as they traverse the unpredictable magical realm and Forestborn is hands down going to be on my top reads of 2021 list. I will be shouting from the rooftops for everyone to pre-order this book and anxiously awaiting any and all announcements regarding the sequel to this incredible fantasy novel. Becker has created a spectacular world filled with the most mystifying magic. The atmospheric writing style will transport readers directly into dazzling and dangerous landscapes alongside the characters as they traverse the unpredictable magical realm and face off against adversaries of all kinds. In this book, the land is a character in and of itself, which is a a concept that I am completely fascinated by, and Becker's impeccable execution makes this a huge home run. If you are a fan of land- or nature-based magic systems, you will fall in love with the Vale and all of the secrets it holds. Next to the magic, my other favorite element of this book is the character development, particularly with Rora. In Rora, we are given an incredibly imperfect and realistic main character. Her fears and insecurities were things that I was easily able to identify and connect with. Throughout the story we get to see her wrestle with her past failures, the ways she has been hurt, and the negative lens through which she views herself. Parts of her story were difficult to read because they felt so real. She is strong and capable but also flawed and lacking a sense of self-worth. I love the journey we get with her in this book and I am really looking forward to seeing where book two will take her. The pacing of this book is on the medium to slow side but not at all in a bad way. There is plenty of action and intrigue to keep the plot moving forward. I did feel at times that shorter chapter lengths might have helped the pacing a bit, but it was by no means a hinderance to the story. It was also sometimes difficult to keep track of how much time had elapsed since the start of the book so more indication on that front may have been useful as a reader. If you're a fan of slow burn romance, this is the book for you. I was here for the tension that building excruciatingly slowly throughout the book, it was so well done and did not feel forced or fabricated at all. I loved how natural it was and how every change in Rora's thoughts or feelings made complete sense. I don't know if I'd fully consider this one "enemies to lovers" but it is probably as close as you can get without being true enemies. I also cannot wait to see where these relationships go in the second book. Basically, I need book two like yesterday. I will definitely be ordering a copy of this to keep on my shelves and I hope you do as well. Forestborn is a book like none other I have read and it has completely captured my heart.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Callum

    This book is incredible! I was intrigued by it from the moment I read the synopsis, and I was lucky enough to win an ARC in a giveaway hosted by the author. There is so much to talk about when it comes to Forestborn. It has everything from enemies-to-lovers romance, to political intrigue, and incredible writing. I’m going to focus on my three favorite things: 1. The magic system/world building! Right from the start I was sucked into this world and I fell in love with the magic and the lore around This book is incredible! I was intrigued by it from the moment I read the synopsis, and I was lucky enough to win an ARC in a giveaway hosted by the author. There is so much to talk about when it comes to Forestborn. It has everything from enemies-to-lovers romance, to political intrigue, and incredible writing. I’m going to focus on my three favorite things: 1. The magic system/world building! Right from the start I was sucked into this world and I fell in love with the magic and the lore around it. I love that the main character’s shifting ability comes from experiences in their lives, and how there are limits to their powers/abilities that come up several times throughout the book. And the history in this world is so rich and detailed (which I think adds a lot to the political intrigue!). I think the most unique thing about Forestborn’s magic system is that the magic is sentient—or, it is described as having a mind and desires of it own. This is a big part of the book so I won’t say anymore, but I loved it. 2. The characters! Every character in this book is so interesting. It doesn’t matter which side they are on, every one of them is compelling and I want to learn so much more about each and every one of them. My opinions on so many of the characters changed while reading, and I cannot wait to see how they develop even further in the next book. And the main character, Rora, has some of the BEST character development I have ever seen. Her journey is incredible. 3. The writing! The writing in this book is mesmerizing. So much of Forestborn is about magic and nature, and the details and description throughout the book add so much to this. I want to badly to write about my favorite scene, but it is such a huge spoiler!!! I could see everything in this book perfectly in my head and UGH!!! It is just so good! I do not have the words to write about how good the words in this book are!!!! If you love intricate magical systems, political intrigue, enemies-to-lovers romance, characters who go on incredible journeys, luscious writing, and having your heart broken and healed again and again then Forestborn is for you! I am going to be screaming about this book for forever so you might as well read it now!!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Meredith Katz

    Forestborn is an extremely strong debut work. It's powerfully written, with a strong and deeply flawed protagonist, Rora, and some very unique fantasies. I liked the strange details of things like how the shapeshifters could only assume three forms, and that they didn't pick them -- they responded to the first three times that person needed another form to deal with a situation, and no more. It has periods of deep whimsy, but also periods of extreme darkness -- think issues of (view spoiler)[gen Forestborn is an extremely strong debut work. It's powerfully written, with a strong and deeply flawed protagonist, Rora, and some very unique fantasies. I liked the strange details of things like how the shapeshifters could only assume three forms, and that they didn't pick them -- they responded to the first three times that person needed another form to deal with a situation, and no more. It has periods of deep whimsy, but also periods of extreme darkness -- think issues of (view spoiler)[genocide (hide spoiler)] -- and it doesn't pull the punches on the dark parts to try to stay 'in line' with the earlier cute or whimsical elements. It's not flawless -- the story arc is somewhat predictable in places, there is a bit of overindulgence in infodumping (and not always in places where it seeds the twists that come later), and there is a tendency for the characters to be put in situations they can't deal with and have something convenient happen to move the story along (whether that convenient thing is good or bad), such as (view spoiler)[a mist that takes them to wherever they need to be next (hide spoiler)] . But it's unique, and interesting, and feels like it's approaching some common fantasy tropes in a fresh way with a new perspective. Beyond that, the real strength of Forestborn is in the character relationships. Rora's fragile relationship with the two princes, and her damaged relationship with her brother, and her brother's relationship with the princes, and the princes' relationship with each other and with the shifters -- none of them are easy, or simple, and the way the romance develops for Rora is also quite nicely done and really sold me. One note: I was very surprised to hit the 95% mark and realize that this was not a standalone. In retrospect, I see it says it on the Netgalley page ("the first in a new fantasy series') but that text doesn't appear in the book itself itself or on its goodreads page. In addition, there's no series name, no 'book one', etc etc. This isn't an issue with the book but with the marketing, but one does read differently when expecting the challenges introduced at the start of the book to be resolved by the end, so go in knowing this yourself. I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    A rich, detailed fantasy world with an epic journey through a magical (and terrifying forest). I felt compelled to keep reading, but certain details and parts of the story dragged a bit. Lovers of high fantasy and immersive worlds will love this story.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Simone

    This has got to be one of the best stories I've read in a really long time. It wasn't perfect, but it still really blew me away with its storytelling, its world-building, the intrigue, the romance, and everything else it has to offer. I can't wait to tell you about this one because despite it being a YA novel, it read very adult and quite extraordinary! Rora is a shifter who's in the employ of the king. When the king's son (her best friend) becomes ill with a magical disease, she sets out with he This has got to be one of the best stories I've read in a really long time. It wasn't perfect, but it still really blew me away with its storytelling, its world-building, the intrigue, the romance, and everything else it has to offer. I can't wait to tell you about this one because despite it being a YA novel, it read very adult and quite extraordinary! Rora is a shifter who's in the employ of the king. When the king's son (her best friend) becomes ill with a magical disease, she sets out with her brother and the king's other son to find the cure. While on their journey, they're also to investigate what's happening with the kingdom in the North of theirs. Because in this world, magic isn't liked very much and one of the kings is trying to eradicate its existence from the very map. While Rora, her brother Helos, and the king's other son Weslyn travel through the world to find a magical cure, they're met with some interesting magical creatures, fight some soldiers from the other side, and really see what's happening with the kingdom in the North. I truly fell in love with this story, its magic, and the characters. Rora was such a relatable character. While I can't shapeshift and I'm not a spy for the king, I loved that you read every waking thought she has in her brain. It was interesting to see how she thinks and how she plans her moves because when she shifts into the different animals or when she's changing her face to disguise it, it really helps play out the scenes in your head. I loved that aspect the most. The woods and nature were definitely a huge component of the book as you read Rora and company journey to find the magical cure. I loved seeing them getting lost in the woods, finding massive lakes, searching through caves, and being transported by magic. It was such an immersive world with all types of magical creatures. I thought it was clever Elayne Audrey Becker made you fall in love with these woods before she shared the bigger political plot taking place. And the plot itself is such a twist! I loved finding out more about this world and what's happening in it. Of course, I won't spoil it for you but it was definitely surprising and one of the bits that really blew me away. I want to read the next book just to find out more on what happens with the bigger plot. I think the only issue I had was that there were some really inopportune moments to go into backstory. Because you're reading the book through Rora's perspective, you read a lot of what Rora's thinking, especially in the middle of a conversation. I found myself reading this sad backstory about Rora and her brother only to be clueless why someone gave a one-line answer. It turned out the question was a page and a half ago right before Rora went into this story about her life. It wasn't the worst flaw, but it did still bug me enough to note it in my review. Overall, this was such an adventure the likes of LOTR. I'm so glad I read it right after The Return of the King because I think I really love long journeys and adventure stories the most. The woods were definitely my favorite part and I can't wait to return to them in the second book.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kari

    My Review Of FORESTBORN By Author Elayne Audrey Becker Gifted & Published by TorTeen On Sale: 8/31/21 - Pre-Order Link in my Bio ***** The mystical worlds the Author has created have now come to a crossroad. The story catapults you into an incredible world of fantasy that is so perfectly vivid. The writing is wonderfully detailed and you can imagine yourself standing there. While the three different Kingdoms rule their own people on the same continent, one has decided they no longer want anyone born My Review Of FORESTBORN By Author Elayne Audrey Becker Gifted & Published by TorTeen On Sale: 8/31/21 - Pre-Order Link in my Bio ***** The mystical worlds the Author has created have now come to a crossroad. The story catapults you into an incredible world of fantasy that is so perfectly vivid. The writing is wonderfully detailed and you can imagine yourself standing there. While the three different Kingdoms rule their own people on the same continent, one has decided they no longer want anyone born of magic and gives the other Rulers an ultimatum. If they don’t rid their lands of shape shifters, people of magic or healers…he will then declare war against them. The Author creates an unexpected narrative because not all the Rulers feel the same and some have friendly relationships and partnerships with those who possess magic. It is feared that magic will again fracture their lands and further spread the magic plague that has been killing humans who become afflicted. And so the King sends his son alongside two shape shifters that he’s kept under his wing since they first appeared in his Kingdom, in hopes to obtain Stardust. This could be the cure that not only could help others but help his other son who has been hit with the magic plague. They must endure a perilous trek and must get it done before the timeline runs out where they must answer the Ruler who plans to declare war. If they are all healthy, the King plans to fight to keep magic in their realms. The Author's strong imagination carries you and the story through to the very end. You don’t want to miss how this all plays out.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Dana

    {3.5 stars} Another fantasy world where those with magic are feared and exiled, but right in the King's court hiding in plain sight is Rora. Serving as a spy for the King she is sent on a mission to negotiate with the giants for stardust. Stardust to stop a magic plague and save the King's son who also happens to be the love of her brother's life. For the trip, Rora and her brother are saddled with the King's elder son who despises them. Enter witty banter and strife for their journey through the {3.5 stars} Another fantasy world where those with magic are feared and exiled, but right in the King's court hiding in plain sight is Rora. Serving as a spy for the King she is sent on a mission to negotiate with the giants for stardust. Stardust to stop a magic plague and save the King's son who also happens to be the love of her brother's life. For the trip, Rora and her brother are saddled with the King's elder son who despises them. Enter witty banter and strife for their journey through the wilderness. Along the way they suffer all sorts of hardships and realize that the battle against magic is much more widespread and personal than they ever knew. The first quarter of this story was quite an information dump as we get familiar with this world. It's worth sticking with as once they start their journey the action is good. The journey reminded me a lot of Frodo and Sam on a selfless mission facing all manner of danger. I enjoyed the read although it's fairly formulaic YA fantasy. I liked the characters and their magic. I wished the ending was less of a cliffhanger and more of a natural end. I promise, I'll read your second book, you don't need to give me an aggressively sad ending with overtures to a much bigger adventure. Thanks to Netgalley for a copy of this novel. All opinions are my own.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Meg

    *ARC provided by both NetGalley and The Publisher in exchange for an honest review* This book was good. The story itself is interesting, with a lot of interesting conversations (selfishness vs selflessness, trust etc.), and it had just the right amount of magic in my opinion. I really liked the central relationship - mild enemies to lovers but done well, it didn't feel rushed to me, and I'm generally not a fan of the trope. I will say that the Fin & Helos relationship is very much in the backgroun *ARC provided by both NetGalley and The Publisher in exchange for an honest review* This book was good. The story itself is interesting, with a lot of interesting conversations (selfishness vs selflessness, trust etc.), and it had just the right amount of magic in my opinion. I really liked the central relationship - mild enemies to lovers but done well, it didn't feel rushed to me, and I'm generally not a fan of the trope. I will say that the Fin & Helos relationship is very much in the background, but I'm hoping it will be developed more in the second book. I liked the quest, the magical forest setting, and the variety of characters we meet along the way. It is clear that a lot of thought has gone into the worldbuilding in this book, and that is definitely a positive. The pacing and structure felt a little off to me, but I think it was likely an attempt to ensure everything was set up for the next book, and so won't be as noticeable once the series is complete. Alone, I'd say this book is a 3.5/5, but it has huge potential to be 5 stars alongside the next book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ellie

    Forestborn follows a shifter named Rora, who works as a spy for the human King Gerar. Over the course of her travels, she learns of a mysterious, magical illness – the Fallow Throes – which is sweeping across the kingdom. The Throes come with telltale symptoms, but there is no cure. Catch the Fallow Throes, and you’re already dead. Rora’s life is upended when she discovers her best friend and the younger Prince, Finley, is infected too. Desperate for a cure, the King asks Rora to delve deep into Forestborn follows a shifter named Rora, who works as a spy for the human King Gerar. Over the course of her travels, she learns of a mysterious, magical illness – the Fallow Throes – which is sweeping across the kingdom. The Throes come with telltale symptoms, but there is no cure. Catch the Fallow Throes, and you’re already dead. Rora’s life is upended when she discovers her best friend and the younger Prince, Finley, is infected too. Desperate for a cure, the King asks Rora to delve deep into the Eastern wilderness in which she grew up in hopes of finding stardust – a rare, magical substance, and the only thing that has a chance of healing Finley. The only problem: she swore never to return there again, after fleeing four years ago. Willing to try anything though, to save her dearest friend, Rora agrees to the King’s request and journeys to her homeland, accompanied by her brother, Helos, and Finley’s brooding older brother, Weslyn, and the rest of the plot follows from there. Rora made for such an endearing protagonist. She’s kind but gritty, hardened by her past and distrust of others (and other’s distrust of her!), and flawed with a self-awareness I haven’t seen from many other heroines. She’s not always selfless like she might want herself to be, instead choosing her own survival over that of others, even those she loves. Despite this, I couldn’t help but feel drawn to her. I loved the relationships in this book – both the familial and the romantic. Rora’s bond with her brother Helos was so touching, and learning more and more about their past and joint struggles as the plot progressed just made me want to wrap them in a blanket and protect them from the world. The two of them have been through so much during their time in the Vale, and though the events of the book continued to test their relationship and change their beliefs about the other, their loyalty remained steadfast. Going into Forestborn, I knew two things: the romance in this book was enemies-to-lovers (aka my favourite trope) and a slow burn. Unfortunately, I have zero patience, so slow burns are especially torturous for me. Despite my wanting all the romantic action sooner than would have made logical sense, I loved the slow development of Rora and Weslyn’s relationship – their friendship, first, that slowly began edging towards something else. Their bonding scenes were probably among my favourite in the book, watching the two of them learn and grow to understand each other and generally become closer in this crazy magical forest that seems determined to stop them in their tracks at every turn. Granted, their relationship is a slow burn, and so while I know they won’t go straight from 0-100 in the sequel (relatively speaking, given how and where this one ends), I’m really looking forward to seeing how things progress further. I loved every aspect of Forestborn, but I think the magic system and worldbuilding might just be my favourite. Maybe. It’ll probably change every time someone asks me. Can you tell how much I love this book yet? In the book, there are many kinds of magical beings, but shifters are the ‘main ones’. Shifters have the ability to turn into any human being they’ve seen before, but they can only do so for a limited time as they have to borrow matter to do so, and so after a few days this can become especially strenuous. My favourite part about the magic system was the animal shifting; as well as being able to shift into humans, shifters also have the ability to change into 3 animal forms (yes, only 3), which they gain throughout their life at times they need them most. There’s also a very interesting prophecy that features in Forestborn. Rora and Helos’ kingdom, Telyan, is 1 of 3 in this world that delivers prophecies on the same day each year. On the day that Rora and Helos arrived in Telyan, after fleeing the Vale, the Queen suffered a terrible accident and died, and since the year after, all 3 kingdoms’ prophecies have matched: “two shifters death”. This prophecy goes on to be repeated year after year, reinforcing the humans’ fear of the shifters and other magical beings. Magic systems and prophecies aside, I adored the settings of Forestborn. This book is a gateway to the outside world – albeit a magical one – at a time when it’s imperative to stay inside. Between Becker’s lush, atmospheric writing style and the wilderness setting of the Vale, this book is a treat for nature lovers and anyone who longs for the great outdoors. If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ll know by now that I’m rubbish at describing scenery and settings, and so I think the greatest endorsement I can give to this book is that it made me want to change out of my pyjamas and go for a walk in the woods (albeit a safe, non-magical one that isn’t trying to kill me) – and I’m a couch potato if ever you’ve seen one. I really don’t think I can give a better compliment, and I commend Elayne for trying to convert me. Maybe one day when I reread Forestborn she’ll succeed… maybe. Equally heartwarming and heartbreaking, Forestborn is a magical tale of family, bravery and love, and simply put, is nothing short of perfection. Becker is certainly an author to watch, and I cannot wait to watch her career blossom. CW (not guaranteed to be an exhaustive list, just the ones I thought of/noticed): abandonment (by parent), blood, corpses, death (of parent and others), drowning, illness, violence. Thank you to Tor Teen for sending me a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  27. 4 out of 5

    mith

    Ive long since stopped keeping up to date with books, but this was one of the few I was intrigued by and actually excited to read. Considering how my last read was so inexplicably disappointing, I’m so happy that this one wasn’t the same. I really enjoyed this debut and now I’m sad that I actually have to wait another year for a sequel!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Laura Rueckert

    I loved the worldbuilding in Forestborn, especially the different forest dwellers! In terms of characters, I really liked Rora and Weslyn’s relationship, and also Rora and Helos’s, and how both relationships changed with time and understanding. I also enjoyed the examination of what it means to be selfish and selfless. Forestborn is perfect for readers who love creative worldbuilding and dark elements.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Amrita Goswami

    The ideas were interesting, and I really enjoyed the descriptions of the Vale. Forestborn had a bit too much angst for me to enjoy in my current mood. I don't feel an overwhelming urge to grab the sequel, even though this installment basically ends on a something of a cliffhanger. The ideas were interesting, and I really enjoyed the descriptions of the Vale. Forestborn had a bit too much angst for me to enjoy in my current mood. I don't feel an overwhelming urge to grab the sequel, even though this installment basically ends on a something of a cliffhanger.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kelsey

    Wow. When I first started reading Forestborn I was slowly falling into the world building and the characters, but it didn’t take long for me to be completely in love with Forestborn. This book is a pure fantasy book that is written exceedingly well. The writing is a dream, the characters are so well developed, the world building is almost effortless, and visuals of the Vale live in my head rent free. Rora and Helos are sibling shifters, who were orphaned young and have outlived so much hardship. Wow. When I first started reading Forestborn I was slowly falling into the world building and the characters, but it didn’t take long for me to be completely in love with Forestborn. This book is a pure fantasy book that is written exceedingly well. The writing is a dream, the characters are so well developed, the world building is almost effortless, and visuals of the Vale live in my head rent free. Rora and Helos are sibling shifters, who were orphaned young and have outlived so much hardship. The Royal Danofers are a complex royal family that I absolutely LOVE. And there were plot twists I DIDN’T SEE COMING and I live for that!! I laughed and I cried, god did I cry. Rora is a special character that I will carry in my heart. She’s a character that means something. I read that last page and I just knew that when I turned it, there wouldn’t be anything on the next page- and I just cried. I cannot wait to see how Rora’s journey plays out, and you best believe after finishing this book- Elayne Audrey Becker is going on my auto-buy authors list. Thank you for this story Becker. THANK YOU!

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