Thursday, July 12, 2018

Willa of the Wood by Robert Beatty ~ Review & Giveaway

Escape into the story of a brave and unusual girl brimming with the ancient powers of the forest. From Robert Beatty, the author of the #1 New York Times best-selling Serafina books, comes a thrilling new series filled with the history, mystery, and magic of the Great Smoky Mountains. Kirkus Reviews described WILLA OF THE WOOD as "A moving, atmospheric journey of hope."

Move without a sound. Steal without a trace.

Willa, a young night-spirit, is her clan's best thief. She creeps into the cabins of the day-folk under cover of darkness and takes what they won't miss. It's dangerous work--the day-folk kill whatever they don't understand--but Willa will do anything to win the approval of the padaran, the charismatic leader of the Faeran people.

When Willa's curiosity leaves her hurt and stranded in the day-folk world, she calls upon the old powers of her beloved grandmother, and the unbreakable bonds of her forest allies, to escape. Only then does she begin to discover the shocking truth: that not all of her day-folk enemies are the same, and that the foundations of her own Faeran society are crumbling. What do you do when you realize that the society you were born and raised in is rife with evil? Do you raise your voice? Do you stand up against it?

As forces of unfathomable destruction encroach on her forest home, Willa must decide who she truly is, facing deadly force with warmest compassion, sinister corruption with trusted alliance, and finding a home for her longing heart.


This is the kind of story that draws you in and holds you captive!  It's the kind of story I would have loved as a youth.  

Willa loves the woods.  She protects them from the humans even as she steals from them.  That's how she survives.  Raised to belief deeply in the magic and strength of the Smoky Mountains, her world is not flat, not round but mountains.  

The author has a magical style that draws you in and has you wondering about what people believe compared to what is.  It's one of those books that's beautiful in its ability to make you think.  Willa grew-up believing one thing about her people and about the humans.  But life isn't always what one has been taught.  And figuring that out what it is really is the point of growing up.

Willa is a well developed character with a deep love of the animals around her.  She is compassionate and strong.  A small woodpecker she helps and the wolves who help her are put a small example of her adventures.  But it is strangers coming together that really makes this story come alive.  A magical journey to see that others have a different (not bad) way of doing things.  As the twists and turns of this one conclude, it's been a satisfying journey.  

I haven't read this author before so I didn't have any expectations.  I'm glad I took the time to check it out and enjoy the magic in it's pages.  It's definitely a good one for middle grade but could be enjoyed by all ages.


Val is giving away her ARC of this book!

US only

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  1. Yes, I enjoy them and just finished reading Front Desk a middle grade debut author's book.

  2. Some of the Middle Grade books I do enjoy :)

  3. I do enjoy some that sound intriguing. That way I can recommend them to my friends with kids.

  4. I like reading middle grade books. They are often very creative and imaginative.

  5. Yes, especially ones that engage me this one sounds fabulous!

  6. I'm a 6th grade teacher and like to have books like this on my classroom shelf!

  7. Middle Grade books are fun to read because they take me back to the times of teenage angst and coming of age stories.