Thank you so much to NetGalley and Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) for letting me read Seven Endless Forests by April Genevieve Tucholke early! I really wanted to read her book Boneless Mercies (which I haven’t done yet…), so when I saw Seven Endless Forests on NetGalley, I jumped at the chance to read it. Unfortunately, this wasn’t really the book for me, but there were some really cool aspects to the book, so keep reading to find out about those!
Seven Endless Forests 3/5 Stars
Summary from Goodreads: 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.
So let’s start out with the really cool things about this book- the world is amazing! There are some really cool characters and the lore and the world building and the food and all of that stuff is amazing and I loved it. But unfortunately, at my core, I’m a plot driven person and I didn’t feel like I had a really good grasp of the plot in this book. It was boring for me- BUT I know a lot of people are not as plot driven as I am and they love reading about worlds and cultures and characters. This book honestly reminded me a lot of the Night Circus in the way it was for me while I was reading it- hard for me to get through, but I know that there are so many people out there who would love it. I had a hard time connecting with any of the characters or the plot and the pacing was not my favorite. I’ve read some other people compare it to Naomi Novik novels (I’ve never read any of her books), so maybe if you like her books or if you liked the author’s other books or slower paced books in general that are more focused on the world than the plot, then you might really enjoy Seven Endless Forests.