December 03, 2021

#BookReview: Into the Heartless Wood by Joanna Ruth Meyer

Synopsis: The forest is a dangerous place, where siren song lures men and women to their deaths. For centuries, a witch has harvested souls to feed the heartless tree, using its power to grow her domain.

When Owen Merrick is lured into the witch’s wood, one of her tree-siren daughters, Seren, saves his life instead of ending it. Every night, he climbs over the garden wall to see her, and every night her longing to become human deepens. But a shift in the stars foretells a dangerous curse, and Seren’s quest to become human will lead them into an ancient war raging between the witch and the king who is trying to stop her.


Rating: 3 Stars
My Review:  This was a story for simple readers.  The story was overly slow and very lyrical.  I did enjoy the beginning but by the middle I was slogging through the story.  I did finish it and the ending was pretty satisfying but I don't think that I would reread this one.  I would also say if you are thinking of grabbing it to maybe try the library first. 

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up-This book takes readers into a world of fantasy mixed with 19th-century technology. Meyer tells the story from two perspectives, Owen Merrick and Seren. Owen lives near the wood-the wood that killed his mother. Legend has it that a witch charmed the trees to harvest souls for her heartless tree. It is dangerous to go near the wood, and there's an unmistakable magic that takes people who dare to step foot there. Yet Owen finds himself in the wood, against his father's will, to spend time with a tree siren named Seren. Seren has a tumultuous past that intertwines with Owen's, but she still wants to be with him. Written in the stars is yet another prophecy of the Soul Eater, while a war is raging on between the king and witch. Will Owen and Seren be able to find their happy ending? The beginning of this fantasy starts strong, with Owen's perspective written in prose and Seren's voice written in free verse. The story easily catches readers up with the fantasy world and its history, yet compels them to find out more. Readers will easily anticipate the outcome, but it comes to a slow and overly-complicated ending. Secondary human characters have a range of skin tones, though Owen's is unspecified. VERDICT A captivating fantasy story that takes readers on a journey, yet leaves them hanging in the end.-Paige Kostelyk, DeMotte Christian Grade Sch., INĪ±(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


* "[W]onderfully imaginative...Into the Heartless Wood is easy to get lost in and hard to come back from, thanks to Meyer's excellent world building." ―BookPage, starred review

"Into the Heartless Wood is an intense and haunting fairy tale tinged with horror, romance and magic, and filled with beautiful imagery of nature and love… gorgeously written, deeply intense and emotionally fulfilling." ―Shelf Awareness

"A captivating fantasy story that takes readers on a journey..." ―School Library Journal

Uprooted meets The Little Mermaid in this gorgeously atmospheric and literally heart-wrenching monster girlfriend story.” ―Rosamund Hodge, New York Times bestselling author of Cruel Beauty

“Brimming with lush prose, endearing characters and soul-stirring stakes, Into the Heartless Wood is reminiscent to Seren’s siren call―completely irresistible.” ―Rebecca Ross, author of Sisters of Sword & Song

"A luminous, impassioned fairytale, alternately dark as choking briars and shot through with pulsing starlight. You may enter the Heartless Wood with your soul intact, but you'll surely leave a piece of it behind." ―Laura E. Weymouth, author of The Light Between WorldsA Treason of Thorns, and A Rush of Wings

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