June 01, 2022

#BookReview: Forestborn (Forestborn, #1) by Elayne Audrey Becker


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.


Rating: 4 Stars
My Review: Although parts of this one was slower and a little draggy I still enjoyed the read. And I am glad I have book two.  The characters were great and the fantasy aspect worked well. 

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up—Rora is a shifter, a magical person who can change into whoever she wants, as well as three animal forms. Because of the Prediction that warned of two shifters bringing about death, and a general distrust of those with magic, Rora finds herself scorned by many of the people she encounters. Nevertheless, she dutifully serves the kingdom of Telyan as a spy and gathers information on a new magical disease called the Fallow Throes that is killing humans, but not their magical counterparts. When Finley, Rora's closest friend and one of the crown princes, falls ill with the disease, Rora is tasked with finding a cure…which can only be found in the Vale, the dangerous forest that Rora once called home. As she makes her way through the Vale, she discovers what might be the beginning of a sinister plot to eradicate all of the forestborn and magical beings. This book is both a journey of self-discovery and a survival story. As many of the characters are fighting both the dangers of the Vale and the insurgence of an enemy, readers should be aware that some graphic scenes may be upsetting. The worldbuilding does an excellent job of transporting readers to new lands and introducing them to the diverse cast of characters, who have a variety of skin tones and sexual orientations. Though the writing is strong, the description-heavy passages sometimes hinder the pacing, making for an atmospheric, but at times slow, read. VERDICT An epic high fantasy adventure with highly descriptive worldbuilding that is sure to please fans of the genre but may deter those looking for a fast-paced read.—Myiesha Speight, Towson Univ., Baltimore  --This text refers to the hardcover edition.

About the Author

ELAYNE AUDREY BECKER (she/her) is a storyteller with a passion for history, myth, mountains, and magic. She holds a B.A. from Vassar College and a master of science from the University of Aberdeen, and she has worked as an editor at a New York publisher. Born and raised in Georgia, she grew up with a lake and woods as her backyard, spending long days outside and visiting national parks with her family. Forestborn is her first book.  --This text refers to the paperback edition.

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