SFF

The Butcher of the Forest

Tor.com Feb. 2024. 160p. ISBN 9781250881786. pap. $18.99. FANTASY
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Veris Thorn once rescued a child from the rapacious Elmever Forest and knows better than to ever enter it again. But she’s forced to relive her nightmare when the equally rapacious Tyrant forces her back to the forest to rescue his adventurous children. Veris has one day to get them out before the Tyrant burns her village and the Elmever takes all their souls. But the Elmever wants the only thing from Veris that she can’t give, and the price is as monstrously high as it was the first time she escaped. In Veris’s soul-searching and redemptive rescue quest, there’s a constant struggle between her desire to save these children as she could not save her own and her fear that they will become just like their father the Tyrant, who is responsible for the deaths of her family. She’ll have to face the past as well as the monsters of the forest.
VERDICT The latest from Mohamed (No One Will Come Back for Us) is recommended for readers of magical-bargain and forest-journey novels, such as Emily Tesh’s “Greenhollow” duology and Peter S. Beagle’s The Way Home.
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