Book Review, Middle Grade Fiction, Young Adult

The Forest of Ghosts and Bones by Lisa Lueddecke

Running away from their past or running towards their destinies? Beáta, Liljana and Benedek are three strangers with a powerful bond.  Readers will be drawn into this story of inner strength and revelation of truths just as the characters are drawn towards the mysterious castle of dark magic and death. What is the invisible thread that links them to the castle and to each other? Will they be able to make sense of the lives they have already lived and find a future of hope and peace or will the evil that’s growing devour their power and rule the land forever?

Inspired by Hungarian myths, Lisa Lueddecke has created a mystical world containing a dark castle haunted by memories of the past, poisonous rains, and a forest of lost souls, shadows and spectres.  Cleverly written from a dual point of view, readers journey with Beáta and Liljana through their individual hardships and quests for truth. Intriguing secondary characters are woven into the story revealing the folklore and prophecy that drives the complex plot. Readers feel a part of the adventure as life hangs in the balance and the characters must risk everything to defeat the evil surrounding them. 

Acceptance of identity is a strong theme running through this story. Both Beáta and Liljana have to come to terms with their own powers and how others react to them. Societal fear of magic, punishment of those who are different and the confusion of being unique drives each girl to set off on a quest to find out who she is meant to be and realise her true potential. As the Eve of the Saints approaches and evil grows around them, they have a choice – a choice to be true to themselves and accept their gift or to turn away from it all and give in to the lure of power and darkness.

The Forest of Ghosts and Bones is a magical young adult fantasy set in a detailed world of politics, religion, fear and hope. With many aspects of a brilliant Middle Grade adventure combined with the edginess of death and darkness more typical of Young Adult fiction, this incredible story will appeal to a wide range of readers.

Thank you to Scholastic for this fascinating story!

Click on the cover below to find out more or purchase on-line from Amazon.

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