Book Reviews, Misc, XPresso Tours

Book Review: Northwoods Magic by Desiree LaFawn

***This book was reviewed for XPresso Book Tours.

It has been ten years since Quinn Reynolds was attacked in the Northwoods, or Lake Superior National Forest, by a dark being intent on draining her magic. Even as the forest’s Green Man guardian was rushing to drive out the malignance, Quinn’s magic had woken, and sought to protect her and preserve itself. The golden magic dispersed the dark energy, and transformed a nearby raven into a young man to protect the unconscious Quinn. The Green Man granted raven-boy the gift of speech, and sent him off with Quinn, to Happ House, the closest human habitation.

Ten years. Ten long years, and they’ve not been kind to Quinn. The accident and it’s bizarre aftermath shattered her foster family, and have left her too afraid to socialise with others in person for fear of what may happen. The decade hasn’t been kind to Corbin either. The raven-boy gave up his birdhood, the life he knew, to keep watch over Quinn. But she was taken away to the hospital, and never returned, unintentionally abandoning him.

Yet now Quinn has returned, hoping to find the truth of what happened that long ago night. Can she and Corbin work together long enough to learn that truth? What magic is stirring among the land, seeking to finish the job left undone a decade ago? What magic lies slumbering in Quinn, wakened enough to call to the green world in its slumber and have it respond? When things come down to the wire, Quinn will be required to make a life-shattering choice. Good of the many, or the one. Can she make it?

The prologue very repetitive, which was off-putting. Once we moved into the actual story, the earlier chapters had a bit of the same repetitiveness, but as the book progressed, things flowed more smoothly. I appreciated the attention to Quinn’s personality. An orphan who inadvertently caused her foster parents to divorce, and a person who was treated as delusional by some and a freak by others for the reaction of plants to her, would be very low in the self-worth and confidence departments. So, too, was attention paid to Corbin’s conflicting emotions of anger at abandonment, and the need to protect Quinn and how both that, and his previous existence as a raven, would have shaped his own personality. Overall, the characters felt well-drawn and real.

I enjoyed the mythology woven in. The Green Man was awesome with his sarcasm. I do think more attention could have been given to secondary and tertiary characters to anchor them a bit better. Description is where Northwoods really shone for me. It was easy to engage my senses with the story. I look forward to reading more in this series

???? Recommended if you enjoy Kagawa’s Iron Fae series, or Pierce’s Trickster series

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