Title: Desperate Forest
Author: Cece Louise
Series: The Forest Tales
Page Length: 240
Publication Date: July 2, 2019
Synopsis: Enter a forest full of danger, secrets, and romance . . .
Princess Roselynn has never longed for adventure. For nineteen years, her life has been safe and comfortable. Until her father is murdered, and she discovers a plot to end her life. Hoping to find safety in the arms of her fiancé, she flees to the perilous Eternity Forest.
When Roselynn meets brash Jay, she begrudgingly joins forces with a group of outlaws. Unsure of her new companions, she’s especially puzzled by Jay’s tough exterior and conflicting actions. Soon, she discovers everyone has their own purpose—and secrets.
Can Roselynn save her kingdom and be reunited with the man she loves, or will she lose everything to the dark forest?
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Princess Roselynn is desperate. Her life is in danger, and she must flee her home. She flees into the dangerous Eternity Forest in the hopes of reaching her fiancee, the King of a neighboring kingdom. She is certain that he will keep her safe.
She just has to make it through the forest alive.
Roselynn is rescued by a mysterious traveler (who I love!!!) and reluctantly continues her journey with him and his group. They are a dynamic group, and each has their own way to contribute – cooking, hunting, healing. Roselynn must figure out where she fits in and who her allies are.
This is a new and empowering experience for Roselynn. Though she is fleeing for her life, she is also free from the constraints of the castle. She has an opportunity to figure out what she really wants and who she really wants to be with.
I think this is why she connects to Jay and the group. They were all trapped by societal situations, and they are all fleeing from something. They share the stresses and fears of traveling through the Eternity Forest toward freedom and safety, and they all have secrets. Their unique situations present some powerful messages about trust, fitting in, freedom, and love.
There is a wonderful romance amidst a creative and fantastical setting. Roselynn has to examine her feelings for her fiancee as her feelings for the mysterious Jay develop.
Can she trust Jay?
Can she trust her fiancee?
Roselynn has been betrayed by people close to her, and she has lost trust. It is fascinating to see Roselynn gain more confidence in herself and her abilities and learn to trust again. She is an intelligent, compassionate, and loyal young woman, and these qualities aid her in personal growth.
Though some of the story suggests a possible love triangle, the chemistry between Roselynn and Jay is palpable. They challenge each other and make each other want to be better. I like how they bring out the best in each other, and that, even though they are so different, they are also quite similar. They are both stubborn, loyal, and brave. They both value family and friendship, and they both find pleasure in helping and connecting with others.
This is a wonderful and vivid page-turner. I actually read the second book in the series, Jabberwocky Princess, first, but it did not matter. Both books are standalone stories (though I did notice that two characters from this story make an appearance in the second book).
I loved them both and think you will too!
- interesting protagonist
- unique and fantastical setting
- great love story
Readers who enjoy young adult fantasies and coming-of-age stories will enjoy Desperate Forest as will people who like happily-ever-afters.