ARC Review: Edgewood by Kristen Ciccarelli

About the Book:

Title: Edgewood

Author: Kristen Ciccarelli

Page Length: 384

Publication Date: Jan. 18, 2022

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Synopsis:No matter how far she runs, the forest of Edgewood always comes for Emeline Lark. The scent of damp earth curls into her nose when she sings and moss creeps across the stage. It’s as if the woods of her childhood, shrouded in folklore and tall tales, are trying to reclaim her. But Emeline has no patience for silly superstitions.

When she learns her grandfather disappeared from his nursing home, leaving only a milky orb in his wake, the stories Emeline has always scoffed at suddenly seem less foolish. After searching for him almost everywhere, Emeline finally succumbs to the call of Edgewood, entering the forest she has spent years trying to escape.

Emeline finds herself in the court of the fabled Wood King himself. She makes a deal—her voice for her grandfather’s freedom. Little does she know, she’s stumbled into the middle of a curse much bigger than herself, one that threatens the existence of a life she has worked so hard to forget.

With the help of a handsome and brooding tithe collector, a surly blacksmith, and a lost childhood friend, Emeline sets out to not only save her grandfather’s life, but to right past wrongs, and in the process, discover her true voice.

LINKS:     Goodreads    |      Amazon    |  

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My Review:

Edgewood is a fantastic and immersive story with a unique storyline and several surprising twists and turns. I love the author’s writing style. It has a way of pulling you into the story, especially when in the mysterious forest and fae realm. Curses, magic, amazing fantastical creatures, kings, castles, and magical lands create a unique and immersive setting.  It is vivid and well constructed, and it’s so easy to imagine this beautiful and terrifying world that Emeline enters.

Emeline has a unique connection to the woods.  A nineteen-year-old with a gift for singing, Emeline’s voice calls to the forest, and it is as if the woods are reaching out for her.  Emeline knows she must enter the woods to find her grandfather, as he’s been tithed to the Wood King. As Emeline tries to find the Wood King and her grandfather, she learns more about her ties to Edgewood, the curse that plagues the land, and the people who inhabit it.  Emeline goes through a complicated and emotional journey, and she learns more than she ever bargained for.  

Speaking of bargains, Emeline makes one with the Wood King, which leads her on a treacherous and potentially deadly journey.  Hawthorne, the Wood King’s tithe taker, aids her in her quests, but his true intentions are unclear.  He comes to her rescue over and over again, yet he has many secrets, and Emeline fights her growing feelings for the mysterious man who should be her enemy.  Emeline’s tasks grow more dangerous as the story progresses and the mysteries unfold.

Other characters that Emeline meets while in the woods are compelling, especially Hawthorne’s friends.  They add so much to the novel, and their individual stories are really intriguing.  Often, Emeline (and the reader) isn’t sure who is friend and who is foe, and there are certainly many grey characters for her to be wary of. 

There is a romance in the story that has a lot of chemistry and angst. Many issues and secrets stand between Emeline and her love interest, but their connection is profound.  I liked how their relationship grew, and the romantic tension between them was fantastic.  They are not perfect, and both make mistakes in their relationship, but they also show the lengths they will go to for each other.   I thought their love story was wonderful – generous, self-sacrificing, and immense.  

I also like how the author twines relatable issues into this fantasy story.  Emeline’s grandfather, for example, has Alzheimer’s and often doesn’t remember Emeline.  The author explores the realities of Alzheimer’s with delicacy, empathy, and honesty, and I think many readers will be able to relate to Emeline and her grandfather’s perspectives. Other themes that stand out include following your dreams and the importance of family, friendship, and love.  

Edgewood is a wonderfully immersive read, and I was captivated from beginning to end.  I highly recommend it to readers who enjoy YA or NA romantic fantasies, and I’m so thankful to NetGalley, the author, and publisher for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. 


Rating:

Favorite Parts:

  • The fantasy elements.
  • The twists and turns – there are some surprising reveals!
  • The romance.

Favorite Lines:

When people underestimated you, it was easy to turn the tables on them.

Dreams, she realized now, had shadow sides. Dreams came with costs.

Recommendations:

13 thoughts on “ARC Review: Edgewood by Kristen Ciccarelli

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