*We received this book in exchange for an honest review.*
In a Dark, Dark Wood is the fourth book in The Forest Tales series and takes place in the Kingdom of Ebonwood. While we recommend reading this series in order, they are standalones!
In the last book, Mazarine, we learned that Marilee left her home Kingdom of Kirdsortt because her parents were planning on marrying her off to the Prince of Ebonwood. With Marilee still “missing,” Calia sees it as an opportunity to provide safety to her younger sisters. Desperate for food and shelter, Calia makes a deal to go to Ebonwood in Marilee’s place, as long as her sisters are cared for. Since Calia looks similar to Marilee, the deal is accepted and before she knows it, Calia is on her way to the dark and gloomy kingdom to marry a mysterious prince.
Brone doesn’t want to get married. He loves his solitude and doesn’t see the need to have someone else around. But when Calia arrives, Brone grows suspicious. Ebonwood is known for its hostile monarchy and if anyone finds out Calia’s secret, she’ll be in danger. Will she be able to keep up this charade or will pretending to be someone else prove to be too difficult?
We’re happy to report that Cece Louise has done it again. We had a lot of fun on this fantasy adventure with Calia and Brone. While it’s not our favorite in The Forest Tales, that’s Mazarine, we thoroughly enjoyed going back to this world.
We admired Calia’s strength and duty to her family. She had no problem putting herself at risk if it meant protecting those she loves. With Brone, we weren’t sure what to think of him at first since he’s reserved. But we eventually found him to be kind, protective and inventive. We also enjoyed the fact that Louise showcased Brone’s disability and called out ableists, who include Brone’s own father.
While we don’t want to give too much away, Calia and Brone found themselves in some tense and dangerous situations. The two have to learn to work together…or else! Also, we thought we had everything figured out when Louise gave us a big plot twist near the end. Without spoiling anything, someone is not who they seem.
We started reading Louise’s books in 2019 with her release of Desperate Forest and continued with The Jabberwocky Princess. We’re excited to read more of the books in this fun and exciting series. If you’re looking for a new indie author to support, we recommend picking up Louise’s books ASAP!