Wednesday, September 21, 2011

In the Forests of the Night, by Kersten Hamilton

After successfully making it out of Mag Mell, Teagan starts to come to terms with the fact that she is Highborn, and it is unlikely that being in love with Finn will ever work out.  It is in their nature to be enemies.  Yet Teagan starts to realize it is not Finn she is warring with, but herself.  She starts to realize that even as a Highborn, she has a choice which side to fight for, good, or evil.  As her goblin cousins begin terrorizing Teagan's family and friends, she becomes determined to fight for good.  And Finn is determined to not let her do it alone.

In the Forests of the Night is the second book in the Goblin Wars series.  Let me be completely clear in that you must read the first book if you have any hopes of anything making a scrap of sense.  And even if you do read the first book, things may not make much sense.

Like the first book in the series, this book draws heavily on celtic folklore, particularly the darker aspects.  To me, the words, creatures, and tales described are so obscure and quite difficult to wrap your mind around.  I personally find it difficult to read a book with a lot of words I cannot pronounce because they have foreign origins, so that really frustrates me about this book.  Perhaps in the final edition (this was an ARC I had) there is a glossary with a pronunciation attached.  If not, there should be.  It would make life in this fantasy world so much easier.

In terms of the story, I thought it started out slow, then about half way through the book it really picked up.  This story focuses more on the interaction between Teagan's real world life and the effects of being tied to Mag Mell.  I actually quite liked this aspect, and found it endearing that her non-magical friends would be so loyal as to fight creatures they cannot even see, all to protest Teagan.  We also learn a lot more about Teagan's family, their mystical ties, and their abilities.  

I know these books are wildly popular, but I am still having a difficult time seeing the extreme appeal.  They are good fantasy books, but quite dark for young adult fiction.  I would never have read the first two books in the series had I not first been bombarded with hype over the first book.  If given the opportunity, I probably will read the final book in the series once it comes out, simply because I have now invested time in Teagan as a character and want to see her fate.

I received this book for review as part of the Amazon Vine program.

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