Review of Forestfall by Lyndall Clipstone

At the lake’s edge, I made my promise. In the forest, I will fall.

The curse that haunted Lakesedge Estate has been broken, but at great cost. Violeta Graceling has sacrificed herself to end the Corruption.

To escape death, Leta makes a desperate bargain with the Lord Under, one that sees her living at his side in the land of the dead. And though he claims to have given her all he promised, Leta knows this world of souls and mists hides many secrets.

When she discovers she is still bound to Rowan, Leta goes to drastic lengths to reforge their connection. But her search for answers, and a path back home, will see her drawn into even more dangerous bargains, and struggling to resist the allure of a new, dark, power.

When I read Lakesedge I was instantly pulled into its dark and gothic fairytale, so I was looking forward to returning to the world with Lakesedge. Sadly, for me, this book did meet the standard set in book 1. Starting with the positives though, Lyndall Clipstone is certainly able to write beautifully. The words are a masterclass in lyrical and atmospheric creativity, lush descriptions bring you into the world so completely that you almost can feel the cold and the dark, the woodsmoke and surroundings. It was a delight to read in places, although it did feel much more like traditional high fantasy over the more gothic tones of Lakesedge.

I found Leta a very difficult protagonist to get behind this time, I just didn’t enjoy her character. Her behaviour changes felt very sudden and the indication of a love triangle was just bizarrely played out.There was a lot of repetition as the story just went round and round in the same circle and because I was not invested in Leta’s plight I struggled to come back to the book a lot. I think perhaps this was, in my opinion, a one book story or would have been better served entirely from Rowan’s point of view. The Lord Under felt lacklustre this time, rather than the chilling menace of Lakesedge, although I did enjoy the introduction of his sisters and how Leta’s tithes to them played into the greater story.

I really wanted to love Forestfall but alas, not every book can be for everyone. It truly was beautifully written but that wasn’t quite enough for me on this occasion.

Thank you as always to Titan Books for sending me a copy for review.

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