Seven Endless Forests
Seven Endless Forests

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Annotation: A gorgeous YA standalone companion novel to the hit fantasy, The Boneless Mercies, again centering female power and heroism.
Catalog Number: #209453
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Hot Title Hot Title
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2020
Pages: 352
Availability: Available
New Title: Yes
ISBN: Publisher: 0-374-30709-1 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-7464-3
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-374-30709-7 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-7464-2
Dewey: Fic
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
Tucholke weaves another story, beautiful and ancient in feel, of Vorseland in this stand-alone companion to The Boneless Mercies (2018). Whereas the latter reimagined Beowolf, this refashions the legend of King Arthur. The lives of sisters Torvi and Morgunn are torn asunder by the arrival of Uther and her roving pack of wolf-priests, who perversely crave screaming and fire. Leaving the sisters' home in flames, they abscond with Morgunn, igniting soft-hearted Torvi's desire to rescue her sister. Torvi joins up with a druid searching for the legendary sword of Esca and a band of Butcher Bards that also craves revenge on the wolf-priests. As they follow Uther's trail, they trade stories and songs, and Torvi engages in a good deal of soul-searching. References to the Arthur legend loosely make their way into the narrative sword lodged in a stone tree, Mort Darthur River, a wizard who unlocks the path to Avalon t even readers without an intimate knowledge of the legend will fall beneath Tucholke's spell. A lovely tale of quests and camaraderie.
Kirkus Reviews
This stand-alone companion to Tucholke’s The Boneless Mercies (2018) reimagines the legend of King Arthur—with a twist.Eighteen-year-old narrator Torvi and her 14-year-old sister, Morgunn, are the only survivors of the devastating plague that swept through their steading. Torvi especially aches for her mother and Viggo, the shepherd who captured her heart. The arrival of a druid named Gyda shatters their quiet existence: She claims to be on a quest for a magical sword and that Uther, the fearsome wolf-queen of the feral wolf-priests, can lead her to it. The sisters jump at the chance to join her. Torvi’s mother always told her that she was too softhearted and not destined for greatness, but Viggo insisted that she smelled of “dark forests, of gloomy caves, of exotic spices, of danger, of battle, of sacrifice, of hard-won victory.” When Morgunn is kidnapped by Uther and her pack, Torvi vows to rescue her. Joined by a band of wandering, knife-wielding artisans, they set out for the long journey, picking up new quests and allies along the way. Tucholke delivers exquisite worldbuilding and imaginative characters, and Torvi’s tale is packed with peril and no small amount of sacrifice—even a touch of romance. Her story also speaks to the joy found in spending time with loyal friends as well as the power and magic of storytelling. Readers won’t want this one to end. All characters seem to be white.Simply stunning. (map) (Fantasy. 14-18)
Publishers Weekly
In this elegant YA fantasy inspired by Arthurian legend and ancient Norse culture, a young woman embarks upon a dangerous quest to rescue her sister, who-s been taken by a ruthless band of roving wolf-priests led by a power-hungry she-wolf. After softhearted Torvi, 18, loses both her mother and lover to a seasonal plague, all she has left is her restless younger sister, Morgunn. When Morgunn vanishes, Torvi and her new friend, the druid Gyda, join traveling entertainers the Butcher Bards, setting forth across a hazardous world populated by unpredictable characters and punctuated by weird magic, such as such as spells conveyed by fire, bones, or whistling. As they pursue the wolf-priests, who leave a trail of slaughter in their wake, Torvi and Gyda are drawn to a new quest: they search for a long-lost sword that could grant them great power and privilege. In this loose standalone follow-up to The Boneless Mercies, Tucholke conjures a mythic, richly described landscape that serves well as the backdrop for familiar names and concepts. The strong focus on found family and feminine strength further enhances this tale-s emotional impact. Ages 14-up. Agent: Tracey Adams, Adams Literary. (Apr.)
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up Set in the same world as The Boneless Mercies , Tucholke's latest will win readers with a bold, female-led fantasy filled with sisterhood, swords, and adventure. After their farmstead is decimated by plague, Vorselander sisters Torvi and Morgunn head out on a quest. Legend has it that the girl who pulls out a sword embedded in a stone tree is fated to become the ruler of a forgotten kingdom. But when Morgunn is kidnapped by Uther, a charismatic female wolf-priest, Torvi finds herself on a rescue mission. The thrill of Tucholke's fast-paced novel stems from the complex world-building and lush, evocative language. The culture is Scandinavian-inflected but very much original, with sagas, tales, and customs sometimes hinted at, sometimes explored. With woman-led farms, priesthoods, and egalitarian bandit-bands as the norm, female freedom is so ingrained that Torvi and Morgunn take their right to learn, explore, fight, and love as a given. This world has a comforting physicality. Characters are constantly touching, not only in fulfilling sexual relationships, but through the embraces between friends, the nudges of comrades, the tumble of combat. Despite the recurrence of Arthurian names, the connection is tenuous in comparison to the rich creativity of Tucholke's narrative. VERDICT This will delight older teens looking for an exciting, immersive, and original feminist fantasy. Katherine Magyarody, Texas A&M University, College Station
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
This stand-alone companion to Tucholke’s The Boneless Mercies (2018) reimagines the legend of King Arthur—with a twist.Eighteen-year-old narrator Torvi and her 14-year-old sister, Morgunn, are the only survivors of the devastating plague that swept through their steading. Torvi especially aches for her mother and Viggo, the shepherd who captured her heart. The arrival of a druid named Gyda shatters their quiet existence: She claims to be on a quest for a magical sword and that Uther, the fearsome wolf-queen of the feral wolf-priests, can lead her to it. The sisters jump at the chance to join her. Torvi’s mother always told her that she was too softhearted and not destined for greatness, but Viggo insisted that she smelled of “dark forests, of gloomy caves, of exotic spices, of danger, of battle, of sacrifice, of hard-won victory.” When Morgunn is kidnapped by Uther and her pack, Torvi vows to rescue her. Joined by a band of wandering, knife-wielding artisans, they set out for the long journey, picking up new quests and allies along the way. Tucholke delivers exquisite worldbuilding and imaginative characters, and Torvi’s tale is packed with peril and no small amount of sacrifice—even a touch of romance. Her story also speaks to the joy found in spending time with loyal friends as well as the power and magic of storytelling. Readers won’t want this one to end. All characters seem to be white.Simply stunning. (map) (Fantasy. 14-18)
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
ALA Booklist (3/1/20)
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal (3/1/20)
Reading Level: 5.0
Interest Level: 9-12

In Seven Endless Forests , the gorgeous standalone companion to the critically acclaimed fantasy The Boneless Mercies, April Genevieve Tucholke spins a bold and blood-hungry retelling of the King Arthur legend that is perfect for fans of Naomi Novik, Garth Nix, and Laini Taylor. On the heels of a devastating plague, Torvi's sister, Morgunn is stolen from the family farm by Uther, a flame-loving Fremish wolf-priest who leads a pack of ragged, starving girls. Torvi leaves the only home she's ever known, and joins a shaven-skulled druid and a band of roaming Elsh artists known as the Butcher Bards. They set out on a quest to rescue Torvi's sister, and find a mythical sword. On their travels, Torvi and her companions will encounter magical night wilds and mystical Drakes who trade in young men. They will sing rowdy Elshland ballads in a tree-town tavern, and find a mysterious black tower in an Endless Forest. They will fight alongside famous Vorseland archers and barter with Fremish wizards. They will feast with rogue Jade Fell children in a Skal Mountain cave, and seek the help of a Pig Witch. They will face wild, dangerous magic that leads to love, joy, tragedy, and death. Torvi sets out to rescue a sister, but she may find it's merely the first step toward a life that is grander and more glorious than anything she could have imagined.


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