About Books #63: The Secrets of the Wild Wood

There’s something about the colder months that makes me just want to go back to some old favorites. The good thing about that? It’s that at times, those old favorites end up surprising you in the best possible way. And that was definitely the case for The Secrets of the Wild Wood!

I was offered an ARC of this book via Edelweiss in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed are strictly my own.

The Story

One of the King’s most trusted knights has vanished in the snow, so young Sir Tiuri and his best friend Piak must journey into the shadowy heart of the forest to find him. The Wild Wood is a place of mysteries, rumours and whispered tales. A place of lost cities, ancient curses, robbers, princesses and Men in Green.

As the darkness surrounds him and reports grow of secret plots and ruthless enemies, Tiuri finds himself alone and fighting for survival – caught in a world where good and evil wear the same face, and the wrong move could cost him his life…

The Opinion

I don’t know why, but I feel like there’s just something about autumn and winter that makes people want to read longer books. The kind of books that set up worlds so intricate that you find yourself lost in them. The kind of stories that have you actually gasping for air.

The Secrets of the Wild Wood is 100% that book. And the funny thing is, it’s *officially* a children’s book, but it honestly doesn’t read like one. I mentioned this when I reviewed A Letter for the King as well: Tonke Dragt manages to set up a world that is captivating. Where you get an introduction to the worlds, the “politics” and the people of the world of Dagonout, Unauwen and Eviellan in A Letter for the KingThe Secrets of the Wild Wood just drops you into an entire part of that world that even the main characters didn’t know existed.

An additional bonus: the first book focuses on the journey Tiuri is on. This second book has, in a way, an echo of that journey. It adds to that, however, so many levels of intrigue, of new characters – even of different narrators. And all of that is woven together masterfully by the author.

A special note has to go here, as it did in my review for the first part, to the translator. Again, this is a book I first read in its original language, Dutch. Now, translating a book with this level of plottwists? That can’t have been easy. However, the English version manages to stay so true to both the tone and the details of the original version, that I didn’t really feel like I was reading a translation. As a matter of fact – half of the time, I didn’t even feel as if I was reading at all!

The Rating: 5/5

I’d say it’s pretty obvious that I thoroughly enjoyed this book, if not more than just that. So if you like an adventurous book? The kind that’s perfect to read under a blanket, to enjoy with a hot cocoa? The type of story that will grab you and not let you go? In that case, well… I honestly can’t recommend this book enough. I absolutely loved it, and I hope you will too! (Goodreads)

-Saar