I would like to thank one of the authors A.M. Wright for sending this to me for free for an honest review.
This tells the story of twins Hans and Greta who live in the village of Krume that is plagued by a witch known as the Shrike. No one has even seen the witch, but when her victims are claimed she leaves their heart on the doorstep of their loved ones. As the witch continues to pick off the men of the village soon accusations and rumours create the worst damage, a lot like the witch trails of the past, fear grips the townsfolk and before they know it Greta and Hans are faced with two deadly options.
Greta must die or the siblings face banishment into the haunted woods that surrounds them. Into the witches territory.
This book switches between both characters POV, although this is more Gretas story which is a shame, as I would have liked more from Hans. Hans gets marked by the witch, and as they travel deeper into the wood he starts to change, he seems visibly ill, his strength weakening. Not to mention the mental side effects, he can constantly hear the witch, can feel her, see her when she's not there.
Whilst in the wood the Shrike torments them both with hallucinations, creatures of her own making and many other magical tricks in a bid to break and separate them. As the story continues we do find out more about the witch, but hopefully if a sequel comes, we'll find out more about the darkness at the heart of the forest.
Whilst I enjoyed this book, there were a couple of things that didn't quite tick my boxes. I've already talked about wanting more from Hans and experiencing the journey from his perspective. Gretas personal journey still needs some work. She is clearly a brave, fierce and loyal person who has hidden herself away in the family home, but when it comes to her brother there is nothing she wouldn't do to protect him and keep their little family together.
There where times in this book when she is repeatedly told how brave she is and strong but it forever seems like shes wiping away tears and trying not to cry. If there is a second book, which I hope there is, I want to see her come alive more. She is willing to go to hell and back, take on the Shrike and her magic for Hans. I want to see her grow and become more confident.
Thank you once again A.M. Wright for sending me a copy to review.
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