Title: Willa of the Wood
Author: Robert Beatty
Publication Date: July 10, 2018
Move without a sound. Steal without a trace.
Willa, a young night-spirit, is her clan’s best thief. She creeps into the cabins of the day-folk under cover of darkness and takes what they won’t miss. It’s dangerous work–the day-folk kill whatever they don’t understand–but Willa will do anything to win the approval of the padaran, the charismatic leader of the Faeran people.
When Willa’s curiosity leaves her hurt and stranded in the day-folk world, she calls upon the old powers of her beloved grandmother, and the unbreakable bonds of her forest allies, to escape. Only then does she begin to discover the shocking truth: that not all of her day-folk enemies are the same, and that the foundations of her own Faeran society are crumbling. What do you do when you realize that the society you were born and raised in is rife with evil? Do you raise your voice? Do you stand up against it?
As forces of unfathomable destruction encroach on her forest home, Willa must decide who she truly is, facing deadly force with warmest compassion, sinister corruption with trusted alliance, and finding a home for her longing heart.
As a long-time Robert Beatty fan I was both anxious and excited to enter Willa’s world. Would I love it as much as Seraphina? Would I only be thinking of Seraphina and friend the whole time?
I’m happy to say that I did love this book and I once I started reading, I was fully immersed in this new world and didn’t look back once.
Beatty’s writing is captivating, with descriptions that make the reader feel they’re in the forest and I held my breath when Willa was trying to be silent. The tension was off the charts!
I know I did say I didn’t compare to Seraphina, because I didn’t, but if you loved how the supporting characters developed not only the main character but important elements of the story, then you’ll be charmed by this story as well. Each character, whether human, Faeran, or animal, play a key part.
WILLA IN THE WOODS checked off all my loves in a book: Magic, Mystery, Enchanting Setting, and Heart.
While the expected magic is in the witchcraft, the gorgeous magic is in the world itself, in the trees and the mountains and the animals. And it wouldn’t be a Beatty book without the suspense and twists and turns. This story is so appealing and encourages the reader to FEEL, but while I do say it has heart, it is expectedly a bit scary, dark, and violent, so I will put that out there.
It also teaches a lesson without beating the reader over the head with it. Willa is a feisty character who has been taught to think a certain way about many things. Her story can inspire readers that they’re never too young to find out who they are and develop their own beliefs in what is right and what is wrong. To be an accepting, caring person.
I’ve already passed this into a few young hands and expect to be handing it on for years to come.