The Drowned Woods by Emily Lloyd - Jones is an excellent and well-written showcase of an otherwordly, stand-alone fantasy that packs a narrative with topics that examine power and accountability, all intricately woven into a story of an ensemble of unlikely characters and misfits undertaking a risky heist with high stakes, imbued with dark magic, folklore elements, and a victory that they get to share if they succeed.
The characters are well-developed with grounded backstories, as they bring the book alive with witty comebacks and emotional moments shared among them. There's also a touch of romance and an adorable corgi who's impossible not to get emotionally attached to.
All in all, The Drowned Woods is a gorgeous and intricate fantasy that deserves its laurels and praises. A 4-star read for me.
All thanks to TBR and Beyond Tours for the complimentary review copy, and for choosing me as one of their tour hosts. I'm also grateful for their kind consideration despite posting my review behind the book tour schedule. For other reviews, you may check my fellow book-bloggers and their tour spots through this link.
Book Title: The Drowned Woods by Emily Lloyd-James
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publishing Date: August 16, 2022
A magical, ethereal fantasy from IndieBound bestselling author Emily Lloyd-Jones.
Once upon a time, the kingdoms of Wales were rife with magic and conflict, and eighteen-year-old Mererid “Mer” is well-acquainted with both. She is the last living water diviner and has spent years running from the prince who bound her into his service. Under the prince’s orders, she located the wells of his enemies, and he poisoned them without her knowledge, causing hundreds of deaths. After discovering what he had done, Mer went to great lengths to disappear from his reach. Then Mer’s old handler returns with a proposition: use her powers to bring down the very prince that abused them both.
The best way to do that is to destroy the magical well that keeps the prince’s lands safe. With a motley crew of allies, including a fae-cursed young man, the lady of thieves, and a corgi that may or may not be a spy, Mer may finally be able to steal precious freedom and peace for herself. After all, a person with a knife is one thing…but a person with a cause can topple kingdoms.
The Drowned Woods—set in the same world as The Bone Houses but with a whole new, unforgettable cast of characters—is part heist novel, part dark fairy tale.
About the Author:
Emily Lloyd-Jones grew up on a vineyard in rural Oregon, where she played in evergreen forests and learned to fear sheep. She has a BA in English from Western Oregon University and a MA in publishing from Rosemont College. She currently resides in Northern California, where she enjoys wandering in redwood forests. Her young adult novels include Illusive, Deceptive, The Hearts We Sold, The Bone Houses, and the forthcoming The Drowned Woods. Her debut middle grade, Unseen Magic, will release in 2022.