Forestborn, by Elayne Audrey Becker
Imprint: Tor Teen
Publication Date: August 31, 2021
Page Count: 368 pages
*I received an e-arc from Netgalley and Terminal Tours free of charge, and my opinions are completely my own.*
TO BE BORN OF THE FOREST IS A GIFT AND A CURSE.
Rora is a shifter, as magical as all those born in the wilderness--and as feared. She uses her abilities to spy for the king, traveling under different guises and listening for signs of trouble.
When a magical illness surfaces across the kingdom, Rora uncovers a devastating truth: Finley, the young prince and her best friend, has caught it, too. His only hope is stardust, the rarest of magical elements, found deep in the wilderness where Rora grew up--and to which she swore never to return.
But for her only friend, Rora will face her past and brave the dark, magical wood, journeying with her brother and the obstinate, older prince who insists on coming. Together, they must survive sentient forests and creatures unknown, battling an ever-changing landscape while escaping human pursuers who want them dead. With illness gripping the kingdom and war on the horizon, Finley's is not the only life that hangs in the balance.
MY TEN FAVORITE QUOTES FROM Forestborn:
It’s strange to watch him interact with his people, the lightness in his bearing so unlike the rigid way he storms around Castle Roanin...But every time he greets another one by name, all I can think about is the fact that he’s never called me by mine since the day he asked what it was. And somehow, that hurts worse than if he didn’t know it at all.
Fear is just a story waiting to be told. Learn the story and remember every part of it so you can tell me.
I’d yank that quill from her grasp and snap it in two, if I didn’t think that would crack the kingdom as well.
In fishing harbors and community halls, the people of Telyan whisper that one look from his red-brown eyes will give strength in the darkest of times. But I know that is a lie...I have seen the way he looks at me.
But we cannot revive the past any more than we can escape it. And my brother and I are beyond empty promises.
Maybe that’s all I am - a cobbled-together collection of features. The eyes, the nose, the fingers, the skin - all of it changeable. None of it enough to earn their loyalty any more than it earned my mother’s love.
It’s wrong. So wrong. Helos is the good one. Helos is hope. And here he is, transforming himself into a weapon.
Selflessness requires sacrifice. The meaning is clear, and I do my best to absorb the words and prioritize them above my mounting concerns.
Today feels like freedom...from danger, from worry - and the sensation is as unfamiliar as it is welcome.
I have spent so many years fearing the danger in this stretch of land, I had forgotten there’s beauty in it, too. Beauty, and life.
I enjoyed reading Forestborn - a good adventuring story across a fantasy world always grabs my attention if done right. Forestborn starts in that direction and maintains it, but doesn’t necessarily excite me as much as I would have wanted it to. Now please know: there was absolutely nothing to dissuade me enjoying Forestborn. I honestly think that it would have scored higher if I had been in the mood for an adventuring story rather than my latest phase of romance/queer literature. Forestborn hits all of my usual fuck-yes-points: the sibling dynamic between Helos and Rora is fantastic, we have a reluctant enemies-to-lovers arc, we have a queer relationship, we have fucking magic! It just didn’t hit for me as much as it would have/will at another time.
Are you still not sure about reading Forestborn? Well, if you like these books:
Little Thieves, by Margaret Owens (coming out 10/19)
Blood and Honey, by Shelby Mahurin
The Princess Will Save You, by Sarah Henning
Unchosen, by Katharyn Blair
Beyond the Ruby Veil, by Mara Fitzgerald
Then you’d definitely want to grab a copy of Forestborn!
Excited to read Forestborn yet? I feel you. The super awesome thing is that Forestborn is out in just four days! You can preorder a copy from your local bookstore or library, or you can get a copy online. Click on these buy links and you can get your own copy at.
Many thanks to Terminal Tours for allowing me to join the Forestborn book tour! You can check out the rest of the tour stops on their Tour Schedule webpage.
ELAYNE AUDREY BECKER is a storyteller with a passion for history, myth, mountains, and magic. She holds a BA from Vassar College and an MSc from the University of Aberdeen and has worked as an editor at a New York publisher. Born and raised in Georgia, she grew up with a lake and woods as her backyard, spending long days outside and visiting national parks with her family.