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Into the Heartless Wood
by Joanna Ruth Meyer




Overview -

The forest is a dangerous place, where siren song lures men and women to their deaths.

Deep in the wood lives a witch queen and her eight tree siren daughters. For centuries, they have harvested souls to feed the heartless tree, using its power to grow their ever reaching kingdom of ash, birch, and oak.

Owen Merrick lives at the edge of the forest, mapping the stars for the king in his father's observatory. For years, he has resisted venturing over the garden wall, until one day he must enter the woods to find his missing sister. But one of the witch's tree siren daughters, Seren, decides to save his life instead of end it. Now, no matter how hard he tries, he can't stop thinking about her -- the birch-bright hue of her skin and the way violets bloom in her hair. Every night, he goes into the wood to meet her, and their love for each other grows.

But when the constellations shift, the stars foretell an inevitable war between the witch queen and the king. With Seren compelled to fight for her mother, and Owen forced to join the king's army, they are plunged into the heart of a conflict that seemingly no one can win and that might destroy both their kingdoms forever.

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More About Into the Heartless Wood by Joanna Ruth Meyer

 
 
 

Overview

The forest is a dangerous place, where siren song lures men and women to their deaths.

Deep in the wood lives a witch queen and her eight tree siren daughters. For centuries, they have harvested souls to feed the heartless tree, using its power to grow their ever reaching kingdom of ash, birch, and oak.

Owen Merrick lives at the edge of the forest, mapping the stars for the king in his father's observatory. For years, he has resisted venturing over the garden wall, until one day he must enter the woods to find his missing sister. But one of the witch's tree siren daughters, Seren, decides to save his life instead of end it. Now, no matter how hard he tries, he can't stop thinking about her -- the birch-bright hue of her skin and the way violets bloom in her hair. Every night, he goes into the wood to meet her, and their love for each other grows.

But when the constellations shift, the stars foretell an inevitable war between the witch queen and the king. With Seren compelled to fight for her mother, and Owen forced to join the king's army, they are plunged into the heart of a conflict that seemingly no one can win and that might destroy both their kingdoms forever.


 

Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781645671701
  • ISBN-10: 1645671704
  • Publisher: Page Street Kids
  • Publish Date: January 2021
  • Page Count: 368
  • Reading Level: Ages 14-UP
  • Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.05 pounds


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BookPage Reviews

Into the Heartless Wood

At the edge of a forest that haunts his family, Owen Merrick cares for his baby sister and grieving father. The witch who took Owen’s mother has transformed the trees into sirens that lure people to violent deaths. The sirens are Owen’s sworn enemies, but when he is caught in the woods one day and a siren named Seren rescues him, a tentative trust builds between them. Into the Heartless Wood is a fantasy novel that packs an emotional punch as it explores how doing the right, kind and gentle thing can require far more courage than waging war.

Joanna Ruth Meyer’s choice to place sirens—typically associated with the sea—in a forest setting is wonderfully imaginative. Owen’s cozy home contrasts with scenes of train travel and the bustle of the city. The train runs through the forest, however, which threatens to overtake the kingdom as the witch extracts more souls.

The battle between the witch and the king—and the consequences that befall Owen’s father, an astronomer who foretells some of what’s to come by interpreting messages from constellations—are grand and violent. Seren wants to break with the witch’s destructive ways, and she goes to fantastical lengths to help defeat her and keep watch over Owen. The witch is genuinely scary, and scenes involving the removal of souls are shocking in their cruelty.

Though kingdoms rise and fall, the human soul is at the center of this invented world. Like the woods just beyond Owen’s home, Into the Heartless Wood is easy to get lost in and hard to come back from, thanks to Meyer’s excellent world building.

 

BAM Customer Reviews