Title: Enchanted Forests
Author: Astrid V.J, Lyndsey Hall, Alice Ivinya, Elena Shelest, Sky Sommers, N.D.T. Casale, Jennifer Kropf, Ben Lang, Donna White, and Xander Cross
Cover artist: Emily’s World of Design
Illustrations: Elena Shelest
Genre: Fantasy Anthology
Publisher: Self Published
Age Range: Young Adult (check TW’s)
Publishing Date: 2022
Trigger warnings: Mentions of Death, Death of a Parent, and Animal Death
“Then no one would be able to take you away from me like they can’t take away the moon from the sky.”
Enchanted Forests Enchanted Forests is a fabulous anthology of 10 short stories, all centred in the forest.
From goblins to dragons, to unicorns, this forest-themed anthology is fantastically written, with each author embracing their personal storytelling style:
Gems of Fae and Foolery: Two dwarves escape their terrible life, meeting a fae along the way.
The Lucky Tortoise: When a boy makes friends with a tortoise, he doesn’t realise how important their friendship will become.
Feather Green: After losing her father, Estheryn wants revenge, and is smart enough to not get caught.
Apple and the Dead Forest: Can Pingguo successfully outsmart a dragon?
To Snare a Prince: Greta is a witch who rarely gets to use her magic, that is until she helps a raccoon, and her life changes forever.
Blood of the Unicorn: A reluctant princess, a unicorn, and a witch all contribute to a life-changing situation.
Dimension of the Sasquatch: A dimension hopper discovers a new world full of Sasquatches.
The Fern Flower: A young unconfident woman finds her way to the confidence she deserved all along.
Willow Daughter: Fire Sprites, stag-men, and humans mix in this short tale.
One Fair Eve: Would you make a deal with a stranger to ensure your dreams come to fruition?
Each story in this anthology approaches the forest theme in a unique way, covering an array of fantasy topics, and genres – Sci-Fi, romance, to mythology are all delved into. There are usually one or two stories that slightly bring anthologies down, but every story in this collection knows what it aims to offer, and does it well!
The whole collection balances well, and each author featured masterfully builds a world, and characters you care about in a short story size. Helping the stories along are some fantastic illustrations from Elena Shelest, with each having two line drawings that drop you straight into the style of the world.
This book is a fabulous read, either in one sitting, or one story per day. Each author has put their heart into their short story, with the different styles balancing well together.
Additionally, all profits from this book will be donated to the Rainforest Foundation which supports indigenous, and traditional peoples of the world’s rainforests. So picking up a copy (Ebook or Physical) benefits those who are trying to protect and preserve their environments.
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