Fantasy fans rejoice! Here's an emotional, earthy fantasy world where 2 orphan sibling shapeshifters are consigned to help royalty discover a cure to a deadly disease. Instead, finding eminent war, diminished magical beings, giants, stardust and perhaps, love. What more could you ask for in this high action, strong series opener for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Marie Lu.
— From Staff Picks by Maureen
A young, orphaned shapeshifter in a world that fears magic must risk everything if she hopes to save her only friend in Elayne Audrey Becker's Forestborn, first in a new fantasy series with a timeless feel.
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.
About the Author
ELAYNE AUDREY BECKER (she/her) graduated from Vassar College with a BA in Classics and history and continued her education at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland after time spent as an editor at a New York publisher. She grew up with a lake and woods as her backyard, spending long days outside and visiting national parks with her family.
“From the first page, readers will be caught up in this story of shape-shifters, forest magic, political conflict and the bonds between friends. The world building is breathtaking and the characters are complex and engaging. Highly recommended for readers who like an epic fantasy with heart and spirit.”—Juliet Marillier, author of the Sevenwaters and Warrior Bards series
“Like the ancient magic in its mountains, Forestborn is a tale that settles deep into the soul, a haunting love song to the dangerous splendor of the wild—and a testament to the power of friendship on the journey of grief and healing.”—Joanna Hathaway, author of Dark of the West
“The reader flies through Forestborn as Rora, the shape-shifting protagonist, sails over the treetops, powered by Becker's propulsively readable style.”—Sarah Kozloff, author of The Nine Realms series
“Both a journey self-discovery and a survival story . . . an epic high fantasy adventure with highly descriptive worldbuilding that is sure to please fans of the genre.”—School Library Journal
Generation after generation, both hope and sorrow hit the two families in this story hard. Gyasi uses the episodic nature to her advantage, in a way that inspires a fevered anticipation similar to the tv show Roots. A moving work that would be a great choice for book clubs and writing classes. - Jessica