Review: The Forest Grimm by Kathryn Purdie

Posted January 25, 2024 by Lillian in Reviews / 5 Comments

I received this book via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.

Review: The Forest Grimm by Kathryn PurdieThe Forest Grimm by Kathryn Purdie
Series: The Forest Grimm #1
Published by Wednesday Books on 2023-09-19
Length: 344 pages
Reviewing eARC from Netgalley
Reading Challenges: #NGEW2023, 2023 New Release Challenge, COYER 2023

A spellbinding romantasy from #1 New York Times bestselling author Kathryn Purdie, where fairy tales come to life with dark, deadly twists.

"Tell me again, Grandmère, the story of how I die."

The Midnight Forest. The Fanged Creature. Two fortune-telling cards that spell an untimely death for 17-year-old Clara. Despite the ever-present warning from her fortune-teller grandmother, Clara embarks on a dangerous journey into the deadly Forest Grimm to procure a magical book—Sortes Fortunae, the Book of Fortunes—with the power to reverse the curse on her village and save her mother.

Years ago, when the villagers whispered their deepest desires to the book, its pages revealed how to obtain them. All was well until someone used the book for an evil purpose—to kill another person. Afterward, the branches of the Forest Grimm snatched the book away, the well water in Grimm’s Hollow turned rancid, and the crops died from disease. The villagers tried to make amends with the forest, but every time someone crossed its border, they never returned.

Now, left with no alternative, Clara and her close friend, Axel—who is fated never to be with her—have set their minds to defying fate and daring to accomplish what no one else has been able to before. But the forest—alive with dark, deadly twists on some of our most well-known fairy tales—has a mind of its own.

Not at all what I was expecting, but still a great read! The Forest Grimm by Kathryn Purdie is the first book in a duology about a magical forest and the people who are lured in. Clara has spent her entire life in her little village on the edge of the Forest Grimm, learning fairy tales and folk lore from her grandmother. Years earlier, the forest turned on the villagers and took its magical book, the Sortes Fortunae, back. The villagers would whisper their dreams to the book, and it would tell them how to reach those dreams. Now, the book is gone, their water rancid, and crops diseased. The village is dying, and every time they make an appeal to the forest, it takes another villager. Now, Clara and her best friend venture into the forest, defying fate in the hopes of saving those they love and have lost.

Clara is an interesting character, and the book is told from her perspective. Her grandmother is a fortune teller and has read Clara’s fate many times. It always ends the same: death. Clara isn’t necessarily afraid of her fate, but she wants to make sure everyone she loves is safe. So she plans to take fate into her own hands, entering the forest. She is brave, a little reckless, and a lot in love with her best friend. I adore Axel. He stands behind Clara always, and despite her constantly pushing him away, he’s always there when she needs him most.

This book is a good mix of character-driven and plot-driven. So much happens in this book! I was surprised when I reached the end and realized it was a duology. I expected it to be over. Clara’s story follows Grimm’s Little Red Riding Hood. There’s a forest and a large wolf hunting her, plus she has her huntsman in Axel. I liked how the author weaved in her story with the source material creating something new. We see several stories played out in this one including Rapunzel, Cinderella, and Hansel and Gretel. These make an interesting addition to the story by adding mythos to the Forest Grimm.

Overall, while it took me a while to read, I really enjoyed The Forest Grimm. It’s an exciting adventure with wonderful world building. Clara and Axel are easy to root for both as friends and the potential for more than friends. Highly recommend for fans of fantasy!

About Kathryn Purdie

Author Kathryn Purdie

Kathryn Purdie is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the BURNING GLASS series (Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins) and the forthcoming BONE CRIER'S MOON duology. She lives in the Rocky Mountains with her husband and three children. Kathryn is a trained classical actress who studied at the Oxford School of Drama and was inspired to write her first novel while recovering from donating a kidney to her older brother. In her spare time, she loves writing songs on her guitar for her characters, binge-watching TV, and devouring Peanut Butter Oreos.

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5 responses to “Review: The Forest Grimm by Kathryn Purdie

  1. Oohhh nice!! I still need to read this one myself! The title alone had me needing it asap and yet my copy is still calling my name from the TBR pile! Love that the fairy tale element was present! With that title & cover I was fully expecting some strong vibes! Glad to hear it was enjoyable! Thanks for the heads up about it being a duology! I saw the sequel but didn’t know if it was a trilogy or longer. May just wait it out so I don’t stress myself with the wait! Lol. Great review!

    • Yeah I thought it was a standalone until I got to the end 😅 Thankfully it won’t be too long of a wait. I think the next book comes out this fall.

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