This fine debut novel from teenaged author Helena Brady may be aimed at young adults, but let me tell you, it's perfect for any fantasy lover, whatever your age.
I'm 63...and I loved it.
Helena began writing the book when she was 14, submitted it to a publisher at 15, and signed her publishing contract on her 16th birthday. Why is this relevant, you ask? Surely an author's age doesn't matter? Generally, no it doesn't. But I make reference to it because if you didn't know, you'd think it was written by an experienced, much older novelist.
This un-put-downable novel (I finished it in three sessions), displays maturity far beyond the author's years, skilfully developing the characters with depth and purpose, making them instantly likeable.
When we take our first steps deep into the forest, we quickly met angels and ghosts, and see hints that reinforce the forest's dark and dangerous reputation.
In a way, it could be said to be a rites-of-passage story, as it revolves around Sarah-Rose's "turning," to reach "maturity." But this is no ordinary maturity...this is the maturity dictated by the forest.
There are some startling twists, and a completely unexpected climax.
The Secrets Of the Forest is probably the best book I've read this year, and Helena Brady is definitely an author to watch. In my opinion, she's got a long and highly successful career as a novelist ahead of her.
My rating of The Secrets Of The Forest: *****
For more information about The Secrets Of The Forest, and buying links, CLICK HERE.