The 18th book I read this year was ‘Eden Forest’ by Aoife Sheridan. I’m not usually into fantasy set on worlds with Kingdoms but there are a few exceptions and this is definitely one of them. Sheridan’s story just pulled me right in –
Amazon review, filed under ‘Gripping Fantasy Adventure’ –
I received a copy of this book for honest review.‘Eden Forest’ is a fantasy tale set on the parallel world of Saskia, a repressive kingdom where the descendants of four banished angels live. Mortal twenty-one-year-old Sarajane is important to the survival of this kingdom and is brought to Saskia where her journey to her destiny begins. This is the first book in a trilogy.
There are some major world building skills employed to bring this parallel world to life and Sheridan has definitely mastered them, creating a believable reality that becomes more captivating with every turned page. The inhabitants of this world are born with elemental affinities and this determines some of the jobs assigned to them. They are also assigned partners for marriage, not allowed the freedom to choose. This world is in need of a catalyst for change and so Sarajane, having been brought up in the mortal world, may just be what the people of Saskia have been waiting for.
Sarajane is an instantly likeable character, caring and independently minded. She has two love interests, best friend Josh and mysterious guardian Tristan. I was a little disappointed with the choice she made there, though it was understandable enough. The relationship she forges with Alana felt really solid and believable. This is where Sarajane begins to find out some of the rules and wants to change them. I liked all the interactions with Kiar & Neve too. Sarajane’s sister Jessica wasn’t fleshed out much as a character in this book, I would’ve liked to find out a bit more about her.
This is a fairly quick moving fantasy adventure story, with a few creepy horror twists and some romance. I was gripped enough to read the entire thing in a few hours. It felt like it ended a little suddenly but knowing this is the first book in a trilogy, the ending just made me wish the next book was available already. I hope it’s not long until it’s out!