Book Review: Forest of Souls by Lori M. Lee

It's been a while, but I'm here to catch up with my 2020 reviews–I'm 10 books behind!

Forest of Souls was definitely in my most-anticipated list of books for this year and I was lucky enough to get to read it before it actually came out, which is why I feel super guilty about writing my review just now.

Let's get right on it.


Sirscha Ashwyn comes from nothing, but she’s intent on becoming something. After years of training to become the queen’s next royal spy, her plans are derailed when shamans attack and kill her best friend Saengo.

And then Sirscha, somehow, restores Saengo to life.

Unveiled as the first soulguide in living memory, Sirscha is summoned to the domain of the Spider King. For centuries, he has used his influence over the Dead Wood—an ancient forest possessed by souls—to enforce peace between the kingdoms. Now, with the trees growing wild and untamed, only a soulguide can restrain them. As war looms, Sirscha must master her newly awakened abilities before the trees shatter the brittle peace, or worse, claim Saengo, the friend she would die for.

Danger lurks within the roots of Forest of Souls, an epic, unrelenting tale of destiny and sisterhood, perfect for fans of Naomi Novik and Susan Dennard.


I"m grateful that I received a digital ARC through NetGalley. Unfortunately, it took me forever to read it because the eARC didn't translate well into my device so the text had a funny format when I tried to read it, and that was super distracting. With that said, despite the lack of motivation to deal with those issues, I'm here to say that I really enjoyed Forest of Souls.

The world building in this fantasy book is pretty impressing, although it was really hard for me to keep up with the terminology, since I didn't always feel like referring back to the glossary because of the format. Reading with a physical book should make that easy, you will definitely need that glossary to get through the book smoothly.

Friendship was a big element in the story, and I appreciated that being the main focus in this book, especially since wasn't really romance, which is usually a big element for me, but Lee did an excellent job focusing on a different type of bond and really making me feel invested on it.

I think Sirscha went through a difficult journey and her friendship with Saengo made things easier.

I loved the dark allure of the forest of souls, it gave a darkness to the story that made the world more interesting, plus the political tension that totally changed Sirscha position in the story once her powers were awaken early in the story, which was basically the catalyst to the whole plot.

I enjoyed the side characters in the story, some like Theyen and Prince Meilik I wish I had seen more of, and to me, both could have been potential love interests for Sirscha (maybe in future books???).

The end of the book definitely felt like the beginning of something bigger, which is how I know I will definitely read the next book in the series.

If you like action, a dark setting, political tension, and friendship bonds, this book is definitely for you.

My Rating: 5 / 5 stars

Here is all the info for Forest of Souls :

Book Aesthetic

Reading Challenge No.: 24/45

Author: Lori M. Lee - Website | Instagram | Goodreads

Publication Date: June 23, 2020

Book Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Format: eBook/ARC

Length: ~ 400 pages

POV: #FirstPersonPOV

Genre: #AsianLiterature #Fantasy

Series or Standalone? #FirstInSeries

First Sentence:

"The earth is black with last night's rain--a perfect morning for shadows."

Thank's for reading my review of Forest Of Souls, I have many reviews to catch up on, and I can't wait to share with you what I've been reading lately. You can like my Facebook page, Two Arts in a World, for more content, and stay tuned to what I'm up to on Instagram.

Love, Lourdes

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