Friday, November 18, 2011

In the Forests of the Night by Kersten Hamilton

In The Forests of The Night by Kersten Hamilton

The battle against goblinkind continues . . . but which side will Teagan be on? 

Teagan, Finn, and Aiden have made it out of Mag Mell alive, but the Dark Man’s forces are hot on their heels. Back in Chicago, Tea’s goblin cousins show up at her school, sure she will come back to Mag Mell, as goblin blood is never passive once awoken. Soon she will belong to Fear Doirich and join them. In the meantime, they are happy to entertain themselves by trying to seduce, kidnap, or kill Tea’s family and friends. Tea knows she doesn’t have much time left, and she refuses to leave Finn or her family to be tortured and killed. A wild Stormrider, born to rule and reign, is growing stronger inside her. But as long as she can hold on, she’s still Teagan Wylltson, who plans to be a veterinarian and who heals the sick and hurting. The disease that’s destroying her—that’s destroying them all—has a name: Fear Doirich. And Teagan Wylltson is not going to let him win.

Oh I was so happy to receive an ARC of this second book in the Goblin Wars trilogy!  And sometimes, second books disappoint, but this one didn't.  Now, I'll say right now, if you didn't read TYGER,TYGER, there are SPOILERS in this review that will ruin it for you.  You've been warned.

People had problems with how the death of Teagan and Aiden's mother was handled in Tyger, Tyger.  I did not.  She died.  I wanted the rest of the story.  I didn't want to read a book about the year they spent grieving for her and how hard it was on them.  Of course it was!  I'm not stupid, I can fill that part in with my imagination.  I wanted the revenge part.  That's why I had no problem when the story picked up a year into the future and life was going on just as you would expect after the death of their mother.  This second book delves into the grief a little more. There are touching moments between Teagan and her dad where he is trying to remember or remind himself that his wife, the mother of his children is dead.  Fear Doirich stole those memories from him while he wandered Mag Mell in Tyger, Tyger.  And angry moments when the evil social worker, Ms. Skinner brings up the death of their mother, knowing how it affects Aiden and he stops singing (Cruella de Ville, a very appropriate song).  Some moments made me misty eyed even.

There was a lot of humor in the book and get ready because you know when I love a book I love to quote!  
Here's a conversation between Teagan and her father-
"Mamieo cooked rumpledethump for dinner."

"She made cooked cabbage and Aiden's still in the house?"

"Yes. Dad, I just told you Thomas turned into a raven, and you didn't even blink."

"I'm a librarian," Mr. Wylltson said.  "We practice believing seven impossible things before breakfast."

"Like rabbits with pocket watches?"

"Like library funding will be available next year." (page 53)

 Such great characters, I just cannot express to you how much I love these characters. Teagan, is everything to everyone.  She is protector to her brother, memory and healer to her father, best friends with Abby, possibly a girlfriend to Finn and savior to everyone else that she can be.  What does she want?  She still wants that plan she started out with in the first book, going to Cornell, but she'd like to fit Finn in it now. But  how can the Mac Cumhaill be in love with a girl that's part Highborn?  The romance is there chaste, but hot still.  I don't know how Kersten does it, but it's definitely swoon worthy material. Then there's Finn himself, The Mac Cumhaill.  He's protective, so sure of himself when it comes to killing anything that comes after Teagan and the only thing he's scared of is Mr. Wylltson, Teagan's "da'." (Love that accent!)  And you know, a guy that can kill someone with a spoon, well, he has a right to be pretty sure of himself!  And he always seems to know the right thing to say, making Teagan his equal, never a weak woman that has to be taken care of.  He's strong, fierce yet sensitive but not in a fragile way at all.  He just knows.  That's the best way to describe it. 
 And let me tell you  something, if I was picking friends, Abby would be the first one I'd choose.  She may not be able to see all the weird creatures from the "multiverse" but she can kill them and call in reinforcements!  The Turtles, yes you read it right, Leo, Angel, Donnie and Rafe.  And there is little Aiden who is so sweet he'd make you're teeth ache and so delicate it seems a strong wind would break him.  But he's only fragile sometimes.  Like when there's an EI around, an Elvis Impersonator.  Or the evil Ms. Skinner.  Otherwise, he is wise beyond his years and incredibly intuitive.
Mamieo is one of the greatest senior citizens in all literature!  She has conversations with "The Almighty" like the one I'm going to quote to you now

"I spent the whole night complaining to The Almighty that you'd dragged a damned lbiannon-sidhe home with you; you and that aingeal."

"And what did the Almighty say?"

"He said 'Watch your language, Ida.' And after I'd apologized for my Irish tongue, he asked, "Why don't you go right down and kill the creature now?"

"I couldn't do it now, and you well know it' I told him. 'Not after I've seen that he loves the girl as strong and right as I loved my Rory."

"'Would you have killed him the day he lied to Roisin, before his love grew strong and right?' the Almighty asked. 'I don't think I would,' I says. 'Not if I knew what was growing in him.'

"'Then how about the day before he met the girl?' the Almighty asked. 'Before he ever loved at all?'"

Mamieo was quiet, considering... 

"And what did you say, Mamieo?" Teagan asked at last.

"I told Him I'd get back to Him. It's something I have to think on." (p.116)

Again I love the dry humor and more so, I love Mamieo's wisdom throughout the book.

Teagan's enemies know her better now, but she knows them better too. And she is better prepared to fight and to die if she has to, to keep her family safe. She's a very strong character, with a softer side when dealing with hurt or dying things, yet tough in battle and protective of weaker things, whether they are human or some other creature. She's got a strong sense of right and wrong which might cause trouble for her in the final installment of the series.

I can say that this one builds steadily to the action and is then so fast paced I could scarcely keep up. The last few pages are filled with loss and triumph. Enemies are taken down as well as friends and the final book will definitely be a war, there is no doubt about it. Again, I was spellbound by the story woven by Kersten Hamilton with the intricacies of the Celtic folklore and the seeming beauty of Mag Mell despite it's horrible inhabitants. And I am so entranced by Yggdrasil, which I've seen more and more in YA lately, showing up in Mag Mell and Celtic lore, as Mr. Wylltson says, " A Nordic tree in a Celtic world. I always told your mother that was a literary drift." (p 50).

I highly recommend this novel to anyone that enjoyed Tyger, Tyger. It's a must before you read this one. And it's great for anyone that loves Celtic folklore, nature, and the battle of good versus evil. And maybe nature versus nurture. I haven't quite figured that one out.

I received this ARC free of charge for a fair and honest review. No monetary compensation was received for this review.
Now, go get it and read! 
Finn MacCumhaill might give Zachary from the Shade series some serious competition in my personal book boyfriend competition!



  1. Hi Heather
    I really enjoyed reading this review. This is now my to be read books. Following you back. I love your blog btw.

  2. So glad you loved the sequel as much as the original Heather! I have this one on in my TBR pile and I'm really excited to start it:) Love the cover of this one too, the blues are really pretty and always catch my eye as I walk by my pile!

  3. Thanks Cecilia! I see you do some writing! Maybe in January I can have you on my blog?

    Jenny- I really loved this one! There was more emotion in it, you got to know the characters and everything on a deeper level. Mag Mell was a character I forgot to mention. It's just a really great story!

  4. So glad that the followu-p held up. No sophomore slump here. I really liked Tyger, Tyger and look forward to this one too.

  5. I haven't decided if I'm going to pick this one up. I liked Tyger Tyger but didn't love it. But I do love the forbiddenness of the romance btw Finn and Teagan. And I'm glad it explore T and A's grief a little better in this one.


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