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Friday, October 16, 2015

Blog Tour Book Review: Castle of Sighs (Forest of Whispers #2)


Release Date: October 27, 2015
Author: Jennifer Murgia
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Length: 224 pages
Source: eARC from NetGalley

In this sequel to FOREST OF WHISPERS, Some secrets cannot be kept—in life or in death. Months have passed since Rune has heard a single whisper from her long-dead mother, the great witch of Bavaria. But the absence of one evil has only made room for another.
After rightfully inheriting her ancestral home, Pyrmont Castle, Rune settles into a quiet life taking care of two orphans left in the wake of the terrible witch hunt that claimed dozens of lives in the nearby village. As the days grow colder, the castle’s secrets beckon and Rune finds herself roaming where no one has set foot in a long time. In the bowels of the fortress is a locked room full of memories that hang like cobwebs—shelves stacked with jars, strange specimens, putrid liquids, and scrolls of spells. Rune is undeniably drawn to what she finds there, and she begins to dabble in the possibilities of magic, hoping to find a cure for the strangeness overwhelming the castle.
As secrets unspool, the delicate thread of Rune’s world is threatened when she realizes the key may lie in the dark forest she once called home and the boy she thought she knew

    

Review:

Protagonist: It's been months since Rune has last heard her mother's voice and now she lives at Pyrmont her ancestral home yet she feels out of place. Soon she discovers dark secrets and shocking revelations that will not only affect her but those she loves as well. In this book Rune feels completely out of place in her life. She doesn't feel she deserves the title of Lady of Pyrmont, but at the same time she doesn't want to be the witch of Pyrmont either. Rune's character development in this book is heavily tied to her identity which is explored over the course of story as she not only struggles to come to terms with every part of herself, but discovers the secrets of her family.

Romance: Much like the previous book in this series (duology?) there isn't that much romance and when there is it's very tame. I love the way Rune and Laurentz seem to just fit together and even in moments where they disagree they handle it like mature adults and talk it out and trust each other rather than biting each other's heads of. I have to say though I was really hoping for just a tad more romance than was shown in this book, even just a touch of physical chemistry could have made this romance all the better.

World-Building: This book is seriously creepy. I mean Forest of Whispers was creepy too, but this was a a whole new level of creepy, and I loved every minute of it. I'm a huge fan of the world Murgia has created blending historical fiction with folk tales and fantasy, and this book just gets more and more elaborate without getting confusing. My only complaint is that I felt the parts of the book that reminded the reader of the events of Forest of Whispers wasn't quite as detailed as I would have liked since it's been over a year since I read Forest of Whispers and there were a few detailed that are still extremely fuzzy even after finishing this book.

Predictability: Once again Jennifer Murgia stumped me many, many times. Much like when I read the previous installment I had a list in my head of theories ranging from totally plausible to the utterly insane and while they weren't all disproven during before the halfway mark like last time, very few of them even vaguely resembled the actual turn of events. There are some very large and shocking twists in this book the relate in some way to all the major players and even though I couldn't really predict any, I still thoroughly enjoyed every minute.

Ending: So going into this I didn't know it was going to end like this. I mean by the end of the book most everything is neatly tied up and it left me wondering if this series was only meant to be a duology or if the installments are meant to play out like connected stand-alones. Either way I'm okay with it, though I do hope we get to see this world again. As for the final climax, I felt as though it was handled very well and while maybe not quite as action packed as the first was still as enjoyable nonetheless.

Rating:


So I'm still on the fence about which installment is my favorite as they each have their strengths and shortcomings, also it's been a while since I read Forest of Whispers as I stated above, however they are both fantastic and perfect for the Halloween season.

PRAISE FOR FOREST OF WHISPERS:


"Murgia’s dual narration makes this historical fantasy a compelling read. The plot-driven text quickly moves the story forward, and the vivid descriptions of 17th-century southwestern Germany pull readers in . . .  the pacing and narrative are absorbing. A solid novel for fans of historical fantasy that are looking for a fast-paced, action-filled tale." ~ SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL


"A story of magick and discovery." -- Readers' Favorite: Five-Star review for FOREST OF WHISPERS 

"FOREST OF WHISPERS drew me in from the very first page! Rune is a capable and empathetic heroine who had me rooting for her from the start. Fans of witch and rune-lore will enjoy this darkly woven tale." ~Amalie Howard, author of critically acclaimed Waterfell, The Almost Girl, and Alpha Goddess, a Spring 2014 Kids' INDIE NEXT title.


"NOT your average teenage witch! Jennifer Murgia's FOREST OF WHISPERS is a dark, brooding mystery/thriller that captures the paranoid, plague-driven frenzy of 17th Century Europe with the speed and power of a galloping stallion. Rune, a 16-year old with formidable abilities that she herself can barely understand, must fight her own inner demons as well as what seems to be a whole world gone awry with bloodlust for her kind. This is a thrilling read." ~ Molly Cochran, author of LEGACY & POISON

About the Author:


Jennifer Murgia writes moody fiction for teens—from paranormal fantasy (Angel Star, LemniscateThe Bliss), to contemporary gut-punchers (Between These Lines). Her latest, Forest of Whispers, a 17th century historical mystery (about witches!) was a School Library Journal Fall 2014 HOT TITLE, and a 2014 Moonbeam Children’s Literature Award Winner. Look for the sequel,Castle of Sighs, to hit shelves 9.15.15 from Spencer Hill Press. In 2012, Jennifer Co-Founded YA FEST with YA author/friend, Cyn Balog. She coordinates this unique annual festival, bringing teens and fellow Young Adult authors together at her hometown library in Easton, PA.



Giveaway:


1 Winner will get a $20.00 Amazon Gift Card + Key Necklance

Must be 13+ To Enter | Open Internationally

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:


October 12th: A Leisure Moment QUOTE STOP
                          
A Dream Within A Dream REVIEW
October 13th: 
The Librarian Files REVIEW + QUOTE STOP
October 14th: 
Me, My Shelf and I QUOTE STOP
October 15th: 
Her Book Thoughts REVIEW + QUOTE STOP
October 16th: 
Books Are Metal QUOTE STOP
                          
Zach's YA Reviews REVIEW

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