ARC Review: Forestborn by Elayne Audrey Becker | Teen Ink

ARC Review: Forestborn by Elayne Audrey Becker

October 16, 2021
By keine_ahnung SILVER, Omaha, Nebraska
keine_ahnung SILVER, Omaha, Nebraska
6 articles 0 photos 1 comment

I found Forestborn by Elayne Audrey Becker to be a decent read.  In the novel, Rora and her friends embark on a quest to save their friend, Finley, and the fate of magic in their kingdom.  The kingdom of Alemara faces a deep sense of division, both between the human regions and the magical region.  A mysterious illness is also spreading throughout Alemara.  Rora and her brother are assigned to retrieve stardust from giants in order to save Finley.  Rora is not thrilled to be accompanied on that quest by the entitled prince and his guards.  However, during the course of their travels, Rora confronts her trauma, learns to view the prince in a new light, and is shocked by the negative fate that magic may soon have.  

I loved Rora’s character.  She proved to be a strong, independent, female character throughout the story.  Readers learn of her past hardships and of the discrimination she faces from being a magical shifter.  However, she persevered through her difficult quest that brought even more hardships upon her.  I really admired Becker’s inclusion and excellent writing of a female character that may not always be right, but is always strong and confident.

Another feature of Becker’s writing that I enjoyed was her vivid imagery throughout the story.  Forestborn is set in an enchanting forest landscape filled with magic.  Becker demonstrates her skill in writing descriptively with passages such as, “...side streets so narrow that the sapphire sky thins to a ribbon overhead,” and “ we follow the giants through the silver aspens, blades caress my legs, gentle as whispers.”  Becker’s depiction of Rora’s trauma is very intricate and personal.  I found Becker’s writing style to truly enhance the reading experience.

Aspects of the novel that I did not enjoy include the plot and the organization of the piece.  The conflicts of the story did end up being resolved at the end (save for a cliffhanger), however I found that the continuous addition of new conflicts was confusing.  There was a main conflict of Finley being sick and the kingdom dying, but throughout the story, more conflicts kept being introduced or existing problems became excessively complicated.  The overall plot line also seemed typical of young adult fantasy.  A kingdom is on the verge of collapse and groups of individuals are having a conflict based on magic and misunderstanding.  While the ending was not extremely predictable, certain elements of the story reminded me of books I have read before.

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