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Forest of Wonders

(Wing & Claw #1)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  905 ratings  ·  189 reviews
Raffa Santana has always loved the mysterious Forest of Wonders. For a gifted young apothecary like him, every leaf has the potential to unleash a kind of magic. If only Raffa's cautious father would allow him to experiment freely, Raffa knows he could discover miracles.

When an injured bat crashes into Raffa's life, he invents a cure from a rare crimson vine that he finds
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published March 1st 2016 by HarperCollins
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Average rating 3.80  · 
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 ·  905 ratings  ·  189 reviews

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Miranda Reads
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was ok

He held the lantern higher, nerves tingling in anticipation.
Raffa Santana is a young apothecary student, training under his father (Mohan) and his mother. Mohan, ever a cautious teacher, seems more intent on limiting Raffa's learning rather than encouraging it.
"It's complicated," he said at last. "Perhaps when you're older."
Raffa's always had a knack for knowing what the plants can do and often far beyond his experience for finessing even the trickiest of poultices using ingred
Cameron Chaney
Jul 19, 2016 rated it did not like it
Oooooooh, boy. What a disappointment.

Okay. So this book started out great. I loved the apothecary magic. I liked how magical the forest in which the story took place was. The characters were charming too. Really, the first one hundred pages had everything that I love going for it... and then as soon as I started part two, something just fell. The story suddenly became boring, childish, and very preachy when it came to the environment. Don't get me wrong, I believe it is good to take care of the
Terri Lynn
What a fun book for middle school/YA. I love Linda Sue Park's work and this book is wonderful. Two apothecary families are raising sons. Raffa is a natural apothecary but his cousin Garith tries hard. After a remarkable trip alone to the Forest of Wonders, the boys return home with a rare herbal and to the news that both families have been invited to be official apothecaries in the city of Gilden where they will enjoy luxury housing, all meals, large pay, and the chance to work on a secret proje ...more
May 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Raffa has always had a gift for botanicals. But when an attempt to save an injured bat leads him to a new discovery, the consequences stretch far wider than he could have imagined. Now Raffa struggles to decide the best way forward, one that allows him to honor his training as an apothecary as well, or one where he could possibly make new discoveries . . .

This is an engaging book whose biggest flaw is that the entire plot is obvious once past a certain point early in the story. Raffa's talents m
May 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: jf-fantasy
A solid fantasy, but nothing here compels me to sing praises. The adventure towards the end of the book was good, but most of the story seemed to move slowly for me. Botanicals and apothecary magic probably won't be a big draw for my middle schoolers.
Jun 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: colorinyamg, all-mg
Despite starting out slow, this book kept me engaged with the complexity of the Apothecary (I love the subject) world the author created along with the excellent writing. I suspect it would have been different if I wasn't already a fan of the author's writing.

However, if you manage to get past the somewhat slow beginning it will pay off. What started out as the perfect dream for Raffa slowly morphed into his worst nightmare. His struggle between wanting to follow his ambitions and knowing when s
This was just flat and pointless. There was really no plot and the story arc that was there was incredibly weak. It was honestly forgettable. I finished it last night and I've already brain dumped it.

The only thing cute was the talking bat.
Mar 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Right up my alley - really loved it, and will probably re-read it. Made me want to write in this world!
Ms. Yingling
Dec 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
ARC provided by Young Adult Books Central

Raffa and his cousin Garith enjoy working in their parents' apothecaries in their small village, even though Raffa is far more talented at making potions. When Raffa finds a badly injured bat, his parents discuss a vine that grows in the forest that may help. The forest is dangerous, but the cousins go together and manage to find the vine. The potion Raffa makes, however, has an odd side effect-- the bat, Echo, can talk to him. His parents don't believe i
Bryn Wolf
Oct 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Young readers
1.5 Stars

Although I had much higher expectations, this book was alright. The writing was average, the plot and characters predictable, and the little story it had was quite bland.

It was just overall... "Meh". It isn't a "must read" or "highly reccomemded", but it's not the worst out there. I wouldn't necessarily purchase it if you want to read it, I find it a waste of money, but if you want to see what happens then I think borrowing it or getting it from a library may be the best bet.

The big p
From the publisher: The first book in a planned trilogy, Linda Sue Park’s enchanting new fantasy-adventure richly explores the links between magic and botany, family and duty, environment and home.

Wing and Claw Book 1: Forest of Wonders, has much to recommend it. The cover is gorgeous, and the main character, Raffa, is admirable and talented. His cousin makes fun of him for his small size, but he is the better apothecary student.

Raffa, his parents, his cousin, and his uncle live in a village and
Linda Sue Park is one of my favorite authors, so I knew I needed to read this as soon as I heard about it. While Park isn't known for writing fantasy, I was intrigued. And I was not disappointed at all. In fact, I enjoyed the book very much. Raffa is training with his mother and father to be an apothecary. And he seems to have a knack for it, he can in fact feel when he's gotten the portions right. But his father doesn't believe in intuition and is stern and controlling which irritates Raffa. Th ...more
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
ark, Linda Sue Forest of Wonders (Wing and Claw 1), 343 pages. Harper (Harper Collins Publisher) 2016. $16.99. Language: G (0 swears, 0 "f"); Mature Content: G; Violence: PG.

Raffa Santana lives near the Forest of Wonders. He and his parents work as apothecaries gathering plants and herbs from the forest to made infusions to care for their village. Raffa has a special talent with infusions. While caring for an injured bat Raffa uses a rare red vine that has some magical side effects. Not only can
Munro's Kids
Apr 10, 2016 rated it it was ok
I was pretty torn on this one. It's really 2.5 stars but I couldn't quite bring the official rating up to three. It was just... kinda weird. The first 80% of the novel was plodding, plain, and cheesy. It didn't seem like events were strongly connected to each other, and there didn't seem to be an aim to the wanderings and events of Raffa, the main character. In the final 20%, things really amp up and get very intense and even a bit scary, which is jarringly different from the tone of the rest of ...more
Oct 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Raffa is unusually talented for an apprentice apothecary, but he keeps secret the fact that he can "sense" the right combinations for botanicals. Venturing into the forest one day with his cousin to find an elusive vine plant that might heal an injured bat, Raffa is delighted when he does find it, and even more delighted when the vine works--with an unexpected side effect. Envious of his uncle and cousin, who head off to the city for a new job with the government, Raffa is determined to warn the ...more
Kelly Stanton
Jan 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is great for students who love fantasy, animals, and the mysteries of apothecary work! I really enjoyed reading about the way the main character and his family use the Forrest of Wonders to create very interesting combinations. The book kept me in suspense!
Lizanne Johnson
Dec 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Intermediate, fantasy, dystopian
Quinten Kempf
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Personal Response

Personally, I really liked the book Wing & Claw Forest of Wonders . I loved all the apothecary magic and how Raffa was an avid apothecary himself. I like that the animals Raffa treated were able to talk because it made the book a lot more interesting because of it. I also liked when a new character would be added, they would have a backstory and not just thrown in.

Plot summary

The book is about a 12-year-old boy named Raffa, who saves the life of a bat with a rare and mysteriou
C.J. Milbrandt
Raffa is a gifted young pother (apothecary), learning about botanicals from his parents and his uncle. When he finds a badly injured bat, Raffa begs for permission to go into the Forest of Wonders to find a rare plant for a cure. He and his cousin are successful, but the consequences are startling ... and lead straight to much bigger problems.

Shakes and quakes. Cousins and competition. Echo and ouch. Runaways and garrisons. Greenhouses and scarecrows. Salves and cinders. The Wing & Claw world i
Aug 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
I hate to admit to it, but quite often I pick books entirely on cover, and this one just looks good. I love stories about animals, and this one has quite a few to catch my eye. The beginning of the book was probably better than the ending, if only because I dislike a first book that gives no real information as to why it exists in the first place. It leaves a bit of a bad taste in what was otherwise enjoyable.

What I really liked about this book was the characters. Raffa was especially likable, w
Isabelle Wightman
Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book was okaaay. I'm not going to re-read it, at least not willingly. Right now we're doing SBAC testing and I can't get to the library to get another book.
Raffa feels a little underdeveloped, okay, very underdeveloped. Garith too. Trixin and Kuma are the best characters, Kuma more so. But Kuma's name bothers me, because 'Kuma' is bear in Japanese. I guess to most people that would be a discreet reference, but to me, that's like a big sign saying, THIS IS THE GIRL WITH THE BEAR!! Also, tha
Jojo Ritzer
Nov 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Chantelle Larson
The bat was adorable, and Raffa made very smart decisions for his age in the book. Overall it is a very interesting concept and I look forward to continuing this series!
Dec 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I thought this book was really good because it had magical plants that could heal, poison and stick to name a few potion abilities. My favorite part of the book was when Roo swatted the "sick" crows, I liked that part because I could really picture the huge friendly bear protecting kuma and Raffa from the crows trying to peck out their eyes. The characters had weird names like Raffa, Kuma, and Garith. I also thought the little bat named Echo was so cute because he was like a small flying dog th ...more
Jin C.
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Trees The Limit
Wing and Claw Forest of Wonders
Book by: Linda Sue Park
By: Jin C.

In a forest full of magic with exotic plants cool right? People like apothecaries use them, why don't you ask Raffa about it. Well Raffa Santana (a.k.a. baby genius) a ten year old boy who always wanted to become an apothecary, using different botanicals for cures. But he had a problem with his father looking over his shoulder when he is creating the simplest formulas. “Watching and commenting on what seemed like
Denae Christine
Feb 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
Reader thoughts: Cool forest. Raffa actually acted like a 12-year-old. I liked the charm and how Raffa interacted with his parents, the botanicals, and his cousin. I liked that the relationship with his cousin tried to grow (it didn't get far), but at least there was effort.

I didn't like the first scene, which colored the rest of the book. Raffa and Garith get into a cupboard of jars that say "yearnings." Immediately I suspected some sort of aphrodisiac and decided it was inappropriate for a MG
Mar 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Raffa wants to be an apothecary and get out from under the watchful eye of his overprotective father. After all, he fixed Echo the bat all by himself, didn't he? But when a red vine doesn't work the way he expects, he travels to the Commons to warn his cousin and uncle. There, he starts to learn about exactly how powerful plants can be, and whether he wants to use that power for good or abuse it.

I think I would have enjoyed this one more if I hadn't listened to it on audio. I have such a short c
Mar 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
This book is so much more than simply apothecary mixtures and family. This book is about choices and decisions that will make an impact not only on the people but also the animals.

I'm a big fan of Linda Sue Park and I highly recommend this book to anyone that is looking to read about talking animals, friendships (will this be another 3-person friendship like so many other series?), and standing up for what one believes is right.
Melanie Dulaney
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Linda Sue Park has been writing wonderful books for a long time and this one will rank among her best. Forest of Wonders is a fabulous mix of fantasy, magic, and adventure. Main character Raffa is a gifted apothecary who is far exceeding his father's skill due to a heavy dose of magical ability that is only beginning to develop. That bit of magic leads him to major mishaps as well as opens doors to opportunity the likes of which his poor family has never seen. Along the way, Raffa makes, loses a ...more
This delightful tale came across my path as a selection for our upcoming Parent-Child book group. The characters are a diverse group who are well-rounded, and hint at more great stories to come in future installments.
Whitney Carlisle
Mar 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book seemed like a great start to an amazing series, but it was a little anticlimactic. Almost as if half of the book is missing since it ends at the beginning of our next heroes adventure.
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Linda Sue Park is a Korean American author of children's fiction. Park published her first novel, Seesaw Girl, in 1999. To date, she has written six children’s novels and five picture books for younger readers. Park’s work achieved prominence when she received the prestigious 2002 Newbery Medal for her novel A Single Shard.

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Wing & Claw (3 books)
  • Cavern of Secrets (Wing & Claw #2)
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