Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Where the Woods Grow Wild” as Want to Read:
Where the Woods Grow Wild
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Read Book

Where the Woods Grow Wild

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  77 ratings  ·  45 reviews
A forest looms over Bardun Village. Nobody goes in. Nothing comes out. The secrets in the oaks remain hidden until a mischievous escapade thrusts Martin and Elodie behind the silent trees. Separated and lost in a tangle of fantasy, they discover more than animals roam where the woods grow wild.
Kindle Edition, 375 pages
Published December 10th 2016
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Where the Woods Grow Wild, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Where the Woods Grow Wild

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.32  · 
Rating details
 ·  77 ratings  ·  45 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Where the Woods Grow Wild
Deborah O'Carroll
First thing’s first: I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH! *hugs it* (Warning: Fangirling zone ahead.)

Where the Woods Grow Wild (don’t you love that title?) is SO much fun, as well as extremely well-written and completely gripping. It’s original fantasy, yet at the same time has this classic feel, so that I almost feel like I’ve known it forever, even though I just read it this month. It’s NEW and fresh and surprising, yet feels like an old friend, reminding me somehow of the “feel” of Prydain or Narnia, a
Hannah Heath
Dec 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: indie-books, fantasy
***4.5 stars, rounding up to 5***

Full review can be found here:

Where the Woods Grow Wild is unlike many fantasy novels I’ve read, and in the best possible way. It’s written and published by Nate Philbrick, a talented author who writes fantasy novels that tend to move into the lighter side of storytelling, rather than the dark and depressing mood that dominates the speculative fiction genre.

It is probably due to this outlook that his novel is much more un
Katelyn Buxton
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Abigayle Claire
I don't know what hideous force made me set this book down the first time I started it. Because it's truly one of the most clever and entertaining adventure stories I've ever read.

It's chock full of colorful characters that I found super easy to keep straight. I mean, even some of the less desirable characters were still so well done! Highly creative, humorous, and memorable.

The united characters' relationships grew wonderfully and the separated characters had such a lovely and simple bond. The
K.L. + Pierce
Dec 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Having gotten lost in the woods located outside of Bardun Village, Martin and Elodie have to find their way back home. First, they need to find each other. I personally liked how Philbrick switched between Martin and Elodie’s perspectives. It allows the reader to learn more about what is happening to each character without telling it. It also gives us a chance to get to know both Martin and Elodie better, as well as learn what they think about each other.

There’s a reason why the title is Where t
Stargazer R. L.
Super spectacular!

Full of a lovable, colorful cast of quirky characters, neat creatures, love, Forgiveness, just plain fun adventure, and some epic suspense and PLOT TWISTS! Love this book and all the people in it! <3
May 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I don't read much Fantasy; and it takes a lot for me to like anything in the Fantasy genre. ( I realize that a bunch of people love Fantasy and that's wonderful! I have found few I truly enjoy.)
I can easily say Where the Woods Grow Wild is a new favorite ! I shall name a few reasons why :

• No Useless Background Information : I didn't get bogged down with all the background of relationships and history. Instead, Nate Philbrick, did a wonderful job of showing the characters connections through
Beth Wangler
Feb 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Second reading:
I loved WtWGW even more the second time through. There is so much foreshadowing and thought put into this book that I didn't catch the first time. I love the characters even more, and I hope to see more adventures in this world!

First reading:
The woods have always captured my imagination, and that is what drew me to this book (in addition to its gorgeous cover). I was not disappointed. This story is such a sweet, fun adventure exploring the magical whimsy and danger of the woods. I
Grace Crandall
May 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Still digesting my thoughts on this one; full review to come :)
Susnnah Metzler
Dec 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars, rounding to 5

Overall, I really enjoyed this novel and I was impressed with the writing style. The characters, personalities, and general playful and light feel of the story reminded me a lot of a daily life of hobbits. Percy Durbity, a minor character who I hope gets more page time in the sequel, made me think of Samwise Gamgee. The point is, a lot of fantasy novels these days are very dark, depressing, and foreboding. It’s hard to find a well written fantasy that’s light hearted and
Erin Dydek
Sep 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It took me a minute to get into this one. Martin does not exactly have the most exciting life at the start, but the plot quickly picks up pace as the adventure in the woods begins. The reasons that the villages avoid the woods soon become clear but Martin and Elodie also find friends and allies in the woods to help them along the way. I loved the values of friendship, forgiveness, and self-sacrifice that were explored as the characters navigated the majestic woods. The unique and lovable cast of ...more
Daniel Dydek
Aug 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: indie
This was SUCH a fun story!! The characters were so vibrant, the setting rich and wondrous, and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment. I can echo what some others have said, that Martin didn’t seem to have much of a character arc; but this is also only the second book I’ve ever finished in two days, and the first one was Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. So there’s that.
E.B. Dawson
Mar 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: indie-authors
I loved it! Thank you Nathan Philbrick for writing this little gem of a book!

"Where the Woods Grow Wild" is a lighthearted fantasy book full of imagination, adventure, and all the right themes (friendship, hope, self-sacrifice).

Philbrick truly made this story his own. The characters are familiar, but unique. The obstacles, mishaps, and adventures they face were unique, surprising, and engaging. And the humor sprinkled throughout was refreshing and priceless.

Although there is a general conflic
Claire Banschbach
Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
The beginning started a little slow for me, but by the time I picked it back up, I read the majority of it in one sitting!

Martin and Elodie are from a town that never goes into the woods, until they both stumble upon more adventure than they wanted when they venture into the forest. The world inside the woods was really fun - dryads, winged lynxs, dwarves, and whatever Bramble is. :)

The characters were quite varied as well and I enjoyed all of them. Martin was my favorite, but Illo and Podgin we
Deborah Kelty
Jan 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Along with complex stories, I enjoy simple ones as well from time to time. A lot of my childhood stories were like that, and Where The Woods Grow Wild was, like them, a joy to read and more. While the plot has doesn't have a lot of big surprises, I liked the quieter tone this one brings to the table. I liked the premise of it being set in a never ending woodland, and getting to see characters like Martin and Elodie explore it's own lore and creatures. From the new friends they meet, such as Illo ...more
Janelle Garrett
Dec 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't say enough about this delightful book. The writing is fresh and inventive, with a few dashes of humor. The characters are deep and delightful. The various creatures in the woods are original. Honestly, I can't remember the last time a YA/Middle Grade book caught my fancy quite like this except for the Chronicles of Narnia. Hello... who wouldn't love Bramble and the way he talks? Or King Prickle and his haunting madness? The clean, wondrous love of Martin and Elodie? The mystery of the wo ...more
Hufflepuff Book Reviewer
Where the Woods Grow Wild is a decidedly fun and eloquently written piece of fantasy with sharp humor, excellent world-building, and a plethora of fun characters. There were things about the story that I didn’t love, but the positive elements of the story made up for the less-than-amazing aspects for me.

So, what did I most love about the book? Where the Woods Grow Wild contains some of the most excellent, top-notch world-building I’ve ever encountered. Philbrick expertly portrays the woods and e
Jan 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A delightful, must-read adventure.

"Is he dangerous when he's mad?" Martin asked.
"That all depends on how you feel about getting turned into a tree."

This is just one of the many lines that had me laughing out loud as I read Nate Philbrick's latest fantasy novel. It was quotes like these, posted on his Twitter feed in the days before the book's release, that made me eager to read it in the first place. When the launch date finally arrived, I was not disappointed.

"Where the Woods Grow Wild" is a st
emrys merlin
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wow! I'm extremely impressed.

It has great characters, an amazing plot, and a writing style that resembles llyod Alexander's. Enough said
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Terrific! Thanks for the recommendation, Luke. Nate has produced a real winner. I'm looking forward to the sequel! ...more
Hannah Krynicki
Jun 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, adventure
Where the Woods Grow Wild is a humorous, rollicking adventure story with a good heart at the bottom of it all. In fact, it reminded me of an old German folk tale. The story is filled with monsters and danger, and it does indeed get scary sometimes, but that doesn't detract from the optimism or the humor. All the characters, even the minor ones, have their own personalities and quirks and often got me chuckling within a few minutes of meeting them. While I wasn't fond of the ending, which felt a ...more
Ursi Engebretsen
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! Nate Philbrick builds an incredible fantasy world for his story. At first, the title gave me pause; I thought, oh boy, there are SO many fantasy novels with woods in them, and they tend to all be the same! But these woods aren't like any other woods I've seen. They're filled with strange creatures that break the usual forest-creature mold. The characters are great, too...dynamic and relatable. There's a strong theme of friendship, which I really like. Oh, and the suspense is w ...more
Joseph Leskey
Original review as of December 8, 2018:
Now, if you don't want to read my review, you're definitely looking in the wrong direction. Personally, I'd suggest that you continue looking in this direction (it's a great direction, really) and read this thing I've written anyway. However, If you are firm in your resolve, I propose that you abandon my review and, obtaining this book in any feasible, legal fashion, read it, seeing as it's just about as good as books get. This latter course, I have to admi
H. S. Kylian (Hannah Killian)
This was quite charming, and Podgin and Bramble had to be the funniest characters. Bramble reminded me of both Gollum and Radagast from The Hobbit.

I guessed the twist about halfway through the book, then I was like, "Oh wait, maybe it's not that..."
But it was.

Martin was definitely a stubbornhead - both he and Elodie - but the way they kept looking for each other even when all seemed hopeless...

And the banter between Illo and Podgin, haha!

I'll have to read this again once my 14 yro sister is d
May 06, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: indie
This is a fun book. It may be a little long, but it's certainly enjoyable. I look forward to reading more from this author.
Azelyn Klein
Part of my New Year's resolution this year was to read more independently published books. Even as an author of an indie-published series, I’m wary of indie-books. My main concern is that not all indie-authors use an editor, and what if the writing style is—well—difficult? This was not the case with Where the Woods Grow Wild. Philbrick left me pleasantly surprised, marvelling at his method for describing settings and situations. The light-hearted tone and often humorous descriptions kept me ench ...more
A very cute, hilarious, and entertaining fantasy read. The imaginative characters jumped from the pages and made a lasting impression. I also loved how it was difficult to decipher the motives of some of the minor characters, so readers are thrust into a mystery to discover who is friend or foe. I highly recommend this novel to lovers of clean fantasy, especially middle grade audiences.
Rachel Svendsen
Aug 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Well written and engaging story about friendship, truth, and overcoming your inner demons. The characters were at times sweet and wise, and others adorable and quirky. I loved how the story emphasized honesty and unconditional love in relationships. Philbrick has a great ability to describe his settings, which made the wild woods within his story truly come alive.
Merenwen Inglorion
Oh my word, this was amazing.

Unique animals (the dryads! Haven't read the like before!), funny lines (I found myself chuckling just about every page), memorable characters who--bonus--have names unique enough to be different but not so much so that you can't pronounce them...this book has a little of everything. :D

I didn't think I was as invested as I was in the book until near the end...then I surprised myself by crying! So extra-sneaky writing voice, there.
I also found that, several times, I w
Kait Spangler
Mar 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Where the Woods Grow Wild is an enjoyable fantasy. Where many fantasies tend to move closer to darkness and despair, this story stays on the lighter side of things. That isn’t to say that it’s an easy journey for the characters. There are many obstacles and challenges that the characters are faced with. Not only that, the story does explore some serious topics such as losing a loved one and learning to accept and live with a disability. These are topics that many of us can relate to.

This novel
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Flames of Courage (The Terebinth Tree Chronicles #2)
  • Colors of Fear (The Terebinth Tree Chronicles #1)
  • Skies of Dripping Gold
  • Sounds of Deceit (The Terebinth Tree Chronicles #3)
  • Hollow (Crockett and Crane, #2.5)
  • The Beast of Talesend (Beaumont and Beasley, #1)
  • Malfunction (Malfunction Trilogy #1)
  • The Traveler
  • Watson and Holmes
  • The Citizen (Lost Empire Book 2)
  • Bone Crier's Moon (Bone Grace, #1)
  • The Door in the Hedge
  • Horseman (Crockett and Crane #1)
  • Antiheroes
  • Of Myth and Monster
  • Strange Waters
  • Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 17 (Fullmetal Alchemist, #17)
  • Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 23 (Fullmetal Alchemist, #23)
See similar books…
Turning coffee into #amwriting. Christ follower | #indieauthor and #wattpad writer | hylian | jedi | amateur digital artist | thalassophobic

Related Articles

It's time to get in that last stretch of winter reading and prepare our Want to Read shelves for spring. Luckily for us, February brings a...
45 likes · 10 comments