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The Forest ~ a tale of old magic ~

4.54  ·  Rating details ·  28 ratings  ·  26 reviews
“I met a man made of leaves with roots for hair, who looked at me with eyes that burnt like fire.”

An impenetrable forest that denies entry to all but a select few. A strange and isolated village, whose residents never leave.
A curse that reappears every generation, leaving death and despair in its wake.

What is lurking at the heart of the Forest? When the White Hind of legen
Paperback, 358 pages
Published October 20th 2018 by Independently published
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4.54  · 
Rating details
 ·  28 ratings  ·  26 reviews

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Michelle Miller
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A modern tale spun like days of old…

While I found enjoyment from books at an early age, my love for literature was cultivated in college, specifically through works from the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries. There was something in the way those writers and poets spun their tales, the care they took with each line, the beauty of their styles that called to me.

When I first started reading The Forest, I immediately felt at home within its pages. I was sucked in from page one and felt, instead of read
Lenita Sheridan
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Full of Suspense

Julia Blake creates suspense by keeping the reader guessing as she weaves her fantasy about a forest full of magic. There is a curse placed on this forest. As any insightful reader knows, only good can break this curse. But can they break it? That is the suspense.

The author writes both fiction and poetry in this book and succeeds with both. Her prose, itself, is poetic. Her characterizations are well rounded. The forest is well described, in fact, it is a living entity.

I would li
K.M. Allan
Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Written in the vein of classic stories, The Forest, tells a tale of a small town touched by a curse that stretches across generations. It's a good sized-read, split into five parts, which are flagged by illustrated title pages and beautiful quotes. These sectioned parts cover the past, present, and future, giving the reader a chance to experience the backstory of the town's characters, how the curse was created, and how it comes to a head for the current group caught in its clutches. We meet Reu ...more
Julia Blake
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Authors Review: The Forest ~ a tale of old magic ~

Of all my books, this is perhaps the one I care the most about. Conceived thirteen years ago after a germ of an idea sprouted upon overhearing the most wonderfully quirky name ever at a family party, it quickly grew into the rich, complex and darkly delicious tale of old magic, curses and betrayed love that it is today. Upon completion, I gave it to friends to read and received such negative feedback and bleated complaints that it wasn’t like any
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Forest is the kind of story you’d expect to find in a dusty old tome if you wandered into a magical bookshop in an old English village. It’s a timeless epic tale full of mystery, love, magic, folklore, and the complex interweaving of human hearts across the eras.

The story centers on a rural village called Wykenwode, perched at the edge of an ancient and mysterious forest, which is guarded by an unseen barrier that only a predestined few can pass beyond. Those who can enter the heart of the f
Allyson Grove
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: instagram-books
I've had a couple days to sit after finishing this book to try and collect my thoughts and still I wish I had the words to capture my feelings. I truly appreciated the depth and history Julia added to this book. The village is full of history and legends about the Forest bordering them. It makes the reader feel as if they are visiting a real place. Meeting Rueben, Sally and Jack, we get to grow alongside them and see the darkness that is a subtle part of life in Wyckenwode.
I enjoyed the magic a
Oliver Clarke
Nov 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review first appeared on - the author provided a free copy in return for a review

‘The Forest’ is many things - a romance, a coming of age story, a collection of folklore tales and a supernatural thriller. Impressively it manages to wrap all those elements together into a whole that is satisfying and rich, without one element ever dominating. It’s also pleasantly different from a lot of modern horror fiction. If I were to compare it to anything it would be Phil Rickman’s wo
Ruth Miranda
Nov 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is one hell of a story. Crafted marvellously, it comes from an imagination that knows no boundaries. It's rich, dark, enticing like the forest it presents us. It's lush with magic and wonder, the characters singing out of the pages until you can't stop humming to their tune. It takes you away on a journey you need to follow through, as if the pages are the very path deeper into those woods. It's been one of my favourite reads this year, and having read the author's previous work, I c
Eva Pasco
Mar 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So Mote It Be!

The author’s storytelling prowess and larger-than-life characters lead the reader to the lush forest’s edge in the insular farming village of Wykenwode—and through its barrier, to witness the fallout from a curse that transcends time.

A curse the vile entity trapped inside the forest feeds on, siphoning a vengeful evil by feeding on and manipulating the inherent darkness steeped in its targeted villagers. There’s no shortage of hatred, jealousy, envy, greed, pain, anger, and betray
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Hello, book hangover, my old friend. This book made me feel like I was learning what it was like to grow up in a small village in England, full of tradition and folklore and history. Those are all things that really speak to me, so I really enjoyed escaping to The Forest. There was also a fair bit of mystery that kept my mind puzzling through clues and connections the whole time. The characters were all well written, distinct, and interesting. I really enjoyed this book and will be rereading it ...more
Author Dawnette Brenner
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Forest, full of secrets, love and reoccurring sacrifice. Will Sally, Jack and Reuben end the Curse?

Julia creatively describes each of their lives, entrancing us to their world. Her writing exquisite, a literary delight as she weaves the magic of the forest around and amidst the characters lives.
I thoroughly enjoyed it and always love her work. Julia delves deep into her writing. I highly recommend her books.
Amelia Oz
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The first chapter of this book blew me away with its detail and tone. The author is a master at developing intriguing characters that pitch the pace along quickly. The rest of the book was just as good, pulling you along into a very English world. I love anything related to old forests and myths and here is a town full of mysteries and people who you can't help but root for against a terrible curse that keeps revisting its citizens. There were a few twists I did not expect and the ending was bot ...more
Becky Wright
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Incredible! Review to follow...
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A story filled with secrets, curses, old rituals and traditions, (and an inauspicious white hart), the Forest is a dark and magical tale, all tangled together in the dark misty depths of an eldrich woodland.

I'm a fan of folklore, and it runs like a vein of silver through the coal-dark mysteries of this tale, glimmering here and there amongst the various story-threads like moonlight through bare branches.

There are several such threads running through the narrative, weaving away and pulling you on
J.S. Frankel
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've read other novels by Ms. Blake before and liked them. This novel is no exception. Although it's a slightly longer read than I'm used to, it doesn't lag. That's a plus.

Okay, we have a forest. It's full of magic. There are strange creatures, journeys of the mind and heart, friendship, mystery, and awe. We also have a town full of oddball characters, and I love me some offbeat characters! That's really the strength of this novel, the sharp characterizations as well as the seamless way in whic
Ellen Read
Jan 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing

The Forest by Julia Blake

I love tales of ancient folklore, myths and legends. So, I was greatly anticipating reading and enjoying this book…and I was not disappointed.
From the very beginning The Forest lured me into its dark depths. As Sally, Jack and Reuben find their destinies entwined and linked to past and present events, I wondered at times if it was set in modern days. However, that wasn’t confusing. If anything, it added to the feeling of the timelessness of the forest, with its old mag
Caroline Noe
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is an extraordinary novel that creeps up and catches you unawares, and yet is filled with portent. It takes its time to introduce us to a village on the edge of an ancient forest; a village heaving with seemingly normal inhabitants, secretly seething, each with a quirky name that befits their character, as though a cross between Miss Marple and Dickens. All this serves to lull us into a false sense of security; whereupon it launches into a sprint through the magical and timeless, the power ...more
Toni Kief
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is so beautifully written about friendships that grow and last forever. It has the complexity of love, jealousy and pain. It is much deeper and complex with the power of history unknown and lost. What seems so simple is complex and faces those from before as well as today. This book will stay with me and addresses some of my beliefs.
A. Hunt
Mar 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Forest is a dangerous place. Long ago, a woman foretold of something coming and she had not lied. Periodically, when the white hind is spotted, someone goes missing. Someone dies. In the town of Wyckenwode, there appears to be a curse and three individuals have been chosen. Sally, one of the kindest girls in town; Jack, one born of a wicked temperament and Reuben, a troubled young man. Can they uncover secrets, discover truths, and maybe save themselves?

As complimented previously, the charac
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a magical tale where past and present intersect. The story is full of magic, suspense, love, and friendship. The story was elegantly written with just the right amount of description to take the reader on the adventure in this village next to the forest.

We follow Sally, Jack, and Reuben from childhood through their early adult years in a village of close knit families and friends. A curse grips this town about every generation, to plague the village with death. The story unfolds from p
Sharman Badgett-Young
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The story describes how the characters' personalities are formed by their pasts and their ancestors' pasts. It is a modern-day folktale based on ancient folktales--all the original work of the author. The tales are every bit as gritty as those published by the Brothers Grimm—before they became softened by modern re-tellers. Some readers may find such content disturbing. But as our present-day lives are influenced by the generations that have passed on and the stories they have left us, this tale ...more
Rob Beck
Not a bad book. Clearly Julia can write well and tell a good story. The village of Wyckenwode is well realised and the characters are unique and identifiable. The premise was intriguing and the theme of jealousy was an engaging one.

However, especially in the beginning and middle of the book I encountered a lot of redundant adverbs and adjectives such as "confused bewilderment", and "wondered curiously". Particularly in book two, it seemed that every noun required at least one adjective, and ever
Shel Calopa
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What would you do if your town had been cursed for generations? If you had to live in the middle of a dark forest with a mysterious entity and a secret behind every door?

This is the world of The Forest which successfully mixes old world English charm with modern day heartache. Think hunting and witches, love stories and fairytales, Lords and loss. Without wanting to give to much away, this book really has something for everyone.

Julia has a wonderful gift for description that, in parts, reads al
T.L. Clark
Dec 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Wyckenwode, Wyckenwode. Defender of the innocent; Protector of the good.

I really enjoyed this story; ancient wisdom carefully interwoven with a new and enchanting tale.

The beginning is quite slow, but it really picks up from the halfway point.

The paths of the past, present, and even the future cross as destiny unfolds.
A battle of darkness vs. light brews in the murk of The Forest which surrounds the seemingly tranquil village.

Intriguing, well-developed characters that I cared about.

The fir
Wendy Hewlett
Feb 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderfully creative and engaging story! It took me a while to get into it, but to be fair, there was a lot of back story to be told. I fell in love with the characters and although I felt like I knew where the story was going, the author continued to surprise me. This is the type of story you want to read again and again.
With a bit more editing to weed out some of the 'telling', this could become an epic classic, read by young and old for generations to come.
Loved it!!
C.N. Jannain
Feb 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Julia Blake outdid herself with this novel. It is full of secrets, suspense, danger, love and friendship. Surrounded by the town of Wykenwode, the Forest holds many secrets. A curse from long ago continues to bring pain and misery. Can this curse be broken? Not wanting to give anything away I can only say this is a wonderful written work that will take you on a magical journey you don’t want to miss.
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I was born and raised in the beautiful historic market town of Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, where I live still with my daughter, one crazy cat and a succession of even crazier lodgers. Although The Book of Eve is my first published novel, I have been writing stories and poems since I could first pick up a pen, and I promise there are many more books in the pipeline. I write the kind of books that I ...more