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Darkwood

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  954 ratings  ·  188 reviews
Darkness falls so quickly in Howland that the people there have no word for evening. One minute the sky is light, the next minute it is black. But darkness comes in other forms, too, and for thirteen-year-old Annie, the misery she endures in her Uncle's household makes the black of night seem almost soothing. When Annie escapes, her route takes her first to a dangerous min ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published May 12th 2009 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
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Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.55  · 
Rating details
 ·  954 ratings  ·  188 reviews


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Laura
Jan 31, 2009 rated it liked it
A sort-of selkie tale, set in one of those Countries Gone Bad (evil miners, silly king), orphans, dark woods, and a bunch of other fairy tale tropes combined into one interesting book.

The action sequences were a bit confusing - almost as though they weren't really plotted out on a map but just thrown in as "gee, this sounds good". And the ending left me equally confused: was the prophecy finished? What actually happened to Gibbet? I'm not sure the confusion was meant...

Two things I loved: the ch
...more
Amber
Jun 19, 2009 rated it it was ok
In Howland, darkness falls so quick that people there have no word for evening. It's not the darkness that they fear, it's the kinderstalk, creatures that roam the forest killing those that enter it.

Annie is a more adventures twelve year old that lives under her aunt and uncle's care since her parents died. After her sister's death, all she is able to do is just survive there. Until one night she escapes before she is basically sold off. Out on her escape and the journey she now faces, she find
...more
Miki Garrison
Mar 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A lot of the fantasy I've read over the last few years seems to all be drawing from the same pool of ideas -- but definitely not this one! This is an incredibly compelling book.

While it's great watching Annie (the main character) learn more about her world and her family, and about her own strengths, as the book develops, one of the things that made this book so amazingly real is that even the minor characters have a lot of depth to them. No one feels like a cardboard prop in this book!

And whi
...more
Ryan
Aug 17, 2009 rated it liked it
Darkwood had all the elements of a great story, but the pieces fit together a bit oddly--not unevenly or jaggedly or anything. It's hard to put a finger on what kept me from enjoying this book about a girl seeking to ... well, maybe that was the problem.

The heroine here, Annie, is fleeing a tyrannical adoptive family and the slave life into which they sought to sell her. She's avoiding the dangerous--though possibly misunderstood--kinderstalk that prowl the dark forests at night. She's searching
...more
colleen the convivial curmudgeon
2.5

I picked this up on a whim at the library because I needed something to read and the cover drew my attention.

First thing I will say is that the books wraps up some things, but also leaves a lot of threads dangling as an obvious set up for a sequel, but this book was released in 2009 and no sequel seems forthcoming. I say this because, honestly, if I'd known that this wasn't a pure standalone and that there never was a follow-up, then I might've passed on this book. So I'm putting that out th
...more
Valerie
Jun 08, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This book has a different world and a strong protagonist called Annie. The premises of the book was interesting-a runaway orphan girl is just trying to keep herself safe and then all of a sudden she has to save the kingdom. That sounds pretty epic if you ask me. Even with a young protagonist and less than 300 pages I figured ‘id be superb and was so excited when I found out my library had it. Which is why I was a little disappointed.

Darkwood did have its epic moments, the world is interesting,
...more
Kate
Jul 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
Darkwood is one of those novels that leaves you thinking WOW! There is so much going on in this intriguing debut novel that I am still trying to get my head wrapped around it. The story has an interesting premise featuring a land that suddenly gets dark for no explanation, an orphan trying to survive, and 2 adorable cats. I really enjoyed Annie as a character; however, I felt like the cats were the actual stars of the book.

In addition, I have to give kudos to Breen for the major twist of the nov
...more
Quinten Kempf
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Personal Response

Personally I really like the book Darkwood. I liked how to book started out with a normal world and developed into a world with Witchcraft and monsters. I also thought it was interesting that Annie- the main protagonist became a hero after once being a poor orphan girl.

Plot Summary

The book starts off with an orphaned girl named Annie who has a horrible life living with her aunt and uncle. The only enjoyment in her life was the books she has read multiple times over and her two c
...more
Sierra
Feb 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Darkwood an intriguing novel about mystical creatures called Kinderstalk who lurk in the darkest part of the forest, keeping to their own until they meet a Annie Trewitt who becomes solitude from her horrible situation living with her rotten aunt and uncle because of her parent's death. "She looked down at the cats. They were sitting within the ring of the light from her lantern, staring up at her calmly." Breen has a wonderful voice and she words things correctly, to where you can picture the c ...more
Alley Kat
Feb 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Darkwood was a nice book about a girl on the run from the people forcing children to work in the canyons, mining precious rock. It had a really strong fantasy feel that I didn't quite understand until the end of the book. I loved the communication between the main girls and the kinderstalk. Annie's cats were so amazing, always finding her no matter where she went. ...more
Tony
Mar 05, 2011 rated it liked it
Anne the twelve year old heroine and her feline companions Isadore and Prudence go on adventure that takes them from the dark woods of Howland to the palace of the capital city. Who is Anne really and will she find out in time?
Becky
Oct 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Breen is a good writer. She created a world of fairy tale magic that feels possible, and characters who fill their roles perfectly.

That being said, maybe I just wasn't the in mood while reading it, but I felt like it reached a semi-interesting level and just stayed there. There was no intense reveal or brilliant twist...it just felt like it went like it was supposed to and there was nothing surprising.

I do appreciate the sisterly affection shown throughout, and the themes of loyalty and courage
...more
Eon Ice
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Easily one of my favorite childhood books (okay, maybe teen books xD), I've always found the story encased within "Darkwood" to be both sweet and haunting, unique amongst its peers in any Junior or High School library -- or any other library for that matter. In an era shaped by "Twilight", "Darkwood" had a voice of its own, clear and bright as a bell, one that kept me going back to it again and again. The characters, the simple but layered story, and most of all the myths surrounding the world w ...more
Allyson
Feb 21, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brianna Schantz
Dec 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
"Darkwood" is a good read - Breen's world, ideas, and characters are thoroughly intriguing, and Breen does well introducing all (such as the "hero of legend" archetype and even the true antagonist) in ways that are arguably unconventional to the fantasy genre. However, I am disappointed that this world, its ideas, and its characters were not explored more in-depth. Breen sets very interesting plot points into motion yet, due to the length of the novel and the pacing of the plot, fails to expand ...more
Caelyenn Moua
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Darkwood is a darkness that falls so quickly in Howland and that the people there have no word for evening. Just within a minute the sky is light, the next minute it is black. But darkness comes in other forms, and Annie age of thirteen-year-old who live with her aunt and uncle since her parents died, the misery she endures in her Uncle's household that makes the black of night seem almost soothing.
When Annie escapes her route takes her to a first dangerous mine where a stone is being stolen by
...more
Kerri Simpson
May 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
An unsettling darkness a whisper. Hints of a lone orphans past. I thought my family was terrible. Overall it was a pretty decent story. I just didnt obsess over the fate of the characters and that is a must for me. I liked the story well enough. It is unique. I just have to feel that connection with the characters. I need that.
Lizy
This one was difficult to get into, had way too many loose ends, and I honestly couldn't stand Page's character. ...more
Daphne Sena
Mar 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Found this book in the library. I sat down and started reading. Finished it in one day. Good story with lots of surprises.
Kaitlyn
It was cool
Denise Taylor
Nov 03, 2020 rated it it was ok
What is HAPPENING in this book? I was confused the entire way through. Even the parts I understood didn't make sense. ...more
Jennifer
May 16, 2021 rated it liked it
Overall, I enjoyed the setting of the book and the characters... but the plot was hard to follow at times. The story seemed to lack flow.
Melissa Dwyer
Feb 04, 2016 rated it liked it
The book starts slow, then slowly sucks you in. There are some thrilling moments that can be considered mildly scary, but due to the fantasy nature of the book is not to scary. I flt the story dragged a little in the middle, but quickly picked back up at the end.

Children's Literature - Jennifer Lehmann
For years she has feared the kinderstalk, but when Annie overhears her uncle making plans to sell her to work at the Drop, she risks the dangers of the forest to get away. On a journey that takes
...more
Ana Mardoll
Dec 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ana-reviewed
Darkwood / 978-1-59990-259-3

With its lovely cover featuring a heroine with dark hair and bright eyes, framed by two clever cats and trailed by the ominous shapes of black wolves melting into the shadows of the forest behind her, "Darkwood" cannot help but catch and hold the eye of the observer. The premise is even more intriguing: in the world of Howland, there is no dusk, no moon, and no stars - only sudden, complete blackness when night comes. The inky darkness hides frightening dangers - the
...more
Shel
Jul 24, 2009 added it
Breen, M.E. (2009). Darkwood. New York: Bloomsbury Children's Literature.

1599902591

An orphan named Annie (no relation to the musical Annie) lives with her uncle and aunt who are far from wonderful caregivers. Annie misses her dead sister as well as her lost friend, Gregor, who along with many other children in the area has been taken by the beastly and hungry Kinderstalk.

Annie overhears her uncle planning to sell her into service at the Drop, a place that Annie is certain will lead to hear death
...more
Cecilia Rodriguez
Sep 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Breen's plot is dark and filled with secrets.
Annie Trewitt reminded me of: "Princess Mononoke."
Breen blends the darker elements of: Hansel and Gretel with Red Ridding Hood.
There is also a very subtle influence of Charles Dickens.
Towards the end of the story, Steampunk elements are brought in.
Another novel that is similar: "The Cats of Tanglewood Forest," by Charles de Lint.
...more
Danielle
Nov 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
While the beginning is slow, this book is really good once it picks up, and with the importance of the cats and wolves, it’s quite good for animal lovers. It’s also more original than fantasy books often are, and it avoids just recycling ideas.
Eva Mitnick
Nov 09, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, fantasy
In Howland, the moon has not been seen in seven centuries, and when the day is over, night slams down over the land without the grace of a sunset or dusk. Why this is remains a mystery throughout this dark and atmospheric fantasy, although we gain an idea of what vile creature is responsible for this black and dangerous night.

In the night, hungry animals prowl - the "kinderstalk," who are held responsible for the disappearance, one by one, of many of the children in Dour County. But when young A
...more
Patricia - Lady with Books
Sep 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
I was really surprised to find this book in the juvenile section but the age of the main character and the complete lack of a romance angle for her in this book probably put it there rather than the young adult section. The main character, Annie, is a child. We never learn her age but I’d put her probably at 10, possibly at 11 years of age. There are several years between Annie and her older sister, Page, but we are never told the exact age difference.

The location and scene changes in this story
...more
Karissa
Dec 30, 2010 rated it liked it
I got this book because I loved the cover and the title. Then I read the synopsis and it sounded very fairy tale like and intriguing and I was hooked. Overall it was an okay book; it wasn't as engaging as I had hoped but it was still an okay read.

Thirteen year old Annie lives with her cruel uncle and her passive aunt. Just when she thinks things can't get any worse she is sold off to work at The Drop, a horrible mine. Rather than do what her uncle wants she escapes and wanders out into the fores
...more
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M.E. Breen grew up with dogs, cats, newts, turtles, rabbits and rats in the woolly hills of Berkeley, California. She now lives by the ocean in San Francisco.

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