Here's the synopsis:
Fairy tales and haunted woods lead us through L.J. Leger's Beauty and the Beast story of one girl with the weight of a village on her shoulders and the attention of a very unlikely soul.
Jenna is chosen for the coveted task of gathering the magical fruit to preserve the peaceful balance of the secret valley where she and many others live. During the harvest, one fruit is damaged and the task of healing the bruise falls on Jenna’s shoulders. She must enter the Wraith’s Forest, retrieve a magical blade from the specter who lives there so the valley will remain a utopia. But once she makes contact with the Wraith, her fear slowly disappears and her curiosity is aroused with more questions of why the Wraith is in the Forest and the true purpose for the harvest. If you love Beauty and Beast type fairy tales, Wraith’s Forest is the book to read. Perfect for Young Adults!
My review of Wraith's Forest:
3.5/5 stars: A magical tale, beautifully written.
Wraith’s Forest is a dark fairy-tale novella filled with deceit, compassion and magic. I was pleasantly surprised by this short story. An intriguing re-telling of the classic Beauty and the Beast fairytale, Leger perfectly produces an original and exciting tale that magically draws you into the story.
In my opinion the story was beautifully well-written. The author’s use of description and syntax just completed the story and added that extra layer to the narrative of the story. The writing emphasised the frantic emotions of the protagonist, Jenna when she descends terrified into the forest searching for the haunting Wraith. In this scene in particular, the sentences were short perfectly highlighting the scared girl’s emotions and her increasing heartbeat. The writing throughout the story perfectly paralleled the emotions of the characters; a great technique in my opinion. The descriptive scenes of the story brought the fairy tale to life. I could truly feel the cold, deathly breath on Jenna’s face, smell the decaying surroundings of the forest and felt the warmth and luxuriousness of the bath water. It was magically written.
I enjoyed the characterisation within the story. They were authentic and believable; perfect characters for a great re-telling of the timeless fairy tale. Jenna, a young and pretty girl finds herself terrified and alone amongst the dark and decaying trees of the forest where the dreaded Wraith waits in the shadows, guarding the forest and the magical tree. The Wraith was a believable scary character; I always find such creatures more frightening than monsters. I personally felt complete sympathy for the anguished creature when it was mentioned that he wails for days and nights on end when the harvest of the Tree is completed. I won’t spoil the story too much but it is one of pity, compassion and heartbreak.
I did enjoy the story but I thought that it only skimmed the surface. The length of the story just didn’t work for me. I think if the story was longer another layer of depth could have been exposed and the story could have progressed a little slower therefore revealing each layer slowly creating more of an effect. The relationship between the characters could have developed at a steadier pace but I guess that’s the nature of fairy-tales! But that is the only negative thing I really have to say about this story; I enjoyed the story so much that I wanted it to be longer. So not too bad of a point I hope.
All in all, it was a good, enjoyable read. I was surprised upon reading it as it was just so beautifully written. The descriptive scenes within the story were just written perfectly. The story was also an exciting read and although it was a short novella I did get caught up in the story of the two protagonists. A great fairy-tale re-telling and I hope the author writes more original tales based on other classics. I'll definitely be looking out for more by this author in the future.