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Emmeline knows she’s not supposed to explore the woods outside her settlement. The enemy that wiped out half her people lurks there, attacking at night and keeping them isolated in an unfamiliar land with merciless winters. Living with the shame of her grandmother’s insubordination, Emmeline has learned to keep her head down and her quick tongue silent.
When the settlement leader asks for her hand in marriage, it’s an opportunity for Emmeline to wash the family slate clean—even if she has eyes for another. But before she’s forced into an impossible decision, her dreams urge her into the woods, where she uncovers a path she can’t help but follow. The trail leads to a secret that someone in the village will kill to protect. Her grandmother followed the same path and paid the price. If Emmeline isn’t careful, she will be next.
Firstly, I'm glad that this book haven't got labeled as retelling as I'm not sure I'd put it there. The cover gives of a vibe like this is a story about Red Riding Hood, but in reality it's not that much. This is actually something I have no idea where to put. Depending on your interpretation it can be either historical story or dystopia, but for me it works both ways.
Now, this is a story about Emmeline (Em for short), who grew up in settlement. It's the world she and people living there know about. The woods around them are scary and full of malmaci who are their worst nightmare. But Em is a very curious young girl and wondering in the woods is what she often does. But, it's what she discovers there is what will change her.
I have no idea why, but I always liked stories which give off a very old fashioned vibe. I have got a feeling like I'm in 17th century and somewhere in area of today's Canada (be prepared for lots of French here, tho) and I loved it. Besides the setting, Em and I connected right away. She is not your extraordinary, kick ass girl, but rather common but at the same time easy to approach. That leads us to the love interest here, which almost melted me! I made that weird squee whenever the two of them met. What can I tell you, I have a thing for first/sort of forbidden love deal.
Lastly, what made me fully enjoy this story is actually the writing. It was really nicely written and very readable. I couldn't stop reading once I started. The only issue I had with this book, is that some elements here seemed unnecessary. Maybe we'll get the point in the sequel. Well, let's hope.
Rating: 4 stars.
Until the next time,