Title: A Clearing in the Forest
Author: Kim Love Stump
Genre: YA Fantasy
Source: Review copy provided by YA Bound Book Tours
Princess Adriana is about to leave the Kingdom of Ayrden on the Journey of her sixteenth year.
If she is ever to ascend to the throne, Adriana must go—alone and unarmed—into the unknown. She’s been trained and gifted for the journey, just like all the royals who preceded her—even the ones who never returned.
Adriana leaves Ayrden on her brother’s black stallion the day after her birthday celebration, with bravery in her heart and hopes for a quick return. When three paths emerge, one of grass, one of gold, and one of gemstones, she chooses the pragmatic path of grass. Although it seems safe, and the landscape familiar, she soon finds she will have to overcome nearly impossible challenges. Ultimately, an unexpected friendship not only changes Adriana, but the very kingdom she someday hopes to rule. The question is, will the friendship turn into everlasting love?
MY TAKE ON A C I T F:
It is a rare occurrence when a fantasy tale teaches important attributes of life in such a manner that you are left spell-bound. As a reader, I was not only mesmerized by the story-line but was also captivated with the blend of life’s philosophy within it. I wouldn’t say that the story was flawless but it surely was impressive. Though a stand-alone, it definitely left me for wanting more.
The book is all about the experiences of Adriana, the princess of Ayrden. The kingdom of Ayrden has always followed the tradition of sending their heir on a journey as they turn sixteen years of age. Upon their return, the eldest is crowned as the ruler of the kingdom. Princess Adriana, being the eldest is bound to embark upon a journey to unknown lands, after her sixteenth birthday.
On the course of her journey she comes across strange creatures and human beings. Her encounters with these beings, make her understand more about life as well as herself. She comes to know about her strengths and weaknesses. Collecting the lessons of life learned through her choices and their outcomes, she returns to her homeland.
Whether her exposure benefits her or not and how she tackles through sticky situations is something to lookout in the story.
The descriptive world-building was most impressive. Author has described the unknown lands in such vivid manner that they get imprinted in reader’s mind for a very long time. The plethora of colours, the inhabitants of various lands, and their dresses – all are so distinct and unusual. I was specially taken away by the paths found in the clearing; the unique involvement of musical elements within the later part of the story; the variety of food and its method of collection and the landscapes.
The narration of the story was so in-sync with the reader’s mind. It was my personal experience that the moment I had questions and doubts regarding any turn of events – the author used to question the same through the means of her characters. It allowed me to remain connected with the story throughout.
The various teachings and sayings which Adriana remembers from her training days were so simple yet so true. Often it happens in our lives that during an adverse or uncontrolled situation, we remember teachings or advices of our teachers or elders. This bit gave a realistic touch to this fantasy tale.
The shadow of the bird seen by Adriana; the reason behind the odd behaviour of her family which she observed after returning, were some of the few openings which required closure at the end of the story.
The oddly beautiful worlds could have been explored more. This is just my wishful thinking as I was truly entranced by them and genuinely wanted to know more about them 🙂
Read this book if you are interested in an engaging fantasy story-line with a spectacular world-building involving extra-ordinary adventures testing human attributes.
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Kim Love Stump has loved to read and write ever since she can remember. Whether it was writing a story in third grade called I am a Date, or curling up in her swinging chair reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, fiction in all its forms has always been the fastest way for her to transport herself somewhere else. Now, as an author, Kim strives to transport others in that very same way. She and her husband of more than 30 years make their home in Charlotte, NC.
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