Title: Into the Heartless Wood
Author: Joanna Ruth Meyer
Thank you to Page Street Books for sending me an ARC!
“He will die thinking the monster in the wood never lost her heart to the boy who is lost in the stars.”
Joanna Ruth Meyer’s standalone fantasies have impressed me a lot thus far. Echo North quickly became one of my favorites after I read it last year, and now I find myself enchanted by Into the Heartless Wood as well. This book can easily be described as a gender-swapped loose retelling of Beauty and the Beast featuring an astronomer’s son and a monstrous tree siren.
The writing is absolutely stunning. The story gives off fairytale vibes and the gorgeous, vivid descriptions and prose reflect that. Everything about the story is magical: the wicked wood, the tree sirens, the changing stars in the sky. The atmospheric setting draws the reader in easily. The relationship between Owen and Seren was both heartbreaking and heartwarming. Their love is doomed from the start but that doesn’t deter the reader from wishing them a happily ever after. I really loved how the author handled the romance aspect of this story.
Into the Heartless Wood is a dark, fairytale full of magic and forbidden love. The lyrical writing, atmospheric setting, and extraordinary storytelling make this an enchanting fantasy. I loved every second of reading this and cannot wait for more people to read it too.