The Forest Grimm By Kathryn Purdie- Summary
Goodreads summary (review below) of The Forest Grimm By Kathryn Purdie:
Where fairy tales come to life with dark, deadly twists…
“Tell me again, Grandmère, the story of how I die.”
The Midnight Forest. The Fanged Creature. Two fortune-telling cards spell an untimely death for 17-year-old Clara. Despite the ever-present warning from her fortune-teller grandmother, Clara embarks on a dangerous journey into the deadly Forest Grimm to procure a magical book – Sortes Fortunae, the Book of Fortunes – with the power to reverse the curse on her village and save her mother.
Years ago, when the villagers whispered their deepest desires to the book, its pages revealed how to obtain them. All was well until someone used the book for an evil purpose―to kill another person. Afterward, the branches of the Forest Grimm snatched the book away, the well water in Grimm’s Hollow turned rancid, and the crops died from the disease. The villagers tried to make amends with the forest, but every time someone crossed its border, they never returned.
Now, left with no alternative, Clara and her close friend, Axel―who is fated never to be with her―have set their minds to defying fate and daring to accomplish what no one else has been able to before. But the forest―alive with dark, deadly twists on some of our most well-known fairy tales―has a mind of its own.
Number 1: Multiple Twisted Fairy Tales
Much like Martha Brockenbrough’s The Bloodred Forest, The Forest Grimm is the only other fairy tale, YA Fantasy, that retells a multitude of Fairy Tales and mashes them together in a dark and twisted way. If you loved The Bloodred Forest, you will love The Forest Grimm. If you haven’t read The Bloodred Forest? I implore you to do so. From Red Riding Hood to Rapunzel (and many more), Kathryn Purdie takes these tales and weaves them together to hold up the overall story. Kathryn Purdie does this in a magical and enrapturing way. Personally, I have become tired of retells and reimaginings. However, Martha Brockenborough and Kathryn Purdie overcome this trend with their distinctive utilization of their chosen fairy tales.
Number 2: Tropes
Yes, I said tropes. And you are thinking tropes? And I’m saying, yes, tropes. But how is this possible? Glad you asked. I have many issues with certain trends (see romantacy, for one). Moreover, I don’t enjoy all tropes (but that is my personal taste). However, the worst writing is that which does not execute tropes well. In The Forest Grimm, the tropes that thread their way throughout the story are executed with precision. Some of these tropes include a cursed forest, a prophecy, missing town members, and a strong-willed girl that is determined to beat the forest and bring loved ones home.
Number 3: Characters
The main characters are superbly developed. There are reasons behind their actions that make sense. These aren’t characters just running into a cursed forest blindly. The supporting characters are also wonderfully utilized. The fairy tale characters are twisted and changed while having their own dark cause for how they interfere with the overall journey and goals. Some of them being connected to the lost loed ones from the village (I won’t say more because of spoilers). The dynamics between the main characters are also enjoyable. Even me, who rolls my eyes at romance, could live with the writing in The Forest Grimm. It is the ultimate slow burn, one that has to be fought for the greater good to break the spell.
Thank you to Wednesday Books and Macmillan Audio for the advanced audio of The Forest Grimm, which releases on September 19th, 2023.
Number 4: The Mystery
Within the fairy tale fantasy that engulfs The Forest Grimm, Kathryn Purdy has engaged in a mystery. There are multiple mysteries surrounding the forest, the spell book prophecy, and the missing town members. This genre-bending story is well-balanced and thorough in the parts they play within the story. Lastly, each twisted fairy tale provides another mystery that keeps the suspense high due to Kathryn Purdie’s writing and creativity in their retelling. Mysteries that connect the village bordering the village with the fairy tales that await within (again, I won’t say more due to spoilers).
Number 5: Writing
To be honest, I’m not sure this reason is necessary. If you can’t tell from 1-4, I was kept enthralled by Kathryn Purdie’s writing. From the poems embedded, within the story, to how she connects those from the village with the characters from the fairy tale, Kathryn Purdie writes the hell out of The Forest Grimm. I cannot wait to read the next book in The Forest Grimm series. It is clever, mysterious, and fantastical. The Forest Grimm could have easily become a convoluted mess, but Kathryn Purdie writes at the top of her game to keep everything cohesive and not bogged down.