Book Blurb: Deep within the Wood, a young woman lies dead. Not a mark on her body. No trace of her murderer. Only her chipped glass slippers hint at her identity.
The Woodcutter, keeper of the peace between the Twelve Kingdoms of Man and the Realm of the Faerie, must find the maiden’s killer before others share her fate. Guided by the wind and aided by three charmed axes won from the River God, the Woodcutter begins his hunt, searching for clues in the whispering dominions of the enchanted unknown.
But quickly he finds that one murdered maiden is not the only nefarious mystery afoot: one of Odin’s hellhounds has escaped, a sinister mansion appears where it shouldn’t, a pixie dust drug trade runs rampant, and more young girls go missing. Looming in the shadows is the malevolent, power-hungry queen, and she will stop at nothing to destroy the Twelve Kingdoms and annihilate the Royal Fae…unless the Woodcutter can outmaneuver her and save the gentle souls of the Wood.
Blending magic, heart-pounding suspense, and a dash of folklore, The Woodcutter is an extraordinary retelling of the realm of fairy tales.
Rating: Five Stars – highly recommended
Review: This was a quick read that doesn’t ask much, and that was all I wanted from it. It is a beautifully spun tale weaving together so many fairy tales into one cohesive plot. The prose was minimal, but it added to the general feeling of the Woodcutter’s narrative in a way that is hard to describe.
The main character is the Woodcutter, a sapling that looks like a man but bleeds sap. He maintains the border of the magical woods in which he lives with his human wife. I found the wife character to be a great relief. She is not described as anything but ordinary, and in the life of the Woodcutter her utterly ordinary existence is a treasure. Their love is steady and reliable, and throughout the novel the Woodcutter trusts that love and it gets him through the hard times. I thought that was wonderfully written.
The antagonists are not complicated, and you won’t be wondering about their motivations. The Queen and the Gentleman were despicable and willing to use children to get their way. The magic rules that the Woodcutter is constantly working within were fascinating. I really enjoyed the world that Danley creates for her characters, and it was easy to escape into their story for a while.
This is an unconventional love story that leaves you feeling lighter at the end. I was pleasantly surprised that the turning point of the book became friendship rather than romantic love.