Darkwood
You mustn't go into the Darkwood, children. Not even to get your ball. Leave it. That ball belongs to the Witches and the Beasties, now. Those wicked Witches. Stealing your ball. Magic is forbidden in Myrsina, along with various other abominations, such as girls doing maths. This is bad news for Gretel Mudd, who doesn't perform magic, but does know a lot of maths. When her clever inventions prompt the sinister masked Huntsmen who run the country to accuse her of Witchcraft, she is forced to flee into the neighbouring Darkwood, where all the Witches and Monsters dwell. There, she happens upon Buttercup, a Witch who can't help turning things into gingerbread, Jack Trott, who can make plants grow at will, the White Knight with her band of Dwarves and a talking spider called Trevor. These aren't the terrifying villains she's been warned about all her life. They're actually quite nice. Well... most of them. With the Huntsmen on the warpath, Gretel must act fast to help the Witches save both the Darkwood and her home village, while unravelling the rhetoric and lies that have demonised magical beings for far too long.

Darkwood Details

TitleDarkwood
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 13th, 2019
PublisherFarrago
ISBN-139781788421416
Rating
GenreFantasy, Fiction, Childrens, Middle Grade, Fairy Tales

Darkwood Review

  • Schizanthus
    January 1, 1970
    This book was so much fun! I can’t wait for the sequel! Do not go into the Darkwood, children. It’s a cursed place, and so big and so dangerous that once you go in you’ll never come out again. You’ll become just another lost creature, aimlessly wandering amongst those black and twisted trees forever. Even the dead aren’t safe in the Darkwood. Nobody is safe. Gretel lives in Nearby Village with her twin, Hansel, and their stepparents. Unfortunately for Gretel, she’s female so she must be very c This book was so much fun! I can’t wait for the sequel! Do not go into the Darkwood, children. It’s a cursed place, and so big and so dangerous that once you go in you’ll never come out again. You’ll become just another lost creature, aimlessly wandering amongst those black and twisted trees forever. Even the dead aren’t safe in the Darkwood. Nobody is safe. Gretel lives in Nearby Village with her twin, Hansel, and their stepparents. Unfortunately for Gretel, she’s female so she must be very careful how she behaves, lest she be branded as a witch. Worse still, she’s smart, using maths, physics and engineering to design marvellous defences that protect Nearby from the scary monsters who live across the river in the Darkwood. Yep, she’s got to be a witch if she knows maths!Accused of the abomination of witchcraft by Huntsmen, Gretel winds up in the Darkwood, where she’s faced with the terrifying creatures she’s been warned about her entire life. Witches like Buttercup, who can turn inanimate objects into baked goods with her touch; sometimes even on purpose! People like Jack, who can make plants grow at will. There’s also a magical talking spider called Trevor, who is a master of disguise. They’re not exactly the villains she thought they were. Then there’s the White Knight who, well, can be kind of abrasive, actually.It’s up to Gretel and this diverse bunch of magical outcasts to find a way to protect both the Darkwood and Nearby Village from the ruling Huntsmen, who may well be the true villains in this story.With action, humour and some magical mayhem, Gabby Hutchinson Crouch reimagines some well known fairy tale characters and places them in situations where they need to use their combined talents, inventiveness and wit to challenge the roles they’ve been cast in by those in power. The characters were well rounded, a wonderful blend of scared and courageous, damaged and determined, flawed and resilient. This wasn’t a tale with just one shining star; everyone was interesting in their own way, although I admit I was quite partial to Trevor, the talking spider. I mean, come on, he wears sunglasses as one of his disguises! How adorable is that?!On the surface this is a highly entertaining tale that makes you want to cheer on the underdogs. Scratch the surface though and you’ll learn (or be reminded of) some valuable lessons in what it means to be human. Despite tackling themes of how we dehumanise those we categorise as ‘other’ and the corruption that can grow unchecked when those in power are not held accountable, I never felt I was being preached at. There’s so much of the Darkwood and its surrounding towns and villages still to explore. I can’t wait to get to know the Swamp Mermaids more, finally meet the bear and wolf witches of the north, and visit the eastern woods. ‘What’s in the eastern woods?’‘You don’t want to know.’ Thank you so much to NetGalley and Farrago, an imprint of Prelude Books, for the opportunity to read this book. Oh, and a final word of warning: if you follow these characters into the Darkwood, make sure you adhere to the usual Bin Night precautions!
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  • Erika
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to Netgalley for the chance to read early for an honest review.This book is hilarious! The Afterward mentioned the author was inspired by Shrek and the Discworld novels and I can really see that.When I saw the cover, I immediately thought of the Black Knight from Monty Python and I think that was intentional - this story is very satirical. It's everything you love about fairy tales, but is very aware of itself. I loved these versions of Hansel & Gretel, Jack, Snow, and the rest. And I Thanks to Netgalley for the chance to read early for an honest review.This book is hilarious! The Afterward mentioned the author was inspired by Shrek and the Discworld novels and I can really see that.When I saw the cover, I immediately thought of the Black Knight from Monty Python and I think that was intentional - this story is very satirical. It's everything you love about fairy tales, but is very aware of itself. I loved these versions of Hansel & Gretel, Jack, Snow, and the rest. And I absolutely loved Trevor the spider.It also takes the whole 'girls must be witches if they can think or do math' and has them fighting back against their 'faceless oppressors' (the masked huntsmen). I also liked how this story reflected how society can be with the getting rid of people who are different because some people find the differences intimidating instead of accepting them. For a middle grade book, this had a lot going on - in a good way! I'm glad it's a series and I'm excited to read the next one.
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  • Lauren Stoolfire
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Darkwood by Gabby Hutchinson Crouch may be perfect for you if you're looking for a funny MG fantasy adventure story. It took me a minute to get into the writing style (it's in present tense), but once you do you'll be hooked. I loved all of the fairy tale elements that the author managed to tie together so seamlessly from Hansel and Gretel, Snow, Jack and everyone. Even better is the sense of humor - it's very self aware, by the w I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Darkwood by Gabby Hutchinson Crouch may be perfect for you if you're looking for a funny MG fantasy adventure story. It took me a minute to get into the writing style (it's in present tense), but once you do you'll be hooked. I loved all of the fairy tale elements that the author managed to tie together so seamlessly from Hansel and Gretel, Snow, Jack and everyone. Even better is the sense of humor - it's very self aware, by the way, which completely works in its favor. I have a feeling if you're a fan of Shrek or Monty Python and the Holy Grail, you'll get a kick out of this series opener. I'm looking forward to continuing The Darkwood Series.
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  • Soup
    January 1, 1970
    This is an excellent and humorous riff on common fairy tale lore. Gretel and her brother Hansel live with their stepmother and stepfather (yes, both are "step," no-one knows why) at the edge of cursed forest (it's dangerous, but the housing prices cannot be beat!) and within the confines of a kingdom under the sway of the Huntsmen who outlaw nearly everything they find personally offensive like witches, magic, and girls knowing math. Gretel can't quite contain her cleverness however and she soon This is an excellent and humorous riff on common fairy tale lore. Gretel and her brother Hansel live with their stepmother and stepfather (yes, both are "step," no-one knows why) at the edge of cursed forest (it's dangerous, but the housing prices cannot be beat!) and within the confines of a kingdom under the sway of the Huntsmen who outlaw nearly everything they find personally offensive like witches, magic, and girls knowing math. Gretel can't quite contain her cleverness however and she soon catches the attention of the Huntsman. Accused of witchcraft (how else to you explain engineering prowess?), Gretel must flee to the woods herself where she finds (among legitimate dangers, including the dreaded bin men) a coven of "witches" and fellow escapees. But safety in the unsafe woods proves elusive when the Huntsmen are no longer content to drive off those they dislike with accusations of witchcraft and instead decide to take both the forest and Gretel's home village.This is the first book in what looks to be a crackerjack series. I'd recommend it to fans of fantasy and humor, but am perplexed by the number of readers who seem to be categorizing this book as "middle grade." Neither the content or vocabulary indicate this work is intended for children, the press is not a children's press, and NetGalley cross lists it as humor and sci fi/fantasy. I'm worried that this book might be falling to unfortunate trend of assuming female authors automatically equate YA audience. This particular series would be best categorized as humor/satire and fantasy. ARC via NetGalley
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  • Anjana
    January 1, 1970
    This is a retelling of many fairy tales rolled into one quirky story. It is along the lines of the drama 'Once upon a time' in terms of its content. There is a flippancy in the conversation and the humour lies in the delivery and the situation that we are witnessing. Hansel and Gretel live with their step-parents in a little village where they get orders from power at the citadel on how to conduct their daily lives and how things are supposed to work. When Gretel is suspected of being a witch an This is a retelling of many fairy tales rolled into one quirky story. It is along the lines of the drama 'Once upon a time' in terms of its content. There is a flippancy in the conversation and the humour lies in the delivery and the situation that we are witnessing. Hansel and Gretel live with their step-parents in a little village where they get orders from power at the citadel on how to conduct their daily lives and how things are supposed to work. When Gretel is suspected of being a witch and driven out to Darkwood(the magical wood bordering their village) new information comes to light. Gretel corrals the troops, which consists of different odd magical life forms in order to defend their way of life. It is a fun book meant for light reading despite touching upon forms of xenophobia and the blind faith in cult-like situations. There are many other fairy-tale characters that make their way into the story in order to give it more substance and they are all unique in their own way, none more so than Trevor (more about him would get clearer on reading the book itself). I would recommend this to fans of retellings as well as quirky dialogues and characters.I received an ARC from NetGalley but the review is completely based on my own reading experience.  
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  • Devann
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC copy of this book from NetGalley."We make out that witches aren’t real people, but we pretend that we aren’t people, either. Because, if we can convince others and ourselves that we’re not really people, then we can let ourselves get away with committing some really inhuman acts."This was hilarious and also surprisingly deep towards the end. It starts out as a satire of many common fairy tales [Hansel and Gretel, Snow White, Jack and the Beanstalk, etc] as well as a commentary I received an ARC copy of this book from NetGalley."We make out that witches aren’t real people, but we pretend that we aren’t people, either. Because, if we can convince others and ourselves that we’re not really people, then we can let ourselves get away with committing some really inhuman acts."This was hilarious and also surprisingly deep towards the end. It starts out as a satire of many common fairy tales [Hansel and Gretel, Snow White, Jack and the Beanstalk, etc] as well as a commentary on the antiquated gender roles in most fairy tale type stories. By the end it's actually a very insightful commentary on how easy it is for people to turn against other people who are 'different' than them and what a slippery slope that can turn out to be. The plot is very fast paced and funny and I really liked all the characters and the unique spins that the author put on them. I would definitely recommend this to people who like tongue-in-cheek fairy tale retellings like Kiersten White's Beanstalker and Other Hilarious Scarytales.
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  • ˗ˏˋ aphrodite ˊˎ˗
    January 1, 1970
    **this was sent to me by the publishers through netgalley, all thoughts are my own**omfg guys this was amazing. this is a middle grade fairytale retelling of hansel & gretal, snow white, and others as witches who have been banished by the power-hungry huntsmen and it was everything I could ever ask for. this gives me ALL the monty python and shrek vibes and it SO DAMN GOOD. the humor, the characters, the story, the MESSAGE of corruption and perceptions of truth was breathtaking. ((also I tot **this was sent to me by the publishers through netgalley, all thoughts are my own**omfg guys this was amazing. this is a middle grade fairytale retelling of hansel & gretal, snow white, and others as witches who have been banished by the power-hungry huntsmen and it was everything I could ever ask for. this gives me ALL the monty python and shrek vibes and it SO DAMN GOOD. the humor, the characters, the story, the MESSAGE of corruption and perceptions of truth was breathtaking. ((also I totally think there’s a slow burn sapphic romance in the works)) I am beyond thrilled with this book and I am fully invested in this series. if y’all don’t have this on your tbr’s by now you’re missing out. I can’t say enough good things about this. READ IT.
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  • Bojana
    January 1, 1970
    I must wonder why people (better say adults) are skeptical about middle grade books. I read a lot of middle grade books and enjoyed them. If book is written properly there should not be this sort of classification. Also, since this story is some kind of satire (it explores themes of authoritarianism and intolerance), I'm not even sure that it should be placed into the group of middle grade books.Anyway, I really enjoyed this book. As I am a huge fan of fairy tales and at the same time very ske I must wonder why people (better say adults) are skeptical about middle grade books. I read a lot of middle grade books and enjoyed them. If book is written properly there should not be this sort of classification. Also, since this story is some kind of satire (it explores themes of authoritarianism and intolerance), I'm not even sure that it should be placed into the group of middle grade books.Anyway, I really enjoyed this book. As I am a huge fan of fairy tales and at the same time very skeptical about their retellings, I was a bit reserved at the beginning but it was very nice till the end. It was really funny and I've laughed out loud many many times.
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  • Claire O-P
    January 1, 1970
    There’s been a real trend for grimdark in fantasy fiction over the last few years, and it has produced some amazing work, but with the final Discworld novel published in 2015, it does leave one wondering where the lighter side of fantasy fiction is going to head next. Of course, to live up to Pratchett’s name is a tall order indeed, but I feel that any author who looks to bring some humour to the genre should be encouraged – because, as with any genre, there’s a lot of fun in lovingly pointing o There’s been a real trend for grimdark in fantasy fiction over the last few years, and it has produced some amazing work, but with the final Discworld novel published in 2015, it does leave one wondering where the lighter side of fantasy fiction is going to head next. Of course, to live up to Pratchett’s name is a tall order indeed, but I feel that any author who looks to bring some humour to the genre should be encouraged – because, as with any genre, there’s a lot of fun in lovingly pointing out the ridiculous. Farrago was mentioned in my blog post on commissioning last month, and they are a specialist humour publisher, including sections specifically for genre humour. Darkwood came up on Netgalley, and I am a sucker for a fairy tale retelling, so I requested it immediately.Reading this book felt a little bit as if someone had taken a panto and turned it into a novel, but with a decent side of social and political allegory built in. Given as the author has written for The News Quiz and The Now Show, that’s not entirely surprising, and neither is Hutchinson Crouch’s talent for the ridiculous, delivered deadpan, and surprising a laugh out of you. Certainly towards the end of the book it’s very clear there are some parallels to be drawn between today’s jingoistic hate-based politics and how they can be both insidious and harmful, and also a strong message on how diversity should be celebrated and encouraged. There’s even a little dig at fake news and propaganda, as well as the hypocrisy of politicians who decry things as evil for everyone, except where it inconveniences them personally.The plot is simple enough – Gretel is driven out of the Darkwood after being mistaken for a witch, when in reality she’s just very good at maths. There she meets a witch who accidentally turns things into cake and as such lives in a cake house, a talking spider, a boy who can grow plants like beanstalks, and a warrior in armour with a band of seven aggressive dwarves. Meanwhile her brother, Hansel, who is actually a witch, is left in the village to deal with the fallout. The Huntsmen aren’t satisfied with just letting the witches live in the Darkwood, however, and start to make plans to attack it and all the creatures within it, meaning that war is on its way.For me, where the book was strongest were the scenes set in the village of Nearby (which I pointedly pronounced as “Near-bee” like it was a village in rural Yorkshire because I thought that made it even funnier). There’s a real sense of a small village, where everyone knows each other, and everyone has their own petty squabbles, right up until someone from elsewhere comes to sort things out, and then they all unite and turn on the outsider.I’ve mentioned before how much I love scenes of group chaos when someone else is desperately trying to grasp control of the situation with no idea what is going on. The prime example of this was when the Huntsman first arrives in the village and finds everyone bickering over everything else instead of being appropriately cowed by his authority. I also particularly loved the introductory chapters, where we get a sense of how the village has received the orders about how to deal with witches, and followed them in letter if not entirely in spirit. “Witches” are routinely ducked, but the ducking stools are set up in a nice, warm bit of the river, and local women use it as an opportunity for a good scrub, pretending to talk to animals so they can have a good wash whilst villagers hold the soap for them, and shout to ask for repentance, and also if the water temperature is okay. I also cackled at the exchange between Gretel and her stepmother, when her stepmother asks how many times she’s told her not to do maths and Gretel plaintively replies, “I don’t know, you won’t let me count!”The Darkwood itself is ripe ground for more puns, although I wish perhaps we’d had more time to see Gretel exploring it and finding her feet. She stumbles through it in fear and then has a few excursions which bring her back, inevitably, to the village. I would have loved to have seen more of her getting to know the other magical creatures in the forest, building relationships and trust, and carving out her own niche. I don’t necessarily think there’s anything I would sacrifice in the existing narrative for that, but perhaps if the book had been a little longer then we could have enjoyed a more leisurely exploration of the forest denizens, and start to see the community there in the same way we did the villagers. As it was, we got a brief introduction to a unicorn, a couple of swamp mermaids and some pixies, but there is talk of wyverns and ogres and manticore in the trees, all able to talk and all with their own quirks and personalities and ongoing arguments. It could have been a delightful meeting of two chaotic tribes.This is the first in a series, so I’m hoping we get more time developing that as the books progress – not least because two further areas of the wood have been set up as “no-go zones”, one with a bear witch (Goldilocks?) and one with a wolf witch (Red Riding Hood, surely), as well as the Huntsmen whose egos have been terribly bruised. There’s something a little bit Revolting Rhymes in the reimagining of these fairy tales, and a little bit Once Upon a Time in the bringing the characters together – only Hutchinson Crouch goes back to the stripped back core of the stories and then builds them up into something that fits together well and creates her own lore, instead of smashing together a load of Disney interpretations and trying to make sense of the garbled outcome (I don’t like Once Upon A Time). I think my analogy of a panto is best – the plot and delivery are suitable for a huge variety of ages, and each age group will get something different out of it, whilst the whole thing is gleefully anarchic in its tone and it just feels like a great romp.Briefly:A funny, enjoyable, easy-to-read romp through various fairy tales, which frankly would make an excellent panto, and has something for everyone.I’m ashamed that it took me until halfway through the book to get the pun on the spider who thinks he’s a spy. A SPYder. Good grief @ me.I also love how, despite apparently playing against fairy tale expectations, Darkwood actually utilises older character tropes. Gretel is clever and bold, as she was in the original story and as many other fairy tale heroines were (The Snow Queen, for example, or The Seven Ravens), whilst Hansel’s gentle and caring nature harks back to the tradition of the simple and kind protagonist who wins through being gentle, and shows Hansel as the other kind of hero (Dick Whittington, or The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship) rather than a forceful warrior prince. The perception can often be that fairy tales play into specific heteronormative gender roles, but whilst there are many that do (particularly those which have been adapted and sanitised and sold again and again), there are so many which promote the very traits shown here – the girls riding to the rescue using their wits, and the boys triumphing by being kind and gentle.Rating: 4/5 – as this is the first in the series, I want to reserve my judgement for the full run, and I do wish there had been more time for Gretel to explore and build up the community in the Darkwood, but it’s all round good fun as it is.
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  • Rebecca
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to Netgalley for a free ARC of this book.Darkwood is a sort of retelling of various fairytales, but it's also a somewhat satirical look at fairytales in general. With names like Darkwood and Nearby Village, how can we think otherwise. We are taken to a land controlled by the Citadel and the Huntsmen, a world extremely focused on rooting out witchcraft. To be fair, witches are real in this story and so are wyverns, fairies, unicorns and numerous other mythical creatures. But for the most p Thanks to Netgalley for a free ARC of this book.Darkwood is a sort of retelling of various fairytales, but it's also a somewhat satirical look at fairytales in general. With names like Darkwood and Nearby Village, how can we think otherwise. We are taken to a land controlled by the Citadel and the Huntsmen, a world extremely focused on rooting out witchcraft. To be fair, witches are real in this story and so are wyverns, fairies, unicorns and numerous other mythical creatures. But for the most part the witches aren't that evil, and the witch hunting that happens is very much like what happened in real life some centuries ago. Everything is witchcraft, particularly if it is done by a woman or girl. Even knowing 1+1 can get you in trouble for being a witch. My favourite part of this book is actually Nearby Village. Of course it has it's issues and problems, like any town would, like any group of people would, but that doesn't change the fact that the people of this village are fiercely loyal to each other, even if witchcraft does pop up for real. They obey the edicts of the Citadel but they do it in their own way, dunkings are more like fun baths in the river for the girls and some purposefully get dunked every week or two. When a Hunstman comes for our protagonist, Gretel Mudd, the villagers do everything in their power to distract him so she can run. They never actually turn against her, they might be defeated for a while every now and then and so can't help her, but they never truly turn against her. I wonder if any villages or towns in the real world ever tried to protect its citizens like the people in this book did... I loved Nearby Village and its crazy people.The writing in this book is great. It's set in the present tense, "She walks to the stream" instead of past, "She walked to the stream" which can be a bit jarring sometimes if you are not used to it. But it wasn't bad, just something to note. It makes good use of sarcasm and at times I actually wondered if the book was me, using very specific phrases I use regularly. It's not all sarcasm though, the book makes good use of other forms of satire and humour. Unicorns are amusing that's for sure. Trevor and his numerous disguises is hilarious. I spent much of this book smiling, and I laughed quite a lot - so I think the humour was on point.The characters were fun, though I suppose they weren't super deep or anything. I don't expect satirical characters to have too much depth or character growth or anything though, so the fact that they did have that to some degree is a plus for sure. Jacks backstory is an interesting one, I like how that was put together. At the same time I love the almost completely missing backstory for the Head Huntsman. Sometimes in life we will not know the true story or motivations of our "antagonists" and that has to be true for fiction as well. Our villains can't always have a backstory, they can't all have great meaning to their life, they can't all have something that makes us sympathise with them. Darkwood is right in how they flesh out our villain by not fleshing him out at all.I could go on and on about how much I love this book and why. It might be easier and quicker then to focus on what I didn't like, which is.... nothing. I loved this book. I really loved it, I gave it 5 stars after all. I really look forward to the future sequel and will read it ASAP when it's released. I might even read this to or with my kids, or at least buy them a copy. Seems like the right thing to do.
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  • Steph Warren
    January 1, 1970
    *I received a free ARC of this book, with thanks to the author, NetGalley and Farrago. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*I absolutely love this book. It is perfection!Darkwood is suitable for anyone from middle-grade to adult, as there is plenty of peril and adventure, but the strongest word (used in the direst situations) is ‘trousers’!The plot takes classic fairytale characters such as Hansel and Gretel, or Jack of beanstalk fame, and tumbles and twists them about into somethi *I received a free ARC of this book, with thanks to the author, NetGalley and Farrago. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*I absolutely love this book. It is perfection!Darkwood is suitable for anyone from middle-grade to adult, as there is plenty of peril and adventure, but the strongest word (used in the direst situations) is ‘trousers’!The plot takes classic fairytale characters such as Hansel and Gretel, or Jack of beanstalk fame, and tumbles and twists them about into something brand new, touching and very funny. Similarly there are ogres and unicorns, fairies and mermaids, but they may not look or behave exactly as you might expect.Gretel, our main character, is forced into the woods for witchcraft and finds herself joining a jolly band of (mostly) friendly witches – and a talking spider, Trevor – as they attempt to protect the good folk against the wicked. Which is problematic because Gretel isn’t actually a witch…just very good at Maths. And she’s really not sure which folk are which!There are some serious lessons here about how we treat those who are different; about hypocrisy and bravery; about judging on appearances, first impressions, gender or species. These morals are integral to the story but at no point do they intrude on the sheer entertainment of the action. There are simply cool-headed, logical STEM girls, tough kick ass girls, sensitive boys who worry and overthink… and a talking spider who thinks that sunglasses and a big hat make him inconspicuous! Everyone does what they do best and delightful mayhem ensues.This is a well-written twisted fairytale with great characters and world-building and I am exceptionally happy that the ending clearly points to a sequel. May there be many more adventures in the Darkwood!You don’t go into the Darkwood. That’s one of the first lessons every child learns in Myraina. All sorts of nasty things live out there, amongst the twisted trees and brambles. That’s where the witches and the beasties creep, and if you go in there, you’ll never come out again, or you’ll come back all wrong, and won’t be able to live with notmal decent folk any more. Stay away from the Darkwood, child, don’t even go near. Unless… well… house prices are so cheap on the outskirts of the wood.– Gabby Hutchinson Crouch, DarkwoodReview by Steph Warren of Bookshine and Readbows bloghttps://bookshineandreadbows.wordpres...
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  • Romy
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review."Do not go into the Darkwood, children. It's a cursed place, and so big and so dangerous that once you go in you'll never come out again. You'll become just another lost creature, aimlessly wandering amongst those black and twisted trees forever. Even the dead aren't safe in the Darkwood. Nobody is safe."I adored this book and without a doubt, I can say this book is one of the favorite books I've read in 2019. This bo I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review."Do not go into the Darkwood, children. It's a cursed place, and so big and so dangerous that once you go in you'll never come out again. You'll become just another lost creature, aimlessly wandering amongst those black and twisted trees forever. Even the dead aren't safe in the Darkwood. Nobody is safe."I adored this book and without a doubt, I can say this book is one of the favorite books I've read in 2019. This book was funny, witty, and very education all at the same time. The overarching message behind this story--witchhunts--is packaged to appeal to a younger audience without being overly graphic or informative.This part contains spoilers!The huntsmen, who are leading the witchhunts, are masked and 'just' characters who are trying to rid the world of the witches. However, these witchhunts are getting out of hand and every woman who is able to do basic maths or has a logical mind is considered to be a witch and send off to the Darkwood, a wood where scary and dangerous beings lurk between the trees. After Gretel is send off to the Darkwood as she is called out for being a witch, she meets four fellow witches: Jack Trott, Snow (or the White Knight), Trevor the talking spider, and Buttercup. They team up and with the help of the four witches, Gretel sets it upon herself to protect her village Nearby and her brother Hansel, who turned out to be the real Mudd Witch. My favorite character out of all of the witches has to be Trevor, the talking spider. His dynamic with the group was honestly wholesome and adorable,"'She definitely worked out I'm a spider, then, you reckon.' 'I think so,' says the woman with the broomstick kindly. 'Yes.' The spider sighs, disappointed. 'But I thought I'd disguised it really well. I was wearing a hat!'"And in the end, the forgiving of Trott and the Giant was such a heartfelt ending. It shows how there are always two sides to a story; a mantra that is important to repeat at any given age.
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  • Rini Budihartati
    January 1, 1970
    I got the eARC from the publisher through Netgalley. All of the comments are mine and what I feel about the book..Darkwood is a retelling book of various fairy tales like Hansel & Gretel, Snow White, Jack and the beanstalk, etc. It is a story of Hansel and Gretel who lives in Nearby village of Myrsina. Magic and science are forbidden in that place especially for girls. Everyone who has magic or good at science are banished or recruited to join the huntsmen. Gretel is suspected to have magic, I got the eARC from the publisher through Netgalley. All of the comments are mine and what I feel about the book..Darkwood is a retelling book of various fairy tales like Hansel & Gretel, Snow White, Jack and the beanstalk, etc. It is a story of Hansel and Gretel who lives in Nearby village of Myrsina. Magic and science are forbidden in that place especially for girls. Everyone who has magic or good at science are banished or recruited to join the huntsmen. Gretel is suspected to have magic, she is good at maths and science and inventing things. She is about to be taken by the huntsmen, but she is succeeded to flee into the Darkwood. In the Darkwood she meets the reputable Buttercup who changes everything alive she touches to baked goods, Jack who can summon plants, the White Knight who with her army of dwarves who can call on birds, and mouse, and Trevor the spider. They are not like what she is told. It turns out that they are actually good people. With them and magical beings of the Darkwood, Gretel save the Nearby village from those masked huntsmen, but wait... is it for good or...?The history of each characters are exposed one by one..I love this book! This book is hilarious and sarcastic. I love those dark jokes. Also, this book puts me on the edge of my seat by their twists and problems. The characters are well written. We can see how alive they are with those feelings they feel. The setting of place is amazing. Duhhh, it is full of various beasts and things. Then, there is unicorns. I love unicorns and I get to read the sassy, majestic, and kind hearted traits of the unicorn. Moreover, this book tells us about how important it is to know people not of what other people think. Oh... and the end of this book is a total cliffhanger, making me wanting more..Thank you for writing this book, Gabby! You nailed it. It is now become one of my favourite reads in 2019!
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  • Elysian Fields
    January 1, 1970
    What caught my eye about this story was the fact that it had the feel of olden fairy tales (like Grimm’s) yet was modern and fresh. I loved the idea of a magical “forest” filled with darkness, beasts and witches. Gretel and her adventures called to me. I very much enjoyed this YA story and would love to read more in this world. A mixture of classic fairy tales mix together seamlessly, and they create a magical world for any reader to get lost in. No one is safe in Deadwood, not even the dead, bu What caught my eye about this story was the fact that it had the feel of olden fairy tales (like Grimm’s) yet was modern and fresh. I loved the idea of a magical “forest” filled with darkness, beasts and witches. Gretel and her adventures called to me. I very much enjoyed this YA story and would love to read more in this world. A mixture of classic fairy tales mix together seamlessly, and they create a magical world for any reader to get lost in. No one is safe in Deadwood, not even the dead, but Gretel thinks soon finds herself immersed into the life of Deadwood when she is accused of being a witch. Gretel (against her society’s beliefs) is smart; she uses math, engineering and all that related sciences to help her in the world (females are not to do math/science). I loved that she stayed who she was and would not form to expectations. In Deadwood she meets the most interesting and fun/scary creatures. I loved this world and all that it inhabited. The creatures were so vivid and amazing to read about. These (I think) made the story for me. I would love to get to know these people/creatures and be a part of this amazing world. I don’t want to give away more as I truly think that this world is best experienced as you read, but it really enjoyed the adventure. Oh and if there was ever a creature/familiar that fit me this story has it! It’s a talking spider and yea, that would be my dream! This story is so much more than just a modern retelling of some favorite fairy tales but if you just want to read it for the entertainment value, you won’t be disappointed! I highly recommend this story and I will be adding it to my “buy for friend’s children” list! I received an ARC via NetGallery and Farrago and I am leaving my honest review. #NetGallery #Darkwood #FairyTales # MustReadYA #AdventureReading
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  • Aly
    January 1, 1970
    I don't read middle grade books very often, but this one was actually quite a fun read. I did have some issues which I'll get into in a bit. I'm mostly rating this more as overall enjoyment and not so much the actual plot, as it's a bit weird to describe.Darkwood is a place that no mortal should enter due to monsters and witches. Living in her village with her brother Hansel and stepparents, they learn literacy and defend the village folk from any monsters that emerge from the Darkwood. Witchcra I don't read middle grade books very often, but this one was actually quite a fun read. I did have some issues which I'll get into in a bit. I'm mostly rating this more as overall enjoyment and not so much the actual plot, as it's a bit weird to describe.Darkwood is a place that no mortal should enter due to monsters and witches. Living in her village with her brother Hansel and stepparents, they learn literacy and defend the village folk from any monsters that emerge from the Darkwood. Witchcraft is outlawed in the land, and apparently so is math (for girls at least). Gretel has no choice but to run away into Darkwood when she's accidently ousted as knowing how to do math. We get a fun quirky story, and actually pretty humorous for middle grade, and some fun fantasy elements thrown throughout. I found it easy to go along with the story and enjoy the book for what it was. Over just 300 pages, but it goes by like a breeze once you start to get into the quirkiness of it all. Main problem I have about this is the actual writing. I'm used to 3rd person POV, but the way this is narrated is just...off. I didn't like the writing style used, and it was a bit weird to get used to. Reading for about the first 10 chapters, I remember thinking to myself that it was weird, or an odd choice of descriptions. I was able to brush it off though. Also, can we just recognize the fact that girls knowing math is just as bad as witchcraft in this world? I found that so hilarious and I can't describe it any other way lol. But yeah, fun little book and I'd probably recommend it if you want a simple quirky read. I wouldn't go out of my way to actually read this over other books on my shelf though. But for middle grade, I think it's just fine.ARC provided to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Annie
    January 1, 1970
    Originally published on my blog: Nonstop Reader. Darkwood is the first book in a presumptive series by Gabby Hutchinson Crouch. Due out 13th June 2019 from Prelude on their Farrago! imprint, it's 320 pages and will be available in paperback and ebook formats.This is a very funny book and well written into the bargain. Ostensibly aimed at middle grade readers, it nevertheless has an awful lot to offer adults also. Written as a sort of 'fractured fairy tales' mash-up of Snow White and the huntsme Originally published on my blog: Nonstop Reader. Darkwood is the first book in a presumptive series by Gabby Hutchinson Crouch. Due out 13th June 2019 from Prelude on their Farrago! imprint, it's 320 pages and will be available in paperback and ebook formats.This is a very funny book and well written into the bargain. Ostensibly aimed at middle grade readers, it nevertheless has an awful lot to offer adults also. Written as a sort of 'fractured fairy tales' mash-up of Snow White and the huntsmen, there are cameos from an amazing array of well known fairy tale archetypes alongside some new faces original to this work.The author has a very deft touch with humor (it's her day job), and her facility with the 'nuts and bolts' of plotting, pacing, narrative tension, dialogue etc are all superlative. This is an enjoyable read and I devoured it in one sitting. Despite being really truly funny, the themes of intolerance, dehumanising people who are different from ourselves, and personal responsibility and morality are presented unflinchingly and very honestly.It should be noted for readers outside the British Isles that (most of?) the spelling and idiom are British, so Americans should be prepared to compensate.Five stars, and I want to be a charter member of the Trevor fan club!Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
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  • Annette Jordan
    January 1, 1970
    A Terry Pratchett inspired middle grade fairy tale adventure featuring favourites like Jack ( of the Beanstalk fame) , Snow White, and our main protagonists Hansel and Gretel, this book was a sheer satirical delight from the very first page. Hansel and Gretel live in the village of Nearby in the kingdom of Myrsina, a land where magic is forbidden along with abominations such as women who do sums, and where the Huntsmen scour the country looking for witches. Right beside the village is the Darkwo A Terry Pratchett inspired middle grade fairy tale adventure featuring favourites like Jack ( of the Beanstalk fame) , Snow White, and our main protagonists Hansel and Gretel, this book was a sheer satirical delight from the very first page. Hansel and Gretel live in the village of Nearby in the kingdom of Myrsina, a land where magic is forbidden along with abominations such as women who do sums, and where the Huntsmen scour the country looking for witches. Right beside the village is the Darkwood, a place where children are warned never to go, as it is full of monsters and evil magic. When an ogre attacks the village ,Gretel's quick thinking and clever inventions save the day, but they also attract the attention of the Huntsmen, and so her only option if she wants to avoid being burned as a witch is to flee into the Darkwood, where she meets several characters the readers will know very well.Without spoiling too much of the ensuing adventure, there is plenty of drama and action as she tries to save her brother and the village from destruction.This book is genuinely funny, the humour is sharp and liberally sprinkled over the whole thing, and I often found myself giggling at a particularly well crafted phrase. The characters are great, they feel very real, experiencing moments of doubt as well as determination, and this applies equally to the more secondary characters. While the book has a strong message about the dangers of seeing people as "other " or "less than" it is really well integrated into the story as a whole. The world building is clever and well done, and I look forward to reading more books set in the Darkwood and its surroundings. I read and reviewed an ARC courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher, all opinions are my own.
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  • Heather
    January 1, 1970
    **I received a copy via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**Magic is forbidden in the land of Myrsina, along with other abominations such as girls doing math and science. This doesn't bode well for Gretel Mudd, who isn't technically a witch, but does do a lot of math. When her inventions catch the attention of the sinister Huntsmen who want to try her for witchcraft, she has no choice but to flee her town into the Darkwood, the terrifying forest where all sorts of evil and beasties live. **I received a copy via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**Magic is forbidden in the land of Myrsina, along with other abominations such as girls doing math and science. This doesn't bode well for Gretel Mudd, who isn't technically a witch, but does do a lot of math. When her inventions catch the attention of the sinister Huntsmen who want to try her for witchcraft, she has no choice but to flee her town into the Darkwood, the terrifying forest where all sorts of evil and beasties live. While fleeing for her life, she crosses path with a rag tag group of witches: Buttercup, who can't help but turn the things she touches into pastries; Jack Trott, who can make plants grow with a lift of his hand; The White Knight and her band of Dwarves, and a talking spider named Trevor. Gretel comes to learn these aren't the scary villains she's been taught to fear her whole life, and they all have a common enemy: the Huntsmen. The merry band of outcasts join together in order to not only save Gretel's village from the Head Huntsmen's wrath, but also to show people that the Darkwood isn't as terrifying as it seems.I knew I was going to like this based off the synopsis, but I wasn't expecting just how much. It's a smart, funny, witty take on the fairy tale trope, and was so entertaining. It gave me such Monty Python vibes with the humor and banter which hooked me right from the start. I really loved the characters, especially Trevor, their interaction as a group was a major highlight for me. It's a quick read, and a really solid start to this series, and I can't wait to see what's next.
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  • Staci Campbell
    January 1, 1970
    The Darkwood by Gabby Hutchinson Crouch 4/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐Synopsis: Magic is forbidden in Myrsina, along with various other abominations, such as girls doing maths. This is bad news for Gretel Mudd, who doesn't perform magic, but does know a lot of maths. When the sinister masked Huntsmen accuse Gretel of witchcraft, she is forced to flee into the neighbouring Darkwood, where witches and monsters dwell. There, she happens upon Buttercup, a witch who can't help turning things into gingerbread, Jack Trott, The Darkwood by Gabby Hutchinson Crouch 4/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐Synopsis: Magic is forbidden in Myrsina, along with various other abominations, such as girls doing maths. This is bad news for Gretel Mudd, who doesn't perform magic, but does know a lot of maths. When the sinister masked Huntsmen accuse Gretel of witchcraft, she is forced to flee into the neighbouring Darkwood, where witches and monsters dwell. There, she happens upon Buttercup, a witch who can't help turning things into gingerbread, Jack Trott, who can make plants grow at will, the White Knight with her band of dwarves and a talking spider called Trevor. These aren't the terrifying villains she's been warned about all her life. They're actually quite nice. Well... most of them. With the Huntsmen on the warpath, Gretel must act fast to save both the Darkwood and her home village, while unravelling the rhetoric and lies that have demonised magical beings for far too long. My Thoughts:Take a journey into the Darkwood in this modern fairy tale that will bewitch adults and younger readers alike!! A magical mix up of Fairytale characters that we all know and love!! Thats right there is Snow White, Jack for Jack and the Beanstalk, and our MC Gretel from Hansel and Gretel!!! And so so many more. Your gauranteed to fall in love with this comedy writers first novel in a series!! The characters are witty and the banter is hilarious!! Very adventurous and fun to read all the way through!!! Dont miss the release June 13th 2019!!
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  • Mikaela
    January 1, 1970
    A copy has been provided to me by Farrago through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I started this one evening over my cup of tea, and then stayed up until well past my bedtime to finish it, and now to write this review. I’d also like to point out that I’m totally counting this for my adaptation quest for the Magical Read-a-Thon OWLS - since this was definitely an adaptation (view spoiler)[ of Snow White and the Huntsmen - because folklore adaptations for sure still count as adaptati A copy has been provided to me by Farrago through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I started this one evening over my cup of tea, and then stayed up until well past my bedtime to finish it, and now to write this review. I’d also like to point out that I’m totally counting this for my adaptation quest for the Magical Read-a-Thon OWLS - since this was definitely an adaptation (view spoiler)[ of Snow White and the Huntsmen - because folklore adaptations for sure still count as adaptations in my book! (hide spoiler)]I will also say that I had no idea that this was middle grades until I started, almost stopped, but then was just having too much fun with the story. Sometimes you need a good fairy tale romp! And what a romp it was: fairy tale creatures, witches, knights in shining armor, and evil huntsmen all await you in this short little novel. The narration style in the aggressively present tense and the very third person omniscient narration started to bug me a little bit at parts, but I could see how it would work well for a middle schooler in my life.(view spoiler)[ Of course, it sets up well for a sequel, but I went in knowing that it was the first in a series, so I’m not too offended by that. (hide spoiler)]Recommended for fans of The Hazel Wood, A Series of Unfortunate Events, and of course, Terry Pratchett. Pratchett’s influence is all over this book - from the folklore to the humor, and I loved every second of it.This book is available June 13 through Farrago Publishing.
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  • Meeghan
    January 1, 1970
    I keep seeing this listed as a 'middle grade' book, and while it might be, it definitely shouldn't discourage anyone from reading it who is interested in a slightly twisted version of a fairytale mashup.The plot follows the story of Gretel, who is probably a genius, and her twin brother Hansel, who isn't a genius but has other excellent qualities. Gretel is forced to leave her home of the village Nearby, to go live in the Darkwood, which is filled with horrible monsters and witches. Gretel is ta I keep seeing this listed as a 'middle grade' book, and while it might be, it definitely shouldn't discourage anyone from reading it who is interested in a slightly twisted version of a fairytale mashup.The plot follows the story of Gretel, who is probably a genius, and her twin brother Hansel, who isn't a genius but has other excellent qualities. Gretel is forced to leave her home of the village Nearby, to go live in the Darkwood, which is filled with horrible monsters and witches. Gretel is taken in by a group of witches, including Jack (sometimes with beanstalk), the White Knight (and her seven dwarves), and Buttercup (who basically just made me want baked goods the entire time I was reading this). Oh, and Trevor, a talking spider. In exchange for Gretel's help defending the Darkwood from the Huntsmen they agree to protect Nearby.But the Huntsmen have a secret weapon – one that the White Knight wants desperately to get her hands on. For reasons that she won't share.The characters were this sort of motley crew of loveable muffins who I basically wanted to hug and protect. They each had their share of hardships, but they still figured out how to come together as a team, even when everything seemed lost.The writing style is probably the one thing that I would say was so different from a lot of other fantasy novels. It's got this very tongue-in-cheek humorous way of saying things, that I just loved. The sarcasm in this is just goals.'Oh for crying out loud,' cried the White Knight, out loud.The main things that I really liked this book is that it turns a few fairytale stigmas on their heads – such as witches can only be girls. In fact, I really liked how feminism was explored in this book as a theme. The book also discusses the stigma of propaganda and how this can hurt innocent people, why standing up for what you believe in is powerful, and how you should work with what makes you unique (as a good thing), rather than seeing the negative – every cloud has a silver lining, so the saying goes.There's no confirmation of a second book (that I can tell), but the ending leaves it wide open. I'm actually looking forward to see what the author will do with another instalment.
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  • Micha Sevier
    January 1, 1970
    Thirteen year old Gretel Mudd is very clever in a place where this trait in girls leads to suspicions of witchcraft. As a result, Gretel is banished to the terrifying Darkwood where she meets an assortment of witches and fairy-tale creatures. Alongside her new companions, she must save her family and home from the dangerous Huntsmen. Darkwood is a wonderfully humorous tale, suitable for middle grade to adult. The narrative tone is an incredibly witty and readable way of dealing with some deeper Thirteen year old Gretel Mudd is very clever in a place where this trait in girls leads to suspicions of witchcraft. As a result, Gretel is banished to the terrifying Darkwood where she meets an assortment of witches and fairy-tale creatures. Alongside her new companions, she must save her family and home from the dangerous Huntsmen. Darkwood is a wonderfully humorous tale, suitable for middle grade to adult. The narrative tone is an incredibly witty and readable way of dealing with some deeper issues such as prejudice and abuse of power. Gretel and her friends are quirky and likable, with plenty of clever quips and sarcastic remarks between them. Gretel’s new companions include some interesting takes on some familiar fairy-tale characters. I particularly liked the portrayal of the slightly inept Huntsmen and their ridiculous, hypocritical leader.This is the first in The Darkwood Series, but stands alone well as a self-contained story. I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who likes new interpretations of fairy-tales, or who just likes a fun read.
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  • Alexa
    January 1, 1970
    First off, as always, a big thank you to Netgalley and Farrago for allowing me to be the first to read this delightful book before it hits the shelves in mid June of this year.The first in the Darkwood series, the story follows Hansel and Gretel in a village where witchcraft and maths are forbidden and a misunderstanding forces Gretel to flee into the feared Darkwood. There she meets a gang of colorful characters and together, they’ll save her village from those who foster fear and resentment to First off, as always, a big thank you to Netgalley and Farrago for allowing me to be the first to read this delightful book before it hits the shelves in mid June of this year.The first in the Darkwood series, the story follows Hansel and Gretel in a village where witchcraft and maths are forbidden and a misunderstanding forces Gretel to flee into the feared Darkwood. There she meets a gang of colorful characters and together, they’ll save her village from those who foster fear and resentment towards the misunderstood creatures that dwell in the wood.It’s a book aimed at middle school aged kids and it’s written as such. By that I mean there’s a lot of exposition and explanation in the dialogue, especially during the climax. But that’s all well and good since, like I said, it’s aimed at a younger age group than yours truly. It’s got a great cast of characters and is very relatable, especially in this day and age. It touches upon authoritarianism and intolerance and shows us what can be if we keep an open mind and heart.I recommend this book when it’s released next month!
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  • Lauren Woodward
    January 1, 1970
    You mustn’t go into the Darkwood, Children...As a keen follower of Gabby Hutchinson Crouch on Twitter, and a fan of all things witchy, when I saw Darkwood available to read I jumped at the chance. Set in the fictional land of Myrsina, this novel takes what you think you know of fairy tales and turns it on its head.A very humorous retelling of Grimm stories, interwoven to build up a magical community, there are many laughs to be had along the journey of Gretel - accused of witchcraft due to the s You mustn’t go into the Darkwood, Children...As a keen follower of Gabby Hutchinson Crouch on Twitter, and a fan of all things witchy, when I saw Darkwood available to read I jumped at the chance. Set in the fictional land of Myrsina, this novel takes what you think you know of fairy tales and turns it on its head.A very humorous retelling of Grimm stories, interwoven to build up a magical community, there are many laughs to be had along the journey of Gretel - accused of witchcraft due to the shocking crime of being a female who likes Maths. Crouch writes in a very informal style, a straightforward good vs bad tale that pits woodland Beasties against the true beasts who threaten all they hold dear.I am unsure whether this is a YA novel or not, but works well as one if it isn’t. Not my usual style of reading, I like a thriller, suspense and a twist to make your head spin, but a very enjoyable bedtime accompaniment nevertheless.I received an advanced copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
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  • Gianna
    January 1, 1970
    You mustn't go into the Darkwood. Dangerous creatures lurk there. And whoever walks in, never comes back. You're in danger.But are you, really?In the land of Myrsina, magic is forbidden. Witches are hunted by the huntsmen. And by witches, we mean women who are clever or can do... math. When Gretel is uncovered as a woman clever enough to keep ogres away from her village, a huntsman will come for her. She has to go into Darkwood to save her life. But will she ever come back?Gretel will soon reali You mustn't go into the Darkwood. Dangerous creatures lurk there. And whoever walks in, never comes back. You're in danger.But are you, really?In the land of Myrsina, magic is forbidden. Witches are hunted by the huntsmen. And by witches, we mean women who are clever or can do... math. When Gretel is uncovered as a woman clever enough to keep ogres away from her village, a huntsman will come for her. She has to go into Darkwood to save her life. But will she ever come back?Gretel will soon realize that not all stories are true, appearances don't matter, and sometimes the truth is much more complicated. Joining a team of outcasts that have been chased as witches, Gretel will have to find a way to protect her village from the real danger: the huntsmen.Darkwood is a brilliant book that mixes elements from different fairy tales, creating a story all fans of fantasy will love. Magic, friendship, fighting for what is right are all elements that come into this. With generous doses of sarcasm and dark humor, Darkwood is an absolutely enjoyable read.
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  • Jen
    January 1, 1970
    I didn't realize that this was a Middle-Grade book when I accepted the review request so you can pass the title along to your kids or neighbors as something they might like, or read it yourself. It was hilarious and inspired a bit by Terry Pratchett. The kingdom of Myrsina has a lot of rules. No magic, no girls are doing math and science. This retelling of Hansel and Gretel (with some twists) explores more important themes like authoritarianism in a way that Middle Schoolers and Teens will enjoy I didn't realize that this was a Middle-Grade book when I accepted the review request so you can pass the title along to your kids or neighbors as something they might like, or read it yourself. It was hilarious and inspired a bit by Terry Pratchett. The kingdom of Myrsina has a lot of rules. No magic, no girls are doing math and science. This retelling of Hansel and Gretel (with some twists) explores more important themes like authoritarianism in a way that Middle Schoolers and Teens will enjoy and hopefully learn something from. I’m a big fan of fairytales and folklore, and I was disappointed that it was such a quick read.Since this is just coming out, we'll have to wait for ages for a sequel which is a shame. It's in my top 5 for Summer kids titles for sure.
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  • CJ
    January 1, 1970
    A brother and sister live in a village where the mayor is the police station cat who wears a tiny tricorn hat. Self-righteous religious group scaremonger local villages with lies about witchcraft until sister flees to nearby woods haunted with menacing creatures. Shenanigans ensue.I am a sucker for fractured fairy tales. Darkwood did not disappoint. It was a fresh twist on the fairy tale trope, was well written, great characters and also a lot of fun. A fantastic start to the series.Recommended A brother and sister live in a village where the mayor is the police station cat who wears a tiny tricorn hat. Self-righteous religious group scaremonger local villages with lies about witchcraft until sister flees to nearby woods haunted with menacing creatures. Shenanigans ensue.I am a sucker for fractured fairy tales. Darkwood did not disappoint. It was a fresh twist on the fairy tale trope, was well written, great characters and also a lot of fun. A fantastic start to the series.Recommended for readers who enjoy: Fablehaven, Sisters Grim series, Fables, ShrekThank you to Netgalley and the publishers for the ARC.
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  • Janet
    January 1, 1970
    A fun, exciting, action-packed story that once I started reading I couldn't put down. Full of fairytale creatures but with a twist. The story is about oppression and persecution of those who are different and don't confirm to "nature's law". With very engaging characters and plenty of clever plot twists, you can't help but love it. The humour works well and is reminiscent of the Discworld series. This is the first book in a new series and I'm very much looking forward to reading the next in the A fun, exciting, action-packed story that once I started reading I couldn't put down. Full of fairytale creatures but with a twist. The story is about oppression and persecution of those who are different and don't confirm to "nature's law". With very engaging characters and plenty of clever plot twists, you can't help but love it. The humour works well and is reminiscent of the Discworld series. This is the first book in a new series and I'm very much looking forward to reading the next in the series.I received a free review copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for my honest and unedited review.
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  • solitaryfossil
    January 1, 1970
    What a wonderful book for middle grade readers! And I loved it, too (and I’m ancient). I’m sure the 6th and 7th grade students I used to teach (I’m in the U.S.) would enjoy this story. It’s funny, fast-paced with an interesting, witty mash-up of folklore/fairytales/mythology. And the message is a really fine one. I would definitely want this book in my child’s library, and public libraries. A real treat of a tale, can’t wait for book #2. Excellent.Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher, Farrago, What a wonderful book for middle grade readers! And I loved it, too (and I’m ancient). I’m sure the 6th and 7th grade students I used to teach (I’m in the U.S.) would enjoy this story. It’s funny, fast-paced with an interesting, witty mash-up of folklore/fairytales/mythology. And the message is a really fine one. I would definitely want this book in my child’s library, and public libraries. A real treat of a tale, can’t wait for book #2. Excellent.Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher, Farrago, for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.#Darkwood #NetGalley
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  • Guinevere
    January 1, 1970
    I got an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.Review incoming next to publication, but I'll say that I have loved this book. Take Stardust by Neil Gaiman, mix it with Shrek and then you have it. You have this book.Features: a spider in disguise, a witch that turns everything into baked goods, a young girl who is the best inventor around and three dwarves in armour. You seriously want to check this out.
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