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?
Required to make a special Journey during her sixteenth year, Princess Adriana leaves the comforts of her kingdom and sets out into the forest and from there, depending on her choices which will shape her path, she’ll find both a purpose and become stronger in many ways she wasn’t before. Of course, it’s evident that Journeys are never easy and nothing will be as it seems.
I wasn’t sure what to expect in the early chapters of A Clearing in the Forest, but I did become hooked into the story fairly quickly (I read most of it in one sitting). The fantasy elements were interesting, there were at times some quirky The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland vibes. I loved the different paths and remain so curious of the different settings and the stories behind them (especially the gold path).
I loved Princess Adriana as a character. She was mature, and while not always making the best decisions, was levelheaded and determined. She also used her three gifts wisely to make her Journey not as difficult as it could have been. There were so many ways it could have gone for her. As for the other characters, there’s two that remain suspicious. And one that I’m worried about. I need to know what else is happening right now.
In short, The Clearing in the Forest is a fun, clean fantasy with an equally fun heroine with a quest she controls by her own decisions. There’s even a sweet romance (with no love triangles, a rarity in fantasy).
About the Author
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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