Tuesday 26 September 2023

Book Review: After the Forest by Kell Woods (Fantasy)

Title: After the Forest
Author: Kell Woods
Publisher: Tor
Publication Date: 3 October 2023
Pages: 384
Format: eBook - PDF
Genre: Fantasy
Source: ARC via NetGalley

Ginger. Honey. Cinnamon. Flour.

Twenty years after the witch in the gingerbread house, Greta and Hans are struggling to get by. Their mother and stepmother are long dead, Hans is deeply in debt from gambling, and the countryside lies in ruin, its people starving in the aftermath of a brutal war.

Greta has a secret, the witch's grimoire, secreted away and whispering in Greta's ear for the past two decades, and the recipe inside that makes the best gingerbread you've ever tasted. As long as she can bake, Greta can keep her small family afloat.

But in a village full of superstition, Greta and her mysteriously addictive gingerbread, not to mention the rumors about her childhood misadventures, is a source of gossip and suspicion.

And now, dark magic is returning to the woods and Greta's magic―magic she is still trying to understand―may be the only thing that can save her. If it doesn't kill her first.


After the Forest was an enjoyable story from start to finish. I liked the premise and the way the fairy tale elements were blended with other fantasy and paranormal tropes. Greta was a compelling heroine I was instantly ready to get behind, and I enjoyed the romance component of her adventures too. The book's prose was easy reading but still created great atmosphere, and the world building was nicely handled throughout. Overall, I would definitely recommend this book to fans of fairy tale retellings and generally fantasy reads. I am giving it 4.5 stars.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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