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In The Forests Of Serre (2004)

In the Forests of Serre (2004)
Rating
3.93 of 5 Votes: 2
ISBN
0441011578 (ISBN13: 9780441011575)
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English
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ace
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In The Forests Of Serre (2004)
In The Forests Of Serre (2004)

About book: 3.5 stars!First and foremost, McKillips books have THE best covers. You can always get a glimpse of what the story inside will hold just by searching the cover. The artwork is just beautiful in every way.The Forests of Serre is a retelling of the tale of "The Firebird". Having read this book first, I plan on looking more into the firebird tale in the future. This book is full of many feelings and it takes another glimpse into the human soul, determining the lengths a person would go to get what their hearts desire. The pages hold many little tales all rolled into one."Why did you send Gyre with the princess? He was careless of you after you helped him - he should have known what happens when you steal a heart."This tale isn't just about searching for another human heart to spend your life with, it is about searching inside your own heart and finding something that you may not have known was there yourself."And why do you care if another man steals your life? You didn't want it anyway" His thoughts tangle he paused, speechless at having to explain himself to a witch who would have boiled his bones for stew. Then, as he looked back at what had led him to that inconceivable moment, words came. "What I wanted", he said, his voice raw with pain, "was a reason to want it."Ronan is a prince who was dealt a hard hand of cards. His young wife and child have passed and he is left with a shattered heart and no hope for his future. His father is a merciless king who only wants power and an heir. The pressure he puts on Ronan leads him to abandon the kingdom to chase after the firebird who reveals herself to Ronan as the most beautiful woman and entices him with a song. Alone and wandering in the magical forest of Serre he runs into his future bride to be, Sidonie, but because of the firebirds spell he is not free to go with her. Sidonie is stuck in a foreign land with a king who has no heart, a mage who does not know his own heart, and a forest that is full of secrets. "The way to destroy a heart is to make it unrecognizable to the one possessing it. I know that now. The creature who fought me so furiously for its heart nearly destroyed mine."McKillip has a way of writing so beautifully that I get lost in the words. Her books are a quick read for me but they leave me in a world unlike my own. The only problem I have with her books is that I am left wanting more at each ending. I wanted to know more about Ronan and Sidonie. I wanted to see their love take shape and form.

Patricia A. McKillip- the author I love for a single idea or a certain character even when the book and/or execution is not that great.And no, I'm not one of those people who will read anything from an author, regardless of quality. This is only the second McKillip book I've read.I love this author's writing style- very descriptive, but never too much. She gives you guidelines, then lets you have your freedom in imagining what she's presenting. Sometimes this can get confusing, since you don't always know what she's trying to get at and have to re-read certain sections, but I find that in the end, it pays off. Sometimes you can kill a thing through too much description, and sometimes things are too big to fit in the lens, if you know what I mean. So she'll present just a facet.With the plot, I felt like it didn't go much of anywhere. It mostly circled around a particular castle and the woods surrounding it- people go into the woods, get lost, come back, repeat- and then a kind of related subplot in an entirely different kingdom. I felt as if the plot was going in one direction, and the characters were going in another, and as a result, they didn't go much of anywhere. Let me rephrase- I felt like this was a character study that the author wanted to place in a fantasy land, and the fantasy land started trying to take over. As a result, the setting kind of detracted from the characters.I liked the characters, especially the quasi-villain. An interesting idea (not quite fully explored, since he was introduced in a secondhand way and then never fully explained, I felt.) The prince and princess were interesting too. The witch (Baba Yaga?) was an interesting curve too- she showed up once in a while, but consistently enough that she didn't feel like a Deus Ex Machina. Everything with the characters felt very well tied together.Overall, I liked the style of the book and the characters, but the plot was a little too weighted with the fantasy setting. I heard that this is supposed to be a retelling of "The Firebird," but it didn't feel like that to me. It could have just been a story with some fantasy elements, and been just as good.
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Reviews
Linda
Deep within a secret cave in a far northern land, a monster's hidden heart is stolen. In the land of Serre, the king has arranged for the marriage of princess Sidonie of Dacia to his only son, Crown Prince Ronan. Sidonie's father agrees in the interest of promoting peace between the two kingdoms, but is worried for her safety, because the King of Serre cannot ever be trusted. To ensure princess' safety,the most skillful of all wizards, Unciel, sends a young protege, Gyre, as her guardian. And Si
Alexandra Ray
I feel like this book was a puzzle. Each individual piece that I read seemed small and insignificant and maybe frivolous, but then I finished the book, all the pieces put together, and my mind is still blown by how gorgeous the picture is! I find that her handling of so many characters is so interesting. She managed to weave a story through four separate povs with something like eight main characters. As a writer, this may be part of the reason for my awe. All the characters are well formed. I feel like I know them, that they are not words simply on the page. Considering how many of them there are, that's awesome. The plot, though tedious at times, took shape immediately. The end was somewhat predictable, but the journey was not. If you are a reader willing to take that journey with the characters, you will not regret it!
Heather
The prince Sidonie is bound to marry–Ronan–still grieves for his dead wife and child. His father forced him into the new marriage, and he escapes by losing himself in the magical lands. He was cursed by the evil witch Brume, and ends up losing his heart somewhere along the way. Sidonie becomes determined to find and return his heart, for she’d rather have a husband who mourns his lost family than one who is cold and distant.Dark magics abound in this tale. Unciel, the wizard, tries to keep an eye on Gyre and the princess through scrying, but even that nearly kills him. There’s a scribe who works transcribing all the tales Unciel has written down, Euan, who ends up spending at least as much time caring for Unciel as he does being a scribe. In particular he wants Unciel to tell him a certain tale that has not yet been written down–the one that explains why Unciel is in such a tattered state. But the telling of that tale could kill Unciel, and it may well kill Gyre as well.The characters in this book have depth and fire to them. The feeling of danger in the air is very real–if Sidonie and Ronan don’t marry, Ronan’s ogre of a father, Ferus, will invade Dacia and destroy it. If Unciel can’t tell the king of Dacia that his youngest daughter is safe, the king might risk war against Serre, even though it would destroy him. If Gyre cannot be rescued from the changes that have occurred in his own heart, he could touch off that war–or he could destroy anyone and everyone in his path. The whole thing is a delicate house of cards poised to fall at the wrong touch. In the midst of all of these plots flies the mysterious firebird, a creature of Serre who can ensnare men with her face or her song.I’m still not sure how to find the right words to explain this book. McKillip’s writing is magical, and her plotting and pacing sing with tension and wonder. Give In the Forests of Serre a chance, and if you love it like I do, pick up every McKillip book you can find. It’ll be well worth it.For a longer review including premise, visit Errant Dreams: http://www.errantdreams.com/2015/04/r...
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