The Eve of Saints approaches and the poison rain which shrouds Castle Marcosza strains at its boundaries. When Béata’s brother is taken by the rain, Béata and her friend Benedek must make a perilous journey of discovery to uncover the root of her secret – why she is the only person who can walk through the rain unscathed. But Béata is soon caught up in a game of cat-and-mouse with mysterious Liljana, a girl with hidden powers of her own.
I preordered The Forest of Ghosts and Bones because I LOVED Lisa Lueddecke’s debut A Shiver of Snow and Sky. It was vivid and delicious and atmospheric.
I found TFOGAB a little lighter on the atmosphere side, but it was still incredibly evocative. The forests of Marcosza, the ominous Castle Vyesta, the dangerous city of Târu. Even the mage kingdom of Muranj, although we never see it, feels like somewhere we know pretty intimately. I liked the idea of the rain being dangerous – the most unsettling things to me are the most innocuous ones, so the weather being able to kill you is effectively creepy. The baddies are genuiblnely nasty, too.
There were a few niggly things that dragged me back out of the story – the romantic undercurrent between Béata and Benedek didn’t do it for me, and I found Béata and Liljiana likable enough if quite one-dimensional, but overall it was a solid fantasy read, and great for the evenings drawing in.
Also the front cover is stunning. 10/10.