Read Forest of Whispers by Jennifer Murgia Online


"This is who I am. I am no longer the simple girl hidden behind the safety of a make-believe forest. I am the story. I am the tall tale . . . I am the witch."Raised by an old fortune-teller within the dark veil of the Bavarian Black Forest, Rune has learned two valuable lessons: only take from the forest that which you can use, and never, never look anyone in the eye in th"This is who I am. I am no longer the simple girl hidden behind the safety of a make-believe forest. I am the story. I am the tall tale . . . I am the witch."Raised by an old fortune-teller within the dark veil of the Bavarian Black Forest, Rune has learned two valuable lessons: only take from the forest that which you can use, and never, never look anyone in the eye in the village. For something terrible happened in the forest long ago... and now, the whispers of a long-dead mother with a vengeful secret have come haunting.Forced to flee all she has ever known, Rune soon learns of a legacy she is bound to--one that is drenched in fear, witchcraft and murder--a birthright that stretches beyond the grave to the trees where Rune is no longer safe....

Title : Forest of Whispers
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781937053567
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 328 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Forest of Whispers Reviews

  • Paula M. of Her Book Thoughts!
    2019-04-06 11:05

    You can also read my review here!"This is who I am. I am no longer the simple girl hidden behind the safety of a make believe forest. I am the story. I am the tall tale. I am the witch."I have this thing where I just stare at the monitor for hours while thinking 'How can I do this? How can my review justify how good this book is?!' I don't think I can so just bear with me, I'll try to form coherent words and clear sentences to let you know how much I loved this one.Here's the tale. The year is 1627, people are scared of things they don't know, the Black Forest is beautiful and dangerous, a Plague is contaminating the villages, and a girl is feared by many and yet, one boy is enchanted by her. A girl who doesn't know yet what she's capable of. But she's about to find out. [image source]Praise for Murgia's vivid and stunning writing. Eveytime I bury myself in this book, it never fails to transport me to wherever Rune is. Everything just vanishes and I'm left with Murgia's word and the dramatic atmosphere. It's one of the many reason to love this book. You will not only read it, you will experience it. The world building is impressive and you can really notice the immaculate research that the author has done. After reading this, I was entranced and immediately googled the story behind the witches of Bavaria because according to the author *(this is from the Author's Note)* even though this book is a work of Fiction, the places, even the castles were real. Yeah, to say that my curiosity was piqued is an understatement.The characters are well done, Rune is a main protagonist to adore and remember. I understand that she is kind of hard to connect to at first pages, but as soon as I hit the 3rd chapter, I already felt like I'm with her through out the book. It's not that different with the love interest. I like being inside their head and them describing their surrounding. So vibrant and alive. The journey of Rune finding out about her heritage is magical and enchanting and I'm amazed that I get to read it. I'm not kidding when I said that I am in desperately in need of the sequel.Another thing that needs to be praised is the way the story was woven. I did not see a lot of things of coming. When I was closer to the end I was full of 'WAIT. WHAT?!' and 'WHAAAAAT. HOW DID I MISS THAT????!' moment. It was awesome. I love books that surprises me. The revelations just keeps on coming and coming until the last page..Forest Of Whispers is a spectacular book. It's alive and it's gonna consume you once you read the first page and you know what? You're gonna like it! Just like me, you'll love how it's gonna captivate you and hate that it needs to end....but the author said that there'll be a book two coming out, so, I'm going to wait.

  • SoWrongItsRANDI {Bell, Book & Candle}
    2019-04-06 10:12

    Forest of Whispers Review^This is who she looks like!This has to be one of the most beautifully written books that I have read this year. The descriptive settings, the characters, the plot and its twist have culminated into something eerily special. Strangely, the girl on the cover looks like Elena Gilbert from the Vampire Diaries....I'm just putting it out there.I have always wanted a tattoo in Latin that read: "They condemn what they do not understand". It's a fact of life, as we have seen it in history with the Salem Witch Trials and the Holy Wars. In this story, that statement holds true.Rune, which is a unique and cool name, is really going through it. Hearing voices, witnessing death and being accused of preposterous crimes can really wear on a girl. I'm very impressed that she didn't give into temptation and use her powers for evil-- power, in any form, corrupts. I love that she was realistic about things yet never gave up hope. All too often do I read about a character who is completely and utterly naive with stars in their eyes. Laurentz is another story. While I admire his steadfast belief that Rune is a good person, I didn't like how he sort of gave her the cold shoulder after she helped him out with a certain "problem". I am glad, however, that they both worked together to discover the truth of everything.I thought this was originally going to be a paranormal romance sort of book, but it turned out to have elements of mystery and suspense that made the story all the more better. Although this book is written like a stand-alone, I hope to see a book two in the near future-- my interest is very piqued as to what new journey Rune will embark on.

  • Penny
    2019-03-31 11:59

    I would like to say that I was a bit hesitant at first as I’ve never been a big fan of historical books. But i enjoyed other books by Jennifer Murgia and decided to give it a chance. In the beginning, the first scene is set with a map depicting Bavaria in 1627, with the important landmarks noted. Just prior to the first page is a pronunciation guide, and without it, I'm sure pronoucing a lot of things would have been really difficult. So thank you for putting this in for us. From the very first page my attention was grabbed and nothing was going to make me put the book down. I found myself reading slower to savory each chapter not wanting to miss a single detail. The incredible detail the author uses engulfs you so deeply you begin to feel yourself within the pages you are reading. Rune is a young woman learning about her past and how she is connected to witchcraft. The tragedies she endures bring her closer to the truth and she discovers her true calling. You know it’s a great read when you can connect emotionally to the story, and fall in love along the way. This is a must read! Can't wait for book 2. I highly recommend this book.

  • Sarah
    2019-04-12 10:22

    (Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Spencer Hill Press and NetGalley.)This was an interesting story about witchcraft, and I enjoyed it.I liked Rune and I felt sorry for her in the way she was persecuted. It was awful the way she had so little to start with, and lost so much. Her life was really sheltered, and it was obvious how much she loved the woman who had raised her like her own.The storyline in this was good, but it was also sad in places. There were a couple of twists that I didn't see coming, and I liked that the romance was toned down as it was a little obvious.The ending was good, and I was glad that Rune got a happy ending after everything that she had been through.Overall; good YA story about witchcraft,7 out of 10

  • Farrah
    2019-04-13 05:14

    I went into this book with high hopes. I mean, a book about a girl caught up in the witch trials? That's definitely my kind of book. However, though the idea was good, the execution wasn't what I hoped it would be. It had its good points but, overall, I found Forest of Whispers to be just an okay read.First, let's go over what I did like. I liked the atmosphere. There was an air of magic, as well as the fear and hatred that went along with it during the witch trials. I liked that, in the end, this book managed to surprise me about who was really behind some terrible things in the past that were part of Rune's legacy. I knew this person wasn't exactly nice, but I didn't suspect that it was to that extent. So, those two things were good enough to keep me reading, though not enough to make up for the issues I had with the book.Speaking of which, let's get to that.The characters were bland. There was nothing about them to dislike, but there wasn't anything about them to like either. They were kind of just...there. Rune, for one, was extraordinarily passive. For example, near the beginning, when something terrible happened, something that should have made Rune devastated, I didn't feel anything from her. No emotions whatsoever about the fact that her life was ruined. It felt like she barely even thought about it, let alone had some genuine emotion regarding it. And, that continued on throughout the book. She was so passive, despite everything that was happening. It was like a cardboard cutout of a character with none of the personalty or emotions to go with it. I didn't dislike her. I just felt absolutely nothing about her.I had the same issue with the kind-of love interest, Laurentz. I know that he was supposed to be a sweet and swoon worthy hero, but he had the same problem of feeling like a cardboard cutout. There were a few moments where he displayed some characteristics that could have made him a great character, but they were few and far between. I have no idea why he felt like he had to save Rune, considering that they met two times, barely talked, and both times that they met, she acted suspicious. I felt like he had no legitimate reason for deciding to trust her, other than the fact that she was pretty. And, what really annoyed me was that he saved her from prison, someone he himself suspected as a witch, and left all the other women (who were the ones who actually weren't witches) in prison. What? That makes no sense. He, and Rune, were just...I wasn't a fan. And, of course, when you can't like the characters, there's no way you can like the book.The story was okay, in that it managed to keep me reading, but it wasn't the best. It felt like a bunch of coincidences, with the characters doing things that moved the story forward, but felt like there was no realistic motivation behind it. But, at least I was interested enough to keep going and the ending was...suitable.Forest of Whispers was an okay read. I didn't dislike it (mostly because it was so bland that there was nothing about it to particularly like or dislike) but it managed to keep me interested enough to read the entire way through. It wasn't a bad book, but I can only say that it was an okay book. I wouldn't recommend it personally, but if you're interested, don't let me stop you from giving it a try.*I received a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

  • Michelle Rebar
    2019-04-07 08:22

    A bewitching historical fantasy about witches set in the Black Forest of Bavaria with magic, danger, romance and deep dark secrets waiting to be revealed. Jennifer Murgia's gorgeous writing will put you under a spell and honestly make you want to google pictures of Bavaria and while eating Black Forest cake. It's some pretty yummy writing. It's an itriguing story rich in history and full of surprises. A must add to your fall tbr pile. Full review to come...Update 8/4/14 (review)It is 1627...Rune lives in the Black Forest of Bavaria with Matilde, an old woman who tells fortunes and provides medicines from the forest for the nearby villagers. Sixteen years ago, Rune's mother abandoned her and left her in the care of Matilde. Over the years, Rune became her apprentice and they grew close. Matilde became her family, the closest thing to a mother as she's ever known. They live outside of the hedge that protects the village from the dark mysteries of the forest. Even though the people from the village often come to them for help, they are still considered outcasts, feared and thought of as witches. For years they have been able to live in peace, but when Rune draws attention to them by accidentally causing harm to someone, the village is consumed with hysteria and they go on a witch-hunt. Rune is about to lose everything she's ever cared about, and to make things worse, she's hearing frightening whispers from her dead mother, who was burned for being a witch soon after her birth. Her mother is angry, and she is trying to convince Rune to exact vengeance upon the villagers for what they did to her so many years ago. As Rune runs for her life and fights to survive, she discovers that she is more than just an ordinary girl. Her heritage is shrouded in mystery, murder and witchcraft. She will soon find out who and what she really is. Eltz Castle...Laurentz is the only remaining son of the Electorate of Berg Eltz. His step-mother has taken ill and his father has been keeping vigil by her side. When the bishop arrives and informs him that the neighboring castle, Pyrmont, has fallen to the Plague, he fears it will spread to their own castle and to the village they oversee. Laurentz wants nothing more than to earn the respect of his father, so he takes the matter into his own hands. He decides to travel to the village to warn the people there, but when he is going over the hedge, he literally runs into a beautiful and mysterious girl named Rune. After their meeting, he can't stop thinking about her. This will not be the last time their paths cross. When he finally makes his way into the village, it is not at all what he expected. He becomes a witness to a witch-hunt that is orchestrated by fear and corruption. He also may be falling in love with the girl everyone thinks is a witch. He must race against time to save her before she meets a tragic fate.Laurentz and Rune will need each other if they want to unravel the mystery that binds them and that also threatens their lives.

  • Abbie
    2019-03-31 10:08

    (I received a copy from Netgalley, In exchange for an honest review.)Actual rating - 3.5Rune was an okay character, and at times, I felt quite sorry for her. This was an enjoyable read, which kept my interest throughout. The pacing could be a little slow in areas, but it wasn't that bad, so it wasn't much of an issue. Overall, A decent read.

  • All Things Urban Fantasy
    2019-04-21 04:14

    ***Review Courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy***When a wicked bishop starts a witch hunt in Bavaria, orphan Rune finds herself targeted - but unlike most of the so-called witches caught in the net of hysteria, Rune really does have powers, and a reason to fear for her life. She also has an ally in the son of the local magistrate (called the Electorate), after he nearly tramples her with his horse and finds himself 'bewitched.' What follows in FOREST OF WHISPERS by Jennifer Murgia is a young adult romance, but, more importantly, a story about confronting the past, accepting where you come from, and embracing your strength.The book got off to a slow start for me, and Rune's voice seemed unsteady - sometimes sounding older than her sixteen years, sometimes younger. But as the world outside of the cottage in the woods was built, I was drawn deeper into the story. The son of the Electorate, Laurentz, added another dimension to the book, though some aspects of his tragic backstory felt shoe-horned in, used to form a bond with Rune and then forgotten. The switch between their point of views largely works, minus some abrupt transitions.The strongest scenes in the novel are the scenes of suffering - when Rune loses the only mother she has ever known, and when she's sent to Drudenhaus, the witch prison, and tortured for a confession. She draws on her inner strength, and the reader knows despite how gentle and delicate she seems, she's a survivor. The magic of this book is pretty vague - no real spells or elements, no rules. Ordinarily I'd find that frustrating, but in many ways FOREST OF WHISPERS is an extended fairy tale wherein we're told there's magic, and that's just the way it is. Try not to think about the 'how' of it too hard, or risk breaking the spell.

  • April Nichole
    2019-03-29 04:13

    To be perfectly honest I have always shied away from books that had historical settings. They never seemed to interest me. Having been a fan of Jennifer’s since her first book I was extremely interested to see what her next book was about. Then I read what it was about and learned about the setting and there was a part of me that was a little unsure. Like I said though I am a fan of Jennifer’s work so I thought why not give it a shot. I also haven’t read many stories lately that a witch was the main character, most of the time if a witch was involved it was a secondary character.So, did I like the story even though it is set in 17th century Germany? I really did. With each book Jennifer puts out her ability grows to be able to captivate a reader not just with the main characters but the secondary characters AND THE SETTING. Being set in the 17th century it was during a time of hysteria it added to what the main character, Rune, was going through of learning and dealing with who she is.There was also a point that my eyes went wide and I even held my breath for a moment. I thought I was about to be in for the biggest twist that I didn’t see coming. I will say it didn’t go that way. What actually happened was still a surprise and I am glad she didn’t go the way I thought was about to happen.Jennifer did a wonderful job taking the reader along for the journey that Rune goes through to discover her complete set abilities and to perhaps find a way to accept them.

  • Erin
    2019-03-26 08:16

    Unfortunately for me, Forest of Whispers was not my cup of tea. While the storyline was intriguing and I'm sure many will come to enjoy it, however for me I just couldn't get into this book as much as I wanted to nor did I particularly like this book. Still, the book contains an interesting story, although it's probably for a certain person's taste, which unfortunately was not mine. * Thanks to the publisher on netgalley for providing me with a review copy of this book!

  • Erin Arkin
    2019-03-31 12:10

    Forest of Whispers by Jennifer Murgia was a quick read that had me turning the pages trying to figure out what was going to happen next. If you are looking for witch story that ties brings in a bit of the history of the era, you might want to check this one out. Rune was raised in the forest just outside the village and has always been different. She never knew her mother but she can’t hide the fact from Mathilde, the person who raised her, that she is hearing her mother’s voice whispering things to her. I found Rune to be an interesting character. She is thrown into a situation she wasn’t fully prepared for and ends up having to face some horrible situations. Despite that, she comes out stronger in the end.Laurentz was a solid character and I liked him. Clearly he had some demons to face and the way his story was tied to Rune’s was done well and I liked how Murgia showed his relationship with his father. There was obviously some anger and blame floating between the two due to the death of Laurentz’s brother and while that was true, I thought that it was interesting how their relationship changed at the end of the story due to their circumstances.The secondary characters in the book helped move the story along and I liked how Murgia slowly revealed their roles in the overall story. Not only what was happening to Rune in the current time but also the things they did in the past, including their roles/impact in what happened with the girls who died in the forest before. This is the part of the story that links back to Rune’s mother and I can’t say much about it as I don’t want to give anything away but to understand what really is happening, you definitely have to give the story time to be revealed. With that said, I thought the way that Murgia revealed the full story was well done.Alongside the story, Murgia blends in German history and locations to make the story that much more interesting. By linking the witch hunts of the time and the lore of the Black Forest, I found myself linking this to the historical genre. It also helped in building out the feeling and sense of the time. People were obviously afraid of disease and famine and witches were just one way that people felt they could find someone to blame.I also thought Murgia also did a good job of switching points of view. It was necessary due to the constraints that Rune had on her and the information she would have been able to find out on her own. The way it was done helped the story flow together for me and was necessary. Overall I found this story to be a quick and enjoyable read. Thank you to Netgalley and Spencer Hill Press for the review copy!

  • B at Spare Time Book Blog
    2019-04-07 04:15

    I loved the time period of this book. It is set in the 1600's in Germany. All of the geographical information actually exists in Germany which I thought was insanely cool. People here are scared of what they don't understand or what could be consider "evil". Rune lives in the black forest with an old fortune teller who is the only mother she has ever known. Her Mother died when she was born. she has many questions about her past and her mother. Living in the Black Forest has its dangers. People in the city are protected from it's dangers by a hedge that is suppose to keep witches out. This area has a bad history with witch craft. One day when the fortune teller is with a client and Rune is out collecting herbs in the forest she starts to hear a voice. A voice telling her to do things. A voice that claims to be her mother. How can this be? Will Rune get the answers she seeks? Rune is a great character. She starts out as a girl who doesn't know who she is. She is very strong willed and has good morals. Despite what her mother encourages her to do, she stands her ground. Even when her guardian is captured and accused of witch craft she holds her ground. Which is insanely hard to do given the circumstances. She learns how to adjust to her circumstances and over come some pretty big obstacles. She has to go through things that no teen should ever have to go through. Her life is in danger numerous times and she still remains strong and refuses to use her gifts for evil. There is a potential love interest too! Laurentz is the son of an Electorate of a near by castle. He stumbles upon Rune by accident as his horse almost stomps on her. He is instantly drawn to this beautiful strange girl. A girl who could heal a wound with weeds??? Despite the attraction that these two share they never talk about it. It simply is there. Laurentz tries to help Rune throughout this dangerous time for her. He does like her but, there are some other reasons behind it. I was so drawn to these two. Their relationship felt real. Not instalove. It wasn't like, hey you were almost burned alive lets make out! I loved it. Getting to hear from both of their POV was great. I really enjoyed this read. It was an easy read. I loved the time period and the world building. It drew me in quickly. I also love books about witches. This one is different too. Not what you typically read about powerful witches. I will be anxiously awaiting book 2!

  • BookLoversLife
    2019-04-22 04:04

    2.5 stars. I finished this a few days ago and to be honest I'm still torn with my rating. I wanted to love this because seriously, that cover is stunning, and it sounded amazing but unfortunately I didn't love it, I'm not too sure if I even liked it that much. It was OK but that's it!! I'm going to break this down into what i liked and didn't like and I think ill get the bad stuff out of the way first. The Pacing : I think the main thing I didn't like was that it was quite slow and plot wise not much happened. I was reading and so many times found myself wandering, then Id have to go reread the part my mind wandered from and Id find myself wandering again. The characters : I found them to be kinda flat. I didn't get invested in any of them and thought there could of been more development from the main character, Rune. While she eventually comes into her own, it does take her a very long time to. If she just embraced herself and was stronger then I think I would of liked her. The Romance : I so didn't like the kinda insta love thing that happened. The fact that Laurentz kept thinking she bewitched him was also annoying. What I liked : The atmosphere : The Black forest was an awesome setting. So dark and mysterious. It created a spooky vibe. The history : I absolutely loved the history of Bavaria and the myths that the author showed us. It was a fascinating area to set the plot in and I loved it. I also liked the hedge witch concept and the witch's cottage in the woods. It added a bit of fairytale vibe to the story. So Overall Forest Of Whispers is just an OK read. Every time I sit down to write this review (I've tried several times) all I can say about it is that the book is readable. Its not bad but its not gripping either. I think Ill stick with my 2.5 stars because there was nothing that got me excited abut this book (apart from the cover)

  • Valia Lind
    2019-04-09 09:25

    This book was a great read! I went into it knowing almost nothing. I've never read anything by Jennifer before and it's been a few months since I've read anything witchy. I wanted some historical and some magical greatness and this story did not disappoint. I really enjoyed Rune as the main character. And I think the part I enjoyed most about her is her growth throughout the book. She hasn't had an easy life, she had to watch a person she loves get murdered, while she hid in the forest that the world feared. But through it all, she didn't lose sight of the kind of a person she was raised to be. She could've turned bitter, she could've become what people expected her to be, but she stood strong and I loved that about her. Laurentz was a great characters as well. I liked how he came into himself as well. As you can see, there's a pattern. :) I like well written characters and I felt like the two main leads where just that in this book. Also, the setting was great. I read that the places and such were actual places in history and that was a great add to the story. I enjoy historical fiction and this one had the feeling of old folk tales I used to hear when I was a kid. Like a Baba Yaga story or something along those lines and I really enjoyed the more somber feeling to the story. Overall, this book was a great read, with just enough adventure and magic to keep me turning the pages. I look forward to reading more of Ms Murgia's writing.

  • Kira
    2019-04-16 10:26

    This was hard to rate since I really liked some things and didn’t like others. I loved the setting in the Black Forest especially since it had a mystical feel. It took place in the 17th century when there were actual witch trials in Bavaria although unlike IRL magic existed in this world. Witch hunts/trials have always fascinated me. This was a good depiction of how easy it was for panic to spread and for rumors of witches to be perpetuated.Rune needed to be more emotional. She went through a few traumatic events and didn’t have strong reactions. Whenever bad things happened, she simply accepted it as fate. Sometimes she was TSTL. I don’t understand why she threw herself into situations where she was in danger. Her motivations for those actions weren’t explained. Laurentz was appealing because he didn’t conform to the norms of society and believe everything that was said about witches. I did like the relationship between Rune and Laurentz, but there was some insta-lust, which really wasn’t necessary. Their relationship was slowly developing just from spending time together.The magic could have used more of an explanation. It worked in vague and random ways. I think some of that will be explained later on in the series as Rune figures those things out for herself. Forest of Whispers was okay, but it was good enough that I’d like to read the next one.I received this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  • Beth(YA Books Central)
    2019-04-23 04:25

    "This is who I am. I am no longer the simple girl hidden behind the safety of a make believe forest. I am the story. I am the tall tale. I am the witch."What a gorgeous, dark, and spooky cover!! I love it! I even love the font that Forest Of Whispers is displayed in. I could already tell before even opening to the first page that this book was going to be creepy and full of secrets.....and I was right!!!This book is based around the story of Rune. Rune is a young girl who is raised by an old woman in a village right outside of the Black Forest in Bavaria. There are supposedly two valuable lessons to remember when it comes to the Black Forest: only take from the forest that which you can use, and never, never look anyone in the eye in the village.Rune meets a young boy who also lives in the village and his name is Laurentz. I really liked Laurentz character and the romance that bloomed between the two characters was perfect. It tied into the story perfectly and really made you feel connected to the characters. I love everything paranormal so I knew I would love this book. There are truly so many twists and secrets in this book that I don't want to give them all away...If you are a fan of YA, Romance, Paranormal, or Witchcraft then this is the book for you....It also had a historical setting that and the writer really researched her facts about this time period because each aspect was spot on.

  • Ayanami Faerudo
    2019-04-08 12:21

    First of all, I would like to thank the birthing god or goddess for letting me born in a time period where a woman could sneeze in peace without being accused and persecuted of witchcraft.The Forest of Whispers was a little strange to me at first. It had that strange quality about it that I also found when I was reading Chime by Franny Billingsley and Arrow of the Mist by Christina Mercer, both of which I enjoyed reading and ultimately loved. It isn’t like the strange quality that I mentioned is to be interpreted as bad. In fact, that gave a sublime, surreal and timeless feel to the storytelling. These traits are what set apart Forest of Whispers, removed from the usual bustle of young adult fantasy and placed on a separate unique place.It represented a slice of life, a peak into medieval Bavaria where superstition and religion ruled daily life and put the blame of things unwarranted on innocents while true evil hid behind the gossip. It was both fact and fiction and I loved every minute of reading it. That sense of strangeness that I always feel when I read this kind of books gave way to the highs and lows of Rune’s journey and self-discovery. Full review at Whatever You Can Still Betray.Link should be okay now.

  • Kim Dyer
    2019-04-01 09:06

    ***Reviewed as part of the Blog Tour for this novel hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. To read the full review of this novel, please visit my blog on 09 September 2014***Forest of Whispers is a compelling and utterly engaging novel that I had trouble putting down. The ethereal backdrop of the Black Forest gives the story the air of a fairy tale that is offset by the brutality of the witch trials. As so many novels of this type are set in Salem or England, the fact that this one focused on the German witch trials was very refreshing.The story was very eloquently written and its descriptive tone fit its themes very well. Beneath the primary plot of the witch trials lay a complex story full of political intrigue and murder that really added depth over the second half. Both of the primary characters - Rune and Laurentz - had notably different voices and attitudes that complement each other very nicely and I was pleased to see their light romance blossom over the tale without ever causing the story to diverge into a paranormal romance.All in all, I was highly impressed by this story and look forward to reading more by this author in the future.

  • Kirsty (Amethyst Bookwyrm)
    2019-03-28 09:25

    This and my other reviews can be found at to Netgalley and Spencer Hill Press for giving me this book to review.Rune has lived all her life with an old fortune teller on the edge of the black forest, but recently she has been starting to hear whispers from her long dead mother. When she is forced to leave everything she has known, Rune discovers that she is bound to a legacy of witchcraft and murder. I really could not get into Forest of Whispers and could not finish it. While I didn’t dislike Rune and Laurentz, they just felt bland and I did not care about their situation. I did not hate this book but I didn’t feel much about it.

  • Angela
    2019-04-02 04:08

    Forest of Whispers is truly a story that keeps the reader interested; it's difficult to put down because your so eager to see what is going to happen! You hurt for Rune, going thru what she has to, seeing what she has to see. And the plot turns keep things from being what you expect and draws you in. I also loved looking up more about the area the book is set in. Definitely a must read and a book to share.

  • Dana
    2019-04-12 09:19

    Sixteen year old Rune has grown up in the Black Forest in Bavaria, raised by an old woman who tells people's fortunes using Rune stones. Laurentz, whose step mother is ill and dying, is the son of the Electorate. Rumors of witchcraft, plague and ruin, witch trials and drownings are part of the dark history in the story. Can Rune avoid burning at the stake with the help of Laurentz? I enjoyed this first book in the series and look forward to the next.

  • Sara Sweitzer
    2019-04-06 06:05

    I absolutely loved this book. Rune seems like just a normal girl at the beginning, but as she learns the truth about her past your view on her completely changes. I cant wait to read more books by this amazing author who knows how to catch anyone's attention.

  • Katlyn Duncan
    2019-04-15 11:04

    Fun, fresh, and full of magic! Loved the unique setting, characters, and story from this amazing author. Highly recommended read!

  • Shelby
    2019-04-10 05:59

    I was awesome! I hope the rest of the series is as good as this book!

  • Zachary Flye (Zach's YA Reviews)
    2019-03-26 09:00

    Review:Protagonists: Rune has been raised in the Black Forest of Bavaria by and old fortune-teller and the only mother she's ever known. That is until her long dead mother's voice begins to whisper to her from beyond the grave haunting Rune as she begins her journey to discover the truth about who she is and where she comes from. While it was fairly hard to get a good grasp on Rune's character at the beginning of the book, possibly due to the fact that I felt I was told more about who Rune was rather than shown in the beginning, as the book picks up it's easy to get a read on who Rune is and the deep inset moral code that she retains even when all seems lost. Her growth over the book is fantastic and beautifully interwoven with that of secondary protagonist Laurentz. Laurentz, who I kept calling Laurence while I was reading, is the son of the Electorate of the castle near Rune's village and after travelling down to Rune's village finds his life will never be the same. Haunted by his own past Laurentz was a fairly similar character to Rune, but was amazingly still able to keep a distinct and unique voice than that of Rune, whose chapters take up the majority of the book.Romance: While there is a romance in this book it is very subtle, it really never got as far as I was expecting it would which was a very big surprise. While there was an instant attraction between Rune and Laurentz, it was just that attraction, they acknowledged that the other was attractive but while it showed that they have romantic feelings for each other they weren't really discussed between the two during the book which was probably the most surprising of all as I'm so used to characters making out before the end of the first book. I found that I really enjoyed this change of pace as it left more room for the plot to shine through.World-Building: So there are so many categories this book could go under, witch lore, fantasy, paranormal, historical fiction, and even a dark mystery. All of these things describe this book so limiting it to just one wouldn't even begin to touch on what this book is about. Set in Bavaria at the beginning of an inevitable witch hunt and inquisition, our heroine must stay safe as there are many forces great and small that want to see her dead. With even a mix of political intrigue the author weaves a fantastic and immaculate world to set this series in. I was blown away by the descriptions and imagery that I felt like I was practically right there with Rune during her adventure.Predictability: When I began this book many questions were raised and I had thoughts on all of them, little theories ranging from the incredibly possible to the bizarre but not unheard of. Before I was even halfway through this book all of my theories were debunked. When the answers to these questions were revealed well it's not a stretch to say that I was shocked, and while some shock came from the fact that there was just no way to piece those pieces together, there were also a lot of surprises that I realized made perfect sense and had to chastise myself for not realizing it before. This book is full of spectacular reveals and marvelous twists.Ending: With this being the first book of a series I had expected a rather plateaued ending, which we get, but as the book was wrapping up I had felt as though there might have been a cliffhanger after all. While there wasn't I still found myself pining for the next book in the series. As for the final climactic moment itself, well all I can say is it was phenomenal! Everything comes together in a crazy awesome way where it all just comes together, makes sense and makes me cheer!Rating:If you're a fan of witch books (or really any of the categories I listed in the "World-Building" section) I highly... HIGHLY!!!!... recommend this book. I'll just leave it there as I think I've used all the synonyms for "fantastic" that I can.

  • Marni
    2019-04-17 07:27

    I would like to thank both the author and the publisher for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Doing so does not sway my review in any way.When I first read the synopsis of this book, a favorite comic book from my childhood came to mind. It was back in the 1970's and there was a little girl whose mother was being accused of witchcraft and she was taken away by villagers. While home along, the little girl discovered her powers and created all kinds of havoc. I can't remember the name of this comic book, but I must have read it and looked through it a bazillion times. Now, this is a part of my childhood that I hold close and to have a synopsis spark that memory, made me decide right away that I had to read this book.Rune, an orphan, is being raised by an older lady who is like a gypsy. She reads peoples fortunes, creates potions for their ailments, reads stones and things like that. This woman has kept a secret from Rune, since the child's birth, but realizes the time has come to tell Rune the truth. The stories within the stories kept my nose in this book and I didn't want to put it down. The delight I felt in the magick, trickery and people's ignorance kept me engrossed. I've always loved a good witch story, and this book is right up there near the top of my list as a favorite. The author brings together stories of girls who were falsely accused and killed because the villagers paranoia with witchcraft. The very science of nature was turned on more than a fair share of innocent girls and women. And than there are the stories of those who were actual witches and could control the forces of nature itself and bring devastation to anyone and anything that witch wanted to. The stories from long ago are centered around the dark magick. The author shows the reader how natural occurrences were treated by those ignorant of science. Through a time period, when nature struck back, it was because they thought someone made it do it. Innocent mistakes were labeled criminal at the drop of the hat while imaginations ran wild. The author did a fine job of bringing the stories of old to the reader while still keeping it interesting. The descriptions from the author were very well detailed, I could feel myself in the forest. I could hear the whispers, see the looks on faces and feel the textures of the world around the characters.The author kept true to the time period, using words that gave it the real feel. Thankfully, she is quite the thinker and provides the pronunciation and meaning of those words in the very beginning of the book. I quickly became accustomed to the wording and it didn't break the flow of the story. There are dual POV's in this story. One of Rune, another of Laurentz and one special one from Liese. Rune was interesting but Laurentz felt a bit flat. I found myself skimming over his chapters quite a few times. The chapter of Liese. That one pulled at my heartstrings. So much is said in those couple of pages that puts everything in a new perspective. The truth come out and you see the story in a whole new light. You realize that ignorance is also a cover up in many ways.I recommend this for anyone who likes books on magick, witches and that whole scenario. Trying to describe the essence of this book is hard. It wraps up the mystery of witches with a feel of the old style movies that would creep you out but not have you running from the room. This story will keep you on the edge though.

  • Holly
    2019-04-09 10:25

    *eARC kindly provided by Spencer Hill Press via NetGalley**SPOILERS! I think...*Review can be found here.Going into this, I wasn't sure what to expect. I knew it was about witchcraft, which was honestly the main reason I requested this one. I love books about witches, simple as that. And while I really enjoyed Forest of Whispers, I was expecting something completely different.Rating: 3 Stars!That's not always a bad thing. I love books that take me completely by surprise. But I think I wanted more than a story that read like the Salem Witch Trials. I was expecting more, I don't know, magic?I loved that this was told in dual POVs. I can't stress enough how much I love having both characters' thoughts and feelings. I hate it when it's one-sided. These two are from completely different worlds but they both share a deep understanding of what it's like to be unwanted and searching for love.Rune, surrogate daughter of the "fortune-teller" who lives in the forest, has lived there her whole life. She's not a part of the village, yet she's not exactly a part of her guardian's world. She's different, a little lost, and just wants to find her place in this life. I didn't love her, but I didn't hate her. Her character just wasn't very strong, in her personality and in how she reacted to everything. She didn't question things, she went along with what was happening, and she didn't try to save herself when she needed to. And I didn't feel any emotions from her, even though there were a few scenes that should have twisted my heart and possibly brought out tears in my eyes. But the way Rune responded to them just left me feeling indifferent. That's what I felt toward her character--indifference.I felt that way about Lorentz too, though he was a slightly more interesting character. He's the son of the Electorate, the guy who essentially oversees all of the people and villages around. He's not exactly a King, but he lives in a castle. Lorentz was a boy struggling to win his father's approval but also one who cared about his people. It's a thin line that he balances, trying to figure out what's happening and who is responsible and what to do once he finds out.It wasn't hard to switch POVs, and I did enjoy both of them. I just didn't feel much for their characters or their romance. It was sweet but definitely underdeveloped, and I wish it'd been one that gave me all the happy feels.I didn't know what to expect from the plot and story-line. But I just wish there'd been more magic and less witch trial. It was basically a retelling of the Salem Witch Trials, with murder and mayhem. I wanted more magic. I wanted a strong heroine who didn't back down from a fight. Instead, I just got a village that decided to blame the Hedge Witch on all their troubles and a girl who never tried to rescue herself. There were twists and secrets that came out, which tied everything together nicely. But I didn't feel like much happened, and I didn't care for the story-line. Don't get me wrong, this was written wonderfully and full of details. It was a fast-paced novel that I enjoyed. I just wanted something different from Forest of Whispers, something that would WOW me. But sadly, it was disappointing in that regard.

  • Sandy
    2019-04-03 11:23

    What a wonderful trip back through time, for now its 1627 and we’re in the Black Forest of Bavaria. Rune, 16 lives with Matilde in the forest, a line of hedges separates the forest from the village keeping the evil spirits out of the village and keeping the villagers safe. Rune knows what the villagers think of her and the woman who has raised her like a daughter, yet these are the same individuals who come to Matilde for tonics and potions in their time of need. Matilde is a witch, someone they fear yet they secretly need her. The fear of The Plague is near and everyone is on edge. In times of desperation, the villagers use Matilde, as their excuse for their troubles that surround them. What will the future hold for Rune and Matilde? Rune is scared of living without Matilde for she knows nothing of the skills Matilde possessed, how will she ever learn them? I lived this novel more than I read it, I felt for Rune as she experienced the struggles within the village and in the forest as the villagers fought them, such hatred. To hear the accusations, the scuffle, I swear I seen the faces of the individuals whose lives were being affected affect and then I remembered I was in 1627. Rune calls upon the Sacred Mother and the four corners of the earth to help her and I was pleading with her for someone to give her a sign, an answer to guide her. It was all too real. Laurentz is another main character in the book whose story runs parallel to the story of Rune. Laurentz happens upon Rune in the village and later their stories intertwine when he gets emotional over Rune’s situation and he believes Rune can assist him. Laurentz is also struggling with his own identity when all he needs to do is to be himself, I feel. This book was more than I expected. These two teens faced more challenges and exciting discoveries before their fight was finished in the end. I don’t remember when I have read my last book dealing with witches but after reading this one, I really feel that I have been missing something. “I am too afraid to look into his eyes. All I can think of is how he doesn’t fit here. He is too formal to be standing in the forest with me. He is too perfect to blend in with the wild while I stand in a dirty, damp dress, my eyes swollen from my tears. We are as different as two worlds. But what is strangers still is how he doesn’t appear to notice it as I do.”

  • Karissa
    2019-04-02 06:17

    I got a copy of this book to review through NetGalley. This book sounded so interesting and magical. However, I was a bit disappointed. It’s an okay story but there wasn’t anything in here all that creative that really grabbed my attention.Rune is a young girl who lives in the forest and is a Hedge Witch's apprentice. When the Hedge Witch is burned at the stake for perceived evils, Rune flees into the forest. There she bumps into a young man, Laurentz, with a very sick mother. He is convinced that she can help him. However, she flees before he can talk to her and is captured by Inquisitors and imprisoned. Now Laurentz is trying to find Rune and rescue her so that she can help him.This book deals with witch hunts in Germany. There is a bit of a fantasy element as well since the main character, Rune, appears to really have some supernatural powers. Everything about this book fell flat for me. The story was boring, it takes 25% or so of the book before we even get to the part when Rune’s home is destroyed and she flees her house. You would think the story would get suspenseful or engaging, some truly awful things happen in this book. However, there just wasn’t enough description or momentum to really grab the reader’s attention. I constantly found my mind wandering. I don’t know how this book made me feel ambivalent toward the murders of young girls and infants...but it really did. Rune and Laurentz have got to be some of the most bland characters I have ever read about. They just don’t have any passion or excitement to them. I didn’t care what happened to them. They felt so 2D to me.It’s also not a very creative story. There are no twists and turns, you know exactly how things are going to play out right from the beginning. The “twist” about Rune’s original family felt contrived and silly. The writing flows well and the story wraps up nicely. However, it was a very short and simple story and the ending felt very rushed.Overall this book was very forgettable read. The writing flowed well, but the characters and the plot all fell flat for me. The story was just not exciting or engaging. Some horrific things happen in this book, but because of how the book was written I was more ambivalent to them than drawn in. I was actually hard pressed to even remember the names of the characters by the end of the book. It’s an interesting topic done in a very boring way. Not recommended.

  • Lauralee
    2019-04-14 10:05

    Rune has always lived in the forest with an old-fortune teller named Matilde. She learns that the forest holds a dark secret that involves her birth mother. One day she learns the truth that she is a witch. When she becomes a target to the witch hunters in a village nearby her forest, Rune struggles with her identity while trying to protect herself. She realizes that the only person who believes that her witchcraft could be used for good is Laurentz, the son of the Electorate. In order to come to terms with her identity, Rune must learn the truth of the forest’s dark secrets, whose past haunt those around them. Rune learns that her birth mother is an evil witch who has done many terrible things. Throughout the novel, she is determined to not be like her mother. She is often conflicted with hard choices, and tries to do the right thing. Rune is often trying to find her identity and to find happiness. There really is not much character development in Rune. She is a weak character. She does not really do anything, nor does she save herself. In fact, it is those around her, especially her mother that does her actions. As for Rune’s power, I really did not get a sense of her magic. The author tells us that she is the most powerful witch in Bavaria, but there is no action that shows us how powerful she is. That is another issue that I had about the book. The author tells us the actions of the characters, she does not show. It is said that her mother is evil, but she does not tell us the evil things she has done. I also thought that there needs to be more character development for Laurentz. He also does not really do anything in the novel. Overall, this story is about a woman finding her identity. While the characters need some work, and the plot was predictable, I did find the storyline to be interesting. I really like how it was about the witch trials in Bavaria. The setting is atmospheric and dark, and the forest is very mysterious. Forest of Whispers kept me interested enough for me to read the sequel when it comes out. I am interested in finding out what happens to Rune, and if she has grown into a stronger character. I recommend this book to those who are interested to fans of historical fiction and fantasy.(Note: I read an ARC copy of this novel in courtesy of Netgalley.)