Genres: YA Fantasy, Young Adult, Fantasy Romance | Release Date: 15 July 2022 | Series: Aforetime | Series Book: #1 | Pages: 264 | Indie Author | Review
A huge thank you goes to Book Sirens and the author for letting me read a copy of Aforetime! This YA fantasy romance is a delightful journey into a world of danger, deadly secrets and a witch who feels inadequate. Has that intrigued you? Well, there’s plenty more where that came from, so let’s give you an overview!
Anna has taken over the title of forest witch since Baba Yaga’s passing. But when she’s kidnapped and brought to Gora castle, Anna can’t help but feel they’ve got the wrong witch. There’s an oncoming storm of danger, and the residents have pinned their hopes on her. But can Anna even trust her kidnapper, Hadeon? The master of the castle is hiding secrets, and it could be the downfall of everyone… Is it possible for Anna to save the people she’s come to care about? Will a deadly secret change everything? And who is wielding the black magic gathering around the castle?
I really enjoy when classic characters such as Baba Yaga make an appearance! Lina Ravenhill’s given this infamous witch a healthy sprinkle of humanity and compassion within the pages of Aforetime, which is a wonderful surprise. But can we also talk about the rest of the cast populating this story? The characters are like a box of chocolates: each one different and absolutely delightful! Is it wrong to want to reach in and save all of them from the danger within this YA fantasy?
Aforetime features a slow burn romance, but this was exactly what the story needed! The cantankerous Hadeon is such a grumpy fellow, and I love how small moments between him and Anna add up to something special. By the end of this book, it’s clear that Hadeon would go to the ends of the earth for the forest witch, just as she would for him. Clearly, this is a massive happiness boost!
I need to mention Anna’s shaky confidence and damaged self-worth. Yes, we often get main characters who struggle with whether or not they’re good enough. But Lina’s depiction of Anna is *extremely* relatable, and it’s actually a relief to see characters like her, wondering if they’re worthy of the accolades and faith people have in them. This forest witch isn’t a cookie cutter type, and that’s always a plus in my eyes!
I will admit that there’s a twist at the end, and I can’t decide whether I love it or not… But as I don’t want to spoil the surprise, I’m going to keep my mouth shut about specifics. Suffice to say, I don’t know that I’d read more tales that hinge on this surprise. But this is still a 4 star read for me!
Aforetime by indie author Linda Ravenhill is a sweet, slow burn YA fantasy romance featuring witches, dragons and vampires… Of course that means I’m going to delight in the adventure! The next two books are already out in the world, so if you love reading a number of instalments from a series in one go? This is your chance! Love what you’ve heard from my review? Just click on the link below to order a copy of this beauty! Happy reading, glitterbugs!
You can order Aforetime via this link: Amazon