#MGlit Review: In Darkling Wood

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Up today is In Darkling Wood by Emma Carroll, a heart warming fantasy that I fell head over heels in love with!

Alice can't remember just how long she's been worrying about her little brother, but when he gets his long awaited chance for a heart transplant, she's finally happy. That is until she's shipped off to her estranged grandmother Nell's house for awhile. There's not a lot of good at the house except for the seemingly magical Darkling Wood which lies behind the house. Except Nell is bent on cutting it down. For the first time in awhile, Alice feels at home and even makes a new friend named Flo. But no one at the local school knows her, and when Flo starts to show Alice the secrets of Darkling Wood, she begins to wonder what's real and what's not. And if she has enough time to save it.

It's taken me a bit to get to this one, but I'm so glad I waited until summer and had time to spend with it! It's a sweet, sweet tale. There's a bit of mystery woven throughout the plot, but the underlying tale is about a girl who cares deeply for her brother and just wants her family to be alright.

It's not a huge fairy story, but I love how Carroll brings them into the plot. There's a lot of lead up, and at times, I got a bit confused as there are older letters that play into each chapter and aren't really explained until the end. The story structure is a little different than the norm, but it comes together nicely!Overall, it's a great story about doing what's right, the power of love--and family-- and how believing in magic can heal us.

I recommend this for anyone who loves a bit of magic or fairy stories, or a good family tale. Be forewarned, this was first published in Britain so there are some British terms that might confuse younger readers!


📚Ages 10+
📚Fantasy genre, fairies
📚British language, includes some terms readers might not know.