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After the Forest, by Kell Woods

Review copy provided by Tor Books.

It’s been a long time since they’ve been to the gingerbread house, and things have not gotten a lot easier for Greta and Hans in early adulthood. The Thirty Years War has left a lot of hardship in its wake, their local lord has been replaced by somebody–or something–much worse, their father is dead, and the villagers are pretty suspicious of a girl people say pushed an old lady into a fire. Even if her gingerbread sells out every Walpurgisnacht.

But there’s a bear in the woods, and wolves, and a soldier from the south, and even when things are not easy they can always get a little harder. And quite a few things are not as they seem in this story–in fact, quite a few things are from the next story over, or the next one over from that. Yes, these woods are dark, and it’s getting pretty Grimm around here….

But it’s not actually grimdark. This is an historical fantasy with fairy tale references in every part of it, and it’s a coming of age fantasy about choosing who you want to be as you rise from your horrible past. Also it will make you terribly, terribly hungry for gingerbread if you like gingerbread even a little bit.

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