Zaria Fierce and the Secret of the Gloomwood Forest by Keira Gillett
Published by Keira Gillett on March 6, 2015
Series: Zaria Fierce, #1
Genre(s): fiction, adventure, fantasy, middle grade
Format & Length: e-book, 208
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“Come here Princess, and let me eat you.”
On her birthday, Zaria Fierce finds her usual path to school blocked by an ugly river-troll. At first she’s surprised and curious, but then Olaf threatens to eat her, which is an act Zaria could not in good conscience consent to, so Zaria counteroffers. A deal is struck and she goes to school, but Zaria is about to learn the hard way that one does not trick a river-troll and expect to win.
Zaria Fierce and the Secret of the Gloomwood Forest was such a fun adventure!
“Zaria would have loved to have a stargazer too in order to read more books. There was never nearly enough time to read all the books on her to-be-read list.”
The first book in Gillett’s Zaria Fierce trilogy introduces us to the title character, a thirteen year old girl who is shy, quiet, and loves reading. After a short prologue that establishes her character and backstory, it jumps right in to the meat of the story where we follow Zaria and her friends on a journey involving magic, mythology, and folklore. The cast of characters is likable and diverse with unique personalities, making for some nice relationship dynamics.
Fast paced and nicely plotted, reading this felt like jumping directly into the pages of the story and becoming a part of it. Gillett pulls you right into the world and builds it up along the way so the reader discovers it alongside Zaria. A fascinating world filled with trolls, elves, and many other creatures, it was fun to begin to learn its secrets, and I’m sure there will be plenty more to uncover in the remaining books in this trilogy.
Ultimately, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and look forward to see what happens next in the second book. Middle grade fantasy readers are sure to find Zaria Fierce and the Secret of the Gloomwood Forest engaging and entertaining!
*Thanks to the author for providing a copy of this edition in exchange for an honest review.