Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Darkwoods Series by Marta Stahlfeld Book Review

by Marta Stahlfeld
Published April 18, 2011 by Book Publishers Network
275 pages

A Fight for Freedom that Draws All Warriors!

Darkwoods is the first book in an exciting new epic fantasy series for teens and preteens.

The death of the foxes' ruling oracle, Scythe, bodes ill for the Wraith Mice around Darkwoods and their allies near and far. With the change in leadership, all sides know their uncertain relationship with the foxes will, too soon, erupt into a vicious war.

Possessing the ability to melt into the darkness and renowned in warfare, the Wraith Mice rally the squirrel tribes, Ranger Mice, and others to defend their territory - and their very lives.

A young one among them, Princess Zuryzel understands the gravity of the situation and rises fearlessly to the challenges of the ruthless invaders. Possessing the traits of a natural leader and wise beyond her years, Zuryzel knows she must follow the difficult path before her. But can she overcome the challenges in time to defeat the hated foxes?

With a nod to life as it truly is, Stahlfeld presents characters of complexity -- each with weaknesses as strengths - and a story of constantly shifting "certainties."

More than a battle of good against evil, Darkwoods challenges the reader to discover the truth. Who can be trusted? Ae all foxes, indeed, dastardly creatures? Who is the spy within the Wraith Mice's midst? And, ultimately, can good ever win?

Stahlfeld skillfully weaves romance, intrigue, and intense action into the continuing saga of the creatures of Darkwoods and beyond. The Wraith Mice and their allies, the Squirrel Tribes, River Otters and Ranger Mice, fight for their freedom -- even their very survival -- agains the treacherous Darkwoods Foxes.

Darkwoods is the first book in the Darkwoods Series. It sets up the world that the Wraith Mice, the foxes, the otters and the squirrels live in. The book is about how one of the ruling foxes named Scythe dies and it sends their world into chaos. The foxes are attacking left and right and war is on the verge of breaking out.

To be honest, this book was very hard for me to get into. It's through the point of view of animals and they have this war going on, but I couldn't get into it. It was all very confusing. There were too many characters, and too many stories and it kept switching back and forth leaving me lost and confused. I also couldn't connect with the characters because they weren't that well described -- I accounted this to the fact that there were simply too many and too little space to introduce them all and give a good look into their mind. The story line was kind of blah except for certain part like the dreams that Zuryzel was having in the middle of the book. The writing and grammar were very well done but it was not for the younger ages like the preteens I don't think. The writing was too sophisticated for that.

I was so excited for this book and was severely let down. I'm hoping the next one would be better. It is well written but ended up not being my thing. At all. And I was so disappointed because I wanted to love this so much. The idea is very original and different.

My rating: 2/5
Buy it:  Barnes & Noble  or  Amazon

by Marta Stahlfeld
Published June 2012 by Book Publishers Network
240 pages

The fight to defeat evil continues! Leaving behind a desperate war, Princess Zuryzel races to the coast, intent on bringing aid to her struggling army. On her journey to the sea and to adulthood, she will encounter friendship, betrayal, pain, and a secret she would much rather stay hidden. Through it all, Zuryzel knows that at the end of her journey she must face and destroy the might of Darkwoods that has laid siege to the great Stone Tribe city of Pasadagavra.

A myriad of questions await the Wraith Mouse along her quest. She soon learns that someone is pulling strings behind the war, and no longer are things as simple as they seem. One who knows the identity of themysterious puppet master is a self deprecating pirate captain with uncanny sword skills and a mind too shrewd to be trusted. Zuryzel is determined to figure out the bewildering puzzle- but finding the answer may cost her someone she holds very dear.

As Zuryzel feverishly works to bring them support, the squirrels and mice defending Pasadagavra fear they cannot hold out against the onslaught of the Darkwoods Foxes.But as the battles rage, they learn the depths of their own strength and bravery. The struggle to defeat the loathsome and greedy evil that has crept across the world may cost their very lies, but they are determined to prevail.

In this exciting second installment of the Darkwoods series, Stahlfeld combines wild action and fierce loyalty in an epic tale of a fight to preserve everything precious in the world. The intense story of good versus evil presents characters of honor and of depravity, all caught up in a vicious struggle. At the center is a princess longing to be a queen.

Pasadagavra is the second book in the Darkwoods Series. This book is about the war that is still raging on in the Darkwoods and Zuryzel's quest to end it. It follows along the same story line with new developments and adding some new characters back in with the ones from the first book.

It was a little better than Darkwoods, but still rather disappointing for me. Stahlfeld is a good writer, but everything is too overwhelming and chaotic. It's also rather hard to remember where you are in the story and what characters you're dealing with -- although a bit easier than the first. The story line picked  up in this book and was definitely going along with more developments than the last book.

I wanted to like this one as well that would hopefully get me into the series and eradicate my dislike for the first one but it could not. It was better, but still not my thing. I really wanted it to be but again, very creative ideas were cropping up in the book and this writer writes way beyond her years. The way she writes is a very classical style to it and it's something I wouldn't think an eighteen year old could produce!
My rating: 2/5
Buy it:  Barnes & Noble  or  Amazon

Happy Reading!


  1. the covers are totally adorable, that is for sure. i'm sorry the stories fell short for you.

    1. they are adorable! and i'm sorry about it too :/