In the Heart of the Linden Wood
by Ekta R. Garg
Print Length: 368 pages
Publisher: Atmosphere Press
Reviewed by Alexandria Ducksworth
This fantasy story emphasizes what it means to be human.
In the Heart of the Linden Wood is a story with real heart. I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a story like this one in the fantasy genre.
Humans aren’t perfect. We make mistakes. Garg’s characters remind us we must overcome our internal obstacles to defeat our external ones. If not, we’re forever in a loophole of struggle and failure.
King Christopher of Linden has lost his adoring wife and child. Queen Lily was supposed to give birth to a new child, only for the event to be the death of both. Healer Geraldine couldn’t believe the queen and the child’s lives have slipped so easily from her fingers. With little time to explain herself, Christopher strips the healer of her title and sends her back to her little town of Ingleside. Geraldine is not pleased. She has an angry husband and a sick child waiting for her.
Struggling with his grief, Christopher must face his townspeople rising in revolt and the mysterious death of the magical Linden trees. If all the trees disappear, the Linden kingdom fails. If the kingdom fails, the King has failed his people and the dream of becoming better than his cruel father dies too.
Christopher sets off with his friend and guard Sir Martin to the source of the problem in Linden Wood. But another issue arises: facing Geraldine again. For both parties, they need each other’s help to heal the trees and save the entire kingdom once and for all.
Ekta Garg’s book is a fantasy with deep, people-oriented themes. Itstands out for its beautiful and vulnerable display of human nature. For example, anger can destroy us if we let it take over. Christopher’s quest to save the Linden trees would end much sooner if he never forgives Geraldine.
We all have endured grief. It’s not easy to move on with life after our loved ones are gone. It’s even harder to forgive the people who were responsible for those losses. Not only is Linden Wood a satisfying fantasy story but a greatly emotional one.
Garg has done well with the pacing and plot here. Even though Garg shares tiny slices of its lore, it leaves readers wondering what the rest of its universe is like. Her characters are real people with hopes, dreams, and fears. Every single important character desires stability and their own happy endings. In the Heart of the Linden Wood will brighten imaginations and hearts. Let it be yours.
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