The Butcher of the Forest by Premee Mohamed: Eloquent Imagery

At the northern edge of a land ruled by a merciless foreign tyrant lies a wild, forbidden forest ruled by powerful magic.
Veris Thorn―the only one to ever enter the forest and survive―is forced to go back inside to retrieve the tyrant’s missing children. Inside await traps and trickery, ancient monsters, and hauntings of the past.
One day is all Veris is afforded. One misstep will cost everything.
After reading The Butcher of the Forest by Premee Mohamed, I feel breathless at the eloquent imagery and effortless beauty. The tale is one of a common person confronting eldritch monsters in an otherworld full of subtle and brutal magic. As Veris enters this uncanny world, we are treated to the complexities of her life amidst a conqueror and war. The novella delves into war and grief with ease, the brutal reality of life twined in eloquent lyrical language. It is reminiscent of Patricia A McKillip in how Premee Mohamed tackles language and concepts.
The story blends the modern cold reality with the classic fairy elements in a new and unique way that grabs your heart and holds on. She infuses fantasy into horror with ease. And nothing is resolved as you would expect which just makes the story that much better and that much more heartbreakingly beautiful.
If you love fantasy infused horror that is breathtakingly beautiful and eloquent imagery that will evoke horror and beauty in the same vision, this novella is for you. It blends classic fantasy with eldritch horror and I loved the fast paced story that also has such lyrical language and characters full of compassion and empathy.
Rating: 5 out of 5 monsters

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