This was another interesting, unique sort of book. This one had less of a fairytale feel and more of a solid novel feel than the first book, but it still had an atmospheric, fairytale-esque story. I’ve come to appreciate the light and airy way these books are written and how it contrasts so nicely with the slightly darker and heavier elements.
The sweet romance thread was continued in this one, though I was frustrated that it took so long to get to the explanation of what happened between Henry and Tobias. The first book ended with the implication that they’d be together, and then this one started with them decidedly not together, and that confused me. I couldn’t feel the longing or emotion between them because I didn’t understand it, wasn’t even sure what it was that was between them. But I felt for Henry once I did understand, and I don’t think it’s a spoiler to tell you not to worry because there is ultimately a happy ending. And this ending, while not explored in-depth, feels more solid than it did in the first book (that one felt very open-ended to me). Also, it’s so darn cute how Tobias likes when Henry reads to him not because he likes the stories but because he just loves to listen to Henry’s voice.
The POV was switched to Henry’s this time, and that was a good choice. It was more his story this time. And it was nice getting to know him a bit more.
I listened to the audiobook for this, and the narration by Matthew Lloyd Davies was yet again perfect. He sounded natural and made the story so engaging. Characters were easy to tell apart, their voices suited them, and Matthew’s narration and voice choices really brought them to life. I don’t often specifically recommend audio over text, but I really recommend the audiobooks for this duology.
To be honest, I was originally going to rate both books in this series slightly lower, but then, as some days went by after finishing, I was still kinda thinking about them. I wanted more. Not in the sense that they felt incomplete or lacking, just in the sense that I enjoyed them and therefore wanted more about these characters, or even just more books with this feel to them. I think it was the combo of both the stories and the audio narration that really did it for me. Listening to these was comforting. It was like someone was reading me a bedtime story.
Overall, this was a unique, light, fairytale-esque duology with a sweet, soft m/m romance that I enjoyed, especially with the wonderful audiobook narration.
Fans of Book 1 in Emily Tesh's Greenhollow Duology. Anyone who likes fairy tales, soft m/m romance, and woodsy magic.