Review: The Heart of the Forest by C.E. Clayton

Hi Munchworms!

The Monster Of Selkirk Book II: The Heart Of The ForestYou might remember that I was raving over The Monster of Selkirk: The Duality of Nature by C.E. Clayton a while back. Pretty sure I don’t have to tell you how fast I started reading the second installment once it arrived on my doorstep!

Tallis is learning how to deal with loss and violence as she and her friends traverse the forests of Selkirk trying to find the reason behind the elven uprising. Not to mention why they keep hissing her name. But the further into the forests they go, Tallis is finding that the elves’ depravity can still surprise her, and thoroughly test the bonds of friendship, family, and love.

Tallis’s journey eventually leads to answers they’re not prepared for. Now Tallis begins to wonder just who she really is, and if she’s the evil that will end up destroying Selkirk. But she cannot stop to process these revelations, as an unforeseen betrayal lands those she loves at the feet of the very monster responsible for all the hurt, and heartbreak.

Coming face to face with her foe, Tallis discovers all too late she has no idea how to deal with this level of pain, and death. One way or another, the monster’s path ends here, and all Tallis can hope to do is bring those she loves safely out of the heart of the forest.

First of, I want to start by saying that I bought this copy myself. I’ve gotten to know the author a bit better ever since reading the first installment, but this doesn’t influence my opinion on this book in any way!

The good

The first good thing that I thing needs to be mentioned is the way Clayton doesn’t go back to all the events of the first book. Although this might be a bummer for other people, I actually liked the fact that you can just read this book immediately after the first without having to reread the first book in two chapters – if you know what I mean.

Life was strangely glorious like that sometimes; just as it could be cruel and unforgiving, so could it be a mysterious wonderland of unexpected joy and chance encounters.

Again, her writing didn’t disappoint either. During the first chapters, I immediately remembered why I loved The Duality of Nature so much. Her descriptive writing pulled me in and had me thinking I didn’t even leave Selkirk at all.
On top of that, I simply love her action-packed scenes! It’s so easy to imagine it all happening right in front of me and that’s just the way it’s supposed to be.

Our four characters – Tallis, Donovan, Tomas and Rosslyn – were the best they could be. Tallis struggled with some events in the best way possible. I loved how she told her friends that they can’t expect her to just move on and smile while she was anything but okay. She deserved to feel what she felt. She needed to feel that. And she wasn’t going to hide it because it made her friends uncomfortable.
That, people, is how we should all behave when it comes to our feelings. We do have the right to show them and I love Tallis for making that statement so clearly.

While most women found men like Donovan, men who could easily pummel any foe to the ground, to be the epitome of manliness, Tallis looked at Tomas and found his mind to be far more impressive and useful than being able to swing a sword.

The bad

If there’s one thing that I have to say I struggled with, it’s with Tallis’ identity crisis. It wasn’t nearly crisis enough for me. I had expected her to go berserk in one way or another, to crash, to… something. Instead, all she needed was one conversation and she went about it as if everything was okay. Which it wasn’t. I don’t know why, but I couldn’t wrap my head around that… 

Tomas was realizing how short and fragile life could be, and he did not want to meet Wodan one day without ever knowing what it felt like to openly love someone and hold them in his arms.


stewAs for the munches, my boyfriend and I messed up our kitchen with creating a Scottish stew. Let me tell you that this recipe is going in the book because I absolutely loved it!

I think it definitely fits the book as Tallis and her friends practically live on stew as soon as they have the most basic ingredients available. I can totally understand why since this really warmed my tummy!

Oh, and book three is going to arrive this Winter! Guess who can’t wait..





I paid full-price for this copy. All opinions are entirely my own. I’m not being compensated in any way.

13 thoughts on “Review: The Heart of the Forest by C.E. Clayton

  1. This makes me even more excited to read both books. They are currently waiting on my bookshelves. I guess it’ll all depend on how well I do with my Diverse December TBR. If it goes well, I may be able to squeeze these in this year. If not then hopefully I can get to them in January.

    Liked by 1 person

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