A mysterious ruin in a dangerous wood. A fateful expedition. A strained relationship, ancient secrets & tensions. Wothwood by Natania Barron, part of the Broken Cities series of stories, brings a lean and mean novella sensibility to a secondary world quest fantasy with a lot of character and worldbuilding on offer.
The story of Wothwood centers, really, around two characters, and their old encounter, which comes back in unexpected guise to challenge them, those around them, and the entirely of the land around. Braig Vann was seemingly destined to be the heir to Clan Bannercliffe, the next leader, Moramer of the Clan. Glannon Bel, however, his cousin, wrests the position away from him, leaving him to die at the edge of the Wothwood. Saved from certain death, Braig’s new life with the wandering, disenfranchised Tyckners is distant from his cousin’s eye for years, until an expedition from a nearby Empire comes to investigate the mysterious Wothwood for themselves. Caught up in that expedition, Braig’s return to Bannercliffe territory, and facing the Moramer Glannon Bel, is the driving force for old secrets, both between the two of them, and what truly lurks in the Wothwood. [Read more…]