I wanted to make today’s Wyrd & Wonder prompt into a blog post! I absolutely love when forests in fantasy take on a personality of their own and influence the book.
There are far too many to list, so I am going to just talk about a few of my favorites and the general influence of forest in Fantasy!
My main feature was the Green Rider series by Kristen Britain. No surprise there, the author has crafted my favorite fantasy series around magically intuitive horses and not one, but three forests! A former Park Ranger, she published Green Rider while being stationed at Acadia, and had prior ranger postings before that! Her love for the outdoors and forestry is evident in every novel.
The Green Cloak is not an inherently magical forest but holds many magic secrets. I think a good fantastical forest minimally offers protection, sustenance, and industry, all of which the Green Cloak definitely does.
Even a nonmagical forest can take on a persona of it’s own and become a character in itself!
The Green Rider series also features two opposing forests, the Eltwood and Blackveil. One is beautiful, magical, and offers trees which hold the sleeping Elts for thousands of years if needed while they sleep. The other was an Eltwood that became twisted by dark magic and now holds poison, traps, terrible creatures, and sinister twisted sleepers.
*Shudder.* Kristen Britain can be found on both Instagram and TikTok and I highly recommend following her for glimpses at the woods that so influence her beautifully crafted Green Cloak.
My next honorable mention is Clariel.
“A passion thwarted will often go astray….”
So you may ask – what passion did Clariel have?? The forest!! Clariel wanted nothing more than to become a Ranger in the Great Forest, which she loved, explored, hunted, and sought refuge in. Unfortunately her family was ambitious and her mother may have been in line for the throne, so when they moved to Belisaere she was forced to join and become a proper member of society. Oh did it chafe and was it heartbreaking to read.
While a solid sci-fi read, I have to mention the cinematically portrayed “Poe Forest” in the indie book In the Orbit of Sirens. It breaches the fantasy line with living, walking tree creatures and white trunked trees with red leaves and floating sparks. One can’t deny the influence of various jungles and forests in this work!
Running out of phone battery aahhh ok you get two more:
Even the cover of Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst screams ENCHANTED WOOD! The ginormous trees house upwards of 20 families and truly provide shelter, sustenance, community, protection, and so much more. This list couldn’t possibly go without this book ❤
There is one more – one of my favorite recent novels, where tree roots serve as paths and legends surround the Wolf under the Willow … The Chaos Cycle duology by A.J. Vrana! These trees provide a path, a meeting point, survival, shelter, a marker in a dreamscape where all else could be hopelessly lost
What additional ways can you think of that forests influence fantasy and fiction?? I may come up with a part two for this post because my mind is teeming with more magical forests 🌲🌳🌟