A novel with a wonderful basic idea and a very poetic language. What I struggled with was the writing style. Despite that, fantasy is a beautiful aspect of this novel. This is my first book written by the author. I got intrigued by its cover and thought why not give this a try. Katharina Seck has another book I was thinking about reading, but after I´ve finished this, I might drop that plan. Why? Keep reading.

Tochter Des Dunklen Waldes*
by Katharina Seck
Publisher Bastei Lübbe on November 24, 2017
Genre Novel
Pages 413
Format Softcover
Source Publisher


Every sound of the nocturnal forest seemed to tell a story. And not every one of them had a happy ending … The morning forest is prohibited. He is dangerous. Since she can remember, the young Lilah hears warnings about the dark morning forest. Nobody from their village enters him, even though hardly anyone knows what truth and what legend is. But then the body of a woman is found at the edge of the forest. Are the old stories true? Are there monsters in the forest? Lilah will find out. Because at the same time disappears Dorean, the man who belongs to Lilah´s heart. He went to the cursed forest. And Lilah makes a momentous decision: She follows him … (personal translation ©Vi at Inkvotary)
Lilah is in turmoil. The man she wants is sick and needs help. Her help. But how can she help him if she isn´t allowed to go into the morning forest? And who killed that strange woman she found close to the border? When one of the elder village people starts to torture her with his hate and rage he obviously has towards her, Lilah starts packing her belongings and to change the path of her life. Following her instincts she discovers a world she never knew existed and that is so much more than just a forest.

If you love a novel with a very poetic language, you might like this very much. And if you also like to read a very long run-on sentence that dominates this novel, then this might be the perfect read for you. Well, for me, it wasn´t. Over the first few pages, it was kind of ok to read them, but the author keeps continuing with that style and after a while, I was exhausted. Everything, even short scenes, were stretched that way, everything was dealt with in a very long and tiring way. From my perspective a sad thing, because the idea of having a tree as your soulmate, from living in unison with nature and sharing the needs and sorrows of nature first hand, seemed very promising and beautiful in one.

Additional to that, the story contains many repetitions. As if the author doesn´t trust her readers´ ability to understand what she is telling on every page this book has. I got it already in the first chapter, that the morning forest was a prohibited area. And that Lilah had to fight her need to go in and to follow her inner voice every day. There was absolutely no need to tell me that on almost every page this novel has. The other thing that bugged me, was, it wasn´t until the last third of the book that it got exciting – and very brutal. Way too late, if you ask me. Not the brutal part, that is something I see as a plus to the other thrilling things that happened. No, what I mean is the fact that the plot all of the sudden got some action. The figures became somehow alive, there was a certain power that came to light, and the until then kind of passive story turned into a very thrilling one. Only it didn´t last long. My joy that the author had finally changed some things, went back to oh, obviously not.

It was fascinating to watch how Lilah changed from the girl that was following every word her uncle said to the young woman which did what her instincts were telling her. You can literally feel how she struggles, her uncertainty and that she can´t tell the others about that voice in her head whenever she comes close to the morning forest. And then there are her growing feelings for Dorean. The man who keeps his distance but obviously wants more from her than only friendship. Can she trust him? Will she trust him? But why is he only here over the summer? So many questions and no answers.

All in all this book is a bit above average. I would have liked it to be a pleasure read for me, but it wasn´t. I love it when an author knows how to use words when some poetry is in the pages and the characters are well built and you can see some development throughout the plot. And Lilah proofs that this is, what makes great characters so fascinating for us readers. But that alone won´t make a reader start to swoon over a novel. Sad, but this book wasn´t for me. If you´re a fan of a very long sentence, a very bloomy style and a plot that isn´t really visible, this is definitely a novel you should read. If the above said isn´t your thing – don´t touch it.

Happy reading

*This book was, at the time this review was published, only available in the German language. The title was kindly provided to me by Bastei Lübbe in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Thank you.

Katharina Seck
Katharina Seck ©Katharina Ke Fotografie

Katharina Seck was born in 1987 in Rhineland-Palatinate. She grew up in a medieval, castle-crowned small town in the Westerwald and went to a high school, which is housed in a nearly 800-year-old Cistercian abbey. The fairy-tale atmosphere of this place also found its way into her fantasy novel “The Silver Queen” in the description of the picturesque town of Silberglanz. In addition to her work as a writer, Katharina Seck works in a municipal administration. 


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