My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I love Philbrick’s backstory-balance: he gives us enough, but he also withholds plenty. Who is Hergelo Stump? What is his bucket room? Why does he rarely leave it? How does Bardun Village fit into the world in which it’s set? I love the not-knowing!
Where the Woods Grow Wild is filled with beautifully developed character relationships; a wealth of history is obvious behind each nuance and conversation.
Where I think the story could be stronger is in the action. I don’t have the skills to explain what was lacking here, but I found the action scenes a little stilted and not quite gripping. I would also have loved to see some regret for Copper and Wolf – they were so good to Martin in his time of need, his human contact (for want of a better term), and I loved them for caring.
The cover is one of the most beautiful I’ve seen, and it depicts the essence of the story perfectly. This is absolutely one of the best self-published books I’ve read, and I definitely want to read more about this world.