Whispering Wildwood by Emma Sterner-Radley is a gay YA fantasy adventure about a pair of siblings who, with the help of a glamorous rogue of a pirate, have to go into a mystical forest to retrieve something stolen by a folkloric beast. At first glance, this is a very straightforward adventure story: young protagonists go on a quest to a ”forbidden” place, meet odd creatures, make friends along the way and battle the ”big bad”. Simple, right?
The three main characters — Korinne, Matt and Vicktoria — are absolutely fascinating and all reveal more sides of themselves as the story progresses (I would love to learn more about these people).
There’s also an almost philosophical handling of power, friendship, family and one’s purpose in life, mostly from Korinne’s point of view. This makes the story even better; it’s not all action and adventure.
As for the inhabitants of Whispering Wildwood, there’s a whole multitude of animals and sentient creatures. All are described in a way that made my imagination run so wild, I even attempted a few sketches of them!