Willa is one of the last of the Faeran clan, an ancient people who have lived in the forests of the Great Smokey Mountains for thousands of years. Willa’s family are all dead and she lives with her adoptive human father and sister in the mountains near Cades Cove. Her peaceful life in the woods is disrupted when logging crews begin clear-cutting huge sections of her precious forest. Trees are not just big plants to Willa, they are her soulmates. Then a mysterious dark force starts attacking the loggers. What can 12-year-old Willa do to save her tree friends from the humans and their terrible machines? And should she try to save the humans from the Dark Hollow? After all, the humans are killing her forest. Using the wood witch magic that her grandmother taught her, Willa tries to stop all of the death and destruction putting her own life in jeopardy.
Set in the Great Smokey Mountains in 1901, before the area was designated a National Park, the beauty and majesty of the land is wonderfully described. Willa’s unique magical abilities to blend with nature and communicate with it make her an interesting and sympathetic hero. Her strength and courage are admirable as she makes difficult moral and ethical decisions that mean life or death to someone. Fast-paced and intense, readers will be pulled into this story from the first page. Recommended for ages 10 and up.
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