Danger lurks within the roots of Forest of Souls, an epic, unrelenting tale of destiny and sisterhood, perfect for fans of Naomi Novik and Susan Dennard.

Sirscha Ashwyn comes from nothing, but she’s intent on becoming something. After years of training to become the queen’s next royal spy, her plans are derailed when shamans attack and kill her best friend Saengo.

And then Sirscha, somehow, restores Saengo to life.

Unveiled as the first soulguide in living memory, Sirscha is summoned to the domain of the Spider King. For centuries, he has used his influence over the Dead Wood—an ancient forest possessed by souls—to enforce peace between the kingdoms. Now, with the trees growing wild and untamed, only a soulguide can restrain them. As war looms, Sirscha must master her newly awakened abilities before the trees shatter the brittle peace, or worse, claim Saengo, the friend she would die for.

Book 1 in the Shamanborn Series.

Illustration by Charlie Bowater.
Design by Laura Benton.







FOREST OF SOULS is a 2020 Junior Library Guild Selection!

“Lee is a masterful world-builder, creating intriguing scenarios and a compelling cast of characters, anchored by the strong portrayals of female friendship. For fans of Natasha Ngan and Joan He, and for any high ­fantasy ­collection” School Library Journal

“Lee is experienced and skilled at building intricate worlds and letting the details unfold holistically through the plot. A particularly nice feature here is the multiracial component, incorporating pan- Asian humans as well as nonhuman shamans. Imaginative, action-packed, and clearly labeled as book one, this engaging title will leave fans eager for the sequel.” — Booklist

“Sirscha’s path to discovery and acceptance is thoughtful and heartfelt… A refreshing fantasy for readers looking for more friendship and adventure, less romance.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Lee’s writing and characterizations all but guarantee this one will have a rabid fanbase craving more.” — Buzzfeed

“With a backdrop of political intrigue, deep magic, and hidden roots, Forest of Souls is a tantalizing beginning to a rich new fantasy series.” — Traci Chee, New York Times best-selling author of The Reader trilogy

“With magic as luminous as it is terrifying, Lori M. Lee weaves a vibrant tapestry of sisterhood, self-discovery, and the long legacies of battles between good and evil. Absolutely enchanting.” — Natalie C. Parker, author of Seafire

“Non-stop action, political intrigue, and dark magic are woven into this silky-yet-fast-paced daydream of a fantasy. Lori M. Lee casts the perfect web of unforgettable characters and an intriguing plot―you won’t want to escape.” — Sarah Henning, author of the Sea Witch & Sea Witch Rising

“Set in a vibrant new world that’s as enchanting and ethereal as it is dangerous, Forest of Souls drew me in from the very first page and held me captive in its spell of magic, intrigue, and the bonds of friendship. It’s perfect for fans of Sabaa Tahir and Roshani Chokshi and will leave you shouting sisters unite!” — Mindee Arnett, critically acclaimed author of Onyx & Ivory and Avalon

“A classic fantasy rooted in self-discovery, death-defying friendship, and political intrigue, Forest of Souls spins a tale as lush as its world. You can’t help but want to see this dark journey through.” — Linsey Miller, author of the Mask of Shadows duology and Belle Révolte


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