Review – Into the Heartless Wood by Joanna Ruth Meyer

**Disclaimer: I was given a free e-book in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley.**

Title Into the Heartless Wood
Author Joanna Ruth Meyer
Release Date January 12, 2021
Date Finished January 1, 2021


The forest is a dangerous place, where siren song lures men and women to their deaths.

Deep in the wood lives a witch queen and her eight tree siren daughters. For centuries, they have harvested souls to feed the heartless tree, using its power to grow their ever reaching kingdom of ash, birch, and oak.

Owen Merrick lives at the edge of the forest, mapping the stars for the king in his father’s observatory. For years, he has resisted venturing over the garden wall, until one day he must enter the woods to find his missing sister. But one of the witch’s tree siren daughters, Seren, decides to save his life instead of end it. Now, no matter how hard he tries, he can’t stop thinking about her ― the birch-bright hue of her skin and the way violets bloom in her hair. Every night, he goes into the wood to meet her, and their love for each other grows.

But when the constellations shift, the stars foretell an inevitable war between the witch queen and the king. With Seren compelled to fight for her mother, and Owen forced to join the king’s army, they are plunged into the heart of a conflict that seemingly no one can win and that might destroy both their kingdoms forever.

Initial Thoughts

I was super excited to read this book. I absolutely loved Beneath the Haunting Sea by Joanna Ruth Meyer and was so eager to see what was next for her. I love her writing style.

Some Things I Liked

  • Haunting and lyrical writing. I adored the way everything was described in this book. There was a semi-spooky ambiance that surrounded everything and there was an eerie-ness that I just loved. I’m not one for spooky books but the writing here was just spooky enough to keep me on the edge of my seat.
  • World building. I also loved the world created. I love that there were railroads and astronomy as well as rich mythology and history for this fictional place. I’d love to see more books set here.
  • Swoony yet innocent romance. I loved the relationship between Owen and Seren. They were young and neither had ever been in love but I loved the way their relationship developed and how they learned so much from each other.

Series Value

I’d love to see a spin-off where Seren and Owen are legends or myths in this world. I thought the creation of the world was one of my favorite features of this story and I’d love to revisit it.

I’d also really enjoy seeing a story about a grown up Awela, following in her brother’s adventurous footsteps.

What’s more, I’d keep reading anything Joanna Ruth Meyer writes. I only have one book left of hers to read but you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll be reading it sometime this year.

Final Thoughts

I adored this book. Honestly, I regret the first book I read in 2021 and should have started here. This book was phenomenal and it left me aching for more of the writing.


Recommendations for Further Reading

  • Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw – if you enjoyed the atmospheric writing as well as the witches folklore in this story, try Shea Ernshaw’s books.
  • The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd Jones – again, if you enjoyed the hauntingly beautiful writing as well as the lore and plot twists in Into the Heartess Wood, try this standalone 2019 release.

2 thoughts on “Review – Into the Heartless Wood by Joanna Ruth Meyer

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