Joan Campbell’s Chains of Gwyndorr traces the daily paths of a varied cast as they slowly entwine toward a climax. A poisonous forest encroaches on a city of conqueror Highborns, who forbid education to the defeated Lowborn caste but remain strangled by their own tyrannical government. Unique worlds and sympathetic characters entice readers through a maze of slow-moving action. Mysterious pasts, destroyed lore, powerful secrets, and a magical red-gold bird bring hope and courage to people in need. Tension rises page by page until the reader’s expectations have been stretched taut. If all the novel’s vague allusions to future revelations bear fruit in the final installment, the Poison Tree Path Chronicles will prove a fantastic series for those who enjoy complex plots.
Best for: Lovers of in-depth character development and leisurely, tantalizing reads.
Discern: Depictions of cruel beatings, death from toxic flora and overexposure, and practical magic that can induce violent effects.