Brigitta of the White Forest is a fast-paced, fun, middle-grade novel about two faerie sisters who escape a frightening curse upon the White Forest. Brigitta and her younger sister, Himalette, travel to Dead Mountain in search of the only one that can help them—a banished faerie called Hrathgar.
Along the way, they experience many challenges including outwitting a giant caterpillar and an army of hungry frogs. The sisters meet some creatures they’re not sure they can trust, but whose help they need in their journey. Brigitta must also contend with the careless curiosity of her sister, which gets them into one disaster after another.
One of the themes that plays out is destiny. At the beginning of the book, Brigitta has not yet reached “The Change,” and she is having difficulty fitting in. By the end of the book, Brigitta has matured enough for her wings to reveal her destiny markings, and she must now face what her future holds. Ondelle, the High Priestess of the faeries, talks to Brigitta about destiny, telling her to “allow all destinies to unfold as they should.” It is a concept that Brigitta chews on even when the story ends.
Danika Dinsmore paints an extraordinary setting with beautifully strange creatures and props. The history of the White Forest is vivid, and many of the names and terms are wild-sounding and evocative.
Dinsmore includes a lexicon to further describe the unusual place. My only disappointment is that the lexicon is placed at the back of the book. Had it been located in the beginning, I would have known to refer to it when I wanted a more detailed explanation. However, I can also understand the idea of placing it at the back so as not to distract readers from the story.
Regardless of location, the lexicon is especially engaging, further revealing Dinsmore’s complete down-to-the-sharmock-roots knowledge of this world she created.
My nine-year-old daughter, Maddy, read the book also. She was eager for me to finish it so we could discuss the story and what we think might happen in the sequel, Ruins of Noe. Below, Maddy gives her own take on Brigitta:
“What I liked best about Brigitta of the White forest was that it put a lot of questions in my mind. It made me make predictions about the book. The part where Brigitta rips her wing made me wonder how fairies get their wings repaired when they get damaged. I’ve been waiting to read an adventure book about fairies (because I love them) for a while. This one made my skin tingle as I read the very first line. I liked how the story ended, when Brigitta and Himalette are reunited with their friends and family. My two favorite characters are Minq and Himalette. Minq has really long ears which I adore! Himalette is very curious, and I can connect to her. The only thing I didn’t like about this book was that the story ended! I can’t wait to read the next book!”
I am very fortunate to have the author, Danika Dinsmore, guest blog on 4amWriter on May 11th. Please be sure to stop by to read what she has to say about being a traditionally published author and the challenges she experienced between writing her first book, Brigitta of the White Forest, and its sequel, The Ruins of Noe, which is available for a free download TODAY ONLY.