Happy Friday and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for WILLA OF DARK HOLLOW! I’m so excited because today I have an excerpt of the book to share with you! This book is truly amazing and I’m so so excited to for you to find out more about it, PLUS enter for a chance to win a print copy!
Willa of Dark Hollow by Robert Beatty
Series: Willa #2
Published on May 4, 2021 by Disney-Hyperion
Genres: Historical Fiction, Middle Grade, Fantasy
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Author Links: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon, Instagram
The Great Smoky Mountains. 1901. Willa and her clan are the last of the Faeran, an ancient race of forest people who have lived in the mountains for as long as the trees have grown there. But as crews of newly arrived humans start cutting down great swaths of the forest she loves, Willa is helpless to stop them. How can she fight the destroyers of the forest and their powerful machines? When Willa discovers a mysterious dark hollow filled with strange and beautiful creatures, she comes to realize that it contains a terrifying force. Is unleashing these dangerous spirits the key to stopping the loggers? Willa must find a way to save the people and animals she loves and take a stand against an all-consuming darkness that threatens to destroy her world.
The Great Smoky Mountains
The world is neither flat nor round.
Willa pivoted toward the sound. The sharp, popping cracks of fracturing wood rolled like thunder through the forest air. Then came the rain-like noise of a thousand snapping branches and tearing leaves crashing down. When the massive trunk finally struck the ground, the earth shook beneath her bare feet. A gust of wind swept through the forest and blew through Willa’s long bark-and-moss-colored hair. And as the realization of what had just happened sank into her mind, her chest filled with pain. The human loggers had cut down the great hemlock tree that lived at the bend of the river.
She stood frozen like a young deer.
It was a tree she had sat beside on sunlit mornings, watching the river flow past its roots, a tree she and her twin sister had curled up in on misty nights, gazing up through its outstretched branches toward the Great Smoky Mountain and the moon above. The trees of the forest had shrouded and sheltered her all her life. They had consoled her when her sister was killed. They were her earth and her soil, her sunlight and her song.
But now she heard the axmen chopping and sawing and shouting to each other, their harsh, barking words circling through the treetops like quarreling ravens. The quills on the back of her neck went up and a burst of heat flashed through her body. She knew she should flee this killing ground or blend her green skin into the leaves of the undergrowth and disappear from the coming human eyes. She must run from their tromping feet and escape their cutting blades.
But how could she run away when her friends were dying? How could she just leave them?
She had to stop the loggers, but she had no sharp claws or long teeth. She had no weapons or ability to fight. She didn’t hurt living creatures, she helped them.
The human loggers had jagged metal saws, axes, knives, guns, animals in chains, vast metal contraptions for dragging murdered trees from the forest, and black, steaming beasts that rolled on long gleaming tracks. She was a lone thirteen-year-old Faeran girl without a clan. How could she fight the men of iron?
The crash of another tree broke like a wave through the forest, the wind of it brushing her cheek.
Her heart pounded in her chest.
She knew she couldn’t protect the trees the way they had protected her. She couldn’t shroud them or shelter them or hide them from the world.
But she couldn’t just abandon them, either.
She took a few uncertain steps, her legs trembling. Her eyes watered with burning tears.
And then she ran toward the sound of the falling trees.
Copyright © 2021 by Robert Beatty
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What do you think about Willa of Dark Hollow? Have you added it to your tbr yet? Let me know in the comments and have a splendiferous day!