Four seasons. Four stories.
An aspiring enchantress searches for a way to lift a terrible curse.
A drunken father makes a dangerous wish.
A foreman tilts the balance between nature and progress. A mother travels with her dying child in search of a healer.
Four paths merge. Four destinies intertwine.
Adriel is an apprentice enchantress living in the forest of Albadone. Her teacher falls ill due to a terrible curse and sends her on a quest to fetch the ingredients for an enchantment that may save her. Upon returning to the cabin they share, Adriel stumbles upon a terrible secret.
Handel is an alcoholic father. His daughter’s dying wish is for him to travel within the heart of the forest to seek the mysterious Wishing Tree. Handel finds the Tree, but the wish it grants may not be what he bargained for.
Brade is a foreman digging into the heart of the forest, seeking the volatile black water within its depths. The warnings he receives go unheeded, and he unknowingly sets into motion a terrible catastrophe.
Ashe’s baby is dying. All the healers have left the woods of Albadone, so the desperate mother travels through the forest in search of anyone that may help. But the help that she finds comes at a terrible cost.
Seasons of Albadone was an easy 10 out of 10 for me. This is a collection of four stories taking place in each of the four seasons- Autumn, Winter, Spring and Summer. The main thread running through the stories is that of searching – an enchantress searching for a way to lift a curse, a father searching for a cure for his daughter, a man searching for absolution and a mother searching for a healer for her daughter.
The stories all take place in and around Albadone, the place itself feeling like a living and breathing character in the book. The stories are crafted like folktales- with rustic charm and soft magic making everyday mundane tasks seem magical. There’s a warmth and coziness to the writing which makes you feel safe and at home. I absolutely loved the world building which gives us enough to sink our teeth into without feeling overwhelming.
The characters in this book are strikingly distinct and stay with us long after the end. There are also recurrent background characters who make the reading experience richer. The plot of the stories are loosely connected. You definitely have to read them in order to experience the book as it is meant to be. Each story is self contained which made it easy for me to pause in the middle for life stuff. Don’t get me wrong – this book is compulsively readable and I would have finished it in one sitting if not for life stuff!
Seasons of Albadone is a thematically rich, imaginative and sometimes heart-rending book with folklore elements. Don’t be fooled by the cozy cover, it made me tear up numerous times. I’m now eagerly waiting for the next book in the series to release!