Into the heartless wood / Joanna Ruth Meyer.

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    • Abstract:
      Summary: "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."-- Publisher's description.
    • Other Titles:
      In to the heartless wood.
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Booklist Reviews 2020 November #1

Gwydden's Wood is a terrifying place, home to the witch and her tree siren daughters. Every day, every night, the sirens sing, luring travelers and villagers into the wood and to their deaths, their souls used to feed the witch and the wood. Owen Merrick, who lost his mother two years ago, lives too near the wood, and fights the song every day as he tends to his two-year-old sister and grieving father. When he's almost killed in a train crash by the siren Seren, Owen escapes only by her mercy, though as he struggles to remember her, she haunts him, having fallen in love. Meyer's writing is clever, alternating chapters between Owen and Seren, who is at first known only as "Monster." This Welsh-inspired tale goes a bit steampunk—it includes science, astronomy, a cross-country train, and telegram cables—lending depth to a story that takes some time to really get going. Grades 9-12. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.