As children, Hwani and her sister Maewol went missing in the forest nearby to their village, later reappearing unconscious at the scene of a murder with no recollection of how they got there. When years later the girl’s father, Detective Min, learns that more girls have gone missing in the same forest, he sets out to find them – only to disappear himself. Everyone plays off his death as an accident but Hwani is determined to find out the truth, especially as the mystery seems to be connected to her own disappearance from so many years ago…
I am SO relieved to have loved this book! I had been in a reading slump since the beginning of the year and, though I was reading lots of great books, I’d just lost all enjoyment of them and I was beginning to worry I’d never reclaim the satisfying feeling that comes from reading a good book. But then this one came along and all my fears disappeared.
For starters, the historical setting was rich and atmospheric. The book is set in 1426, Korea, a time period I certainly hadn’t read about before, and I almost wish we could’ve had a map of what the land looked like at the time, but nevertheless the author did a great job of immersing the reader into the period. I loved that the mystery was based off of historical events! It just makes the chances of the mystery being bad that much less because you know that there is plenty of source material to back it up. The events that took place were tragic but equally I couldn’t tear myself away and I was blown away by how expertly the story was woven together.
The sisterly relationship between Maewol and Hwani was conveyed so honestly and I loved watching them grow closer as the story progressed. It was a little tricky to keep all the side characters straight sometimes but if you do struggle, it’s definitely worth it to persevere! And I can’t go without commenting on the beautiful cover which is what originally drew me to this book and, without which, I might not have discovered a new favorite! Overall this book was a big win. I highly recommend it and can’t wait to read more from this author! Happy Reading 🙂