Book Review: The Girl of Dorcha Wood by Kristin Ward

Hello, sweeties 😉 In preparation for a blog tour I’m a part of, I’ve now read the first book from the Daughter of Erabel series by Kristin Ward. This is a fairly quick and enjoyable read, mixed with fantasy creatures, bad guys and a bit of heartbreak. The conflict of leaving one’s home when it’s all you’ve had and known is challenging.


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Title: The Girl of Dorcha Wood

Series: The Daughter of Erabel #1

Author: Kristin Ward

Genre: YA | Dark Historical Fantasy

Length: 232 pages

Published: 13th of April 2021

Stars: 3,5 out of 5


Trigger warnings: Contains passages of medieval battle scenes, violence, blood, and gore


Treacherous. Evil. Dark. Dorcha Wood is all of these things. And none of them.

The people of Felmore talk of Dorcha Wood in whispers, if they speak of it at all, fearing the wrath of the Cú-Síth should their words be carried on the wind. Those murdering beasts still roam the darkness of the forest, the last remnants of the cursed Aos Sí, a race of elves, long since vanished from the world.

But to Fiadh, it is home. Haven. A forest whose secrets become known only when it chooses to reveal them. Her life is one of balance until the outside world shatters it.

From the moment Fiadh set eyes on Gideon, the peaceful rhythm of her life was lost. As a new path unfolds, Fiadh confronts the reality of old hatreds, the consequences of things hidden, and the truth of who she really is.


To be honest. I did not know what to expect when I jumped into this read. I knew I had signed up for the blog tour of the second book and that the genre is dark historical fantasy. What really sold me, though, is that the historical fantasy part uses Celtic lore. I cannot say no to Celtic lore, and I decided then and there that I had to read the first book so I can write a proper review for the second book for The Write Reads blog tour 🥰

My thoughts on the writing

Regarding the writing – this is a very quick and easy read, which I do appreciate at the moment. The storytelling isn’t too complicated, but the language still tells us that this is historical fiction. Some of the names of the people and creatures I don’t know the pronounciation of. However, it didn’t bother me that I did not know how to pronounce some of these names. Especially regarding the creatures the names don’t leave me confused. This is because, Ward is quite good at showing us, through her words, what kind of creature we’re looking at. Even though I might not have heard of the specific creature before, it doesn’t leave me lost or confused.

A quick read and a fast paced story.

My thoughts on the characters

We’re introduced to Fiadh. A young woman who grew up in isolation in the enclosure of the Dorcha Wood. Here she lives with her morther, Riona. Fiadh is a young woman, full of life and love. She has a deep connection with the forest and its creatures. She is quite naive, but intelligent and clever. As a character I find her endearing. I’m definitely interested in seeing where she’s going in the next couple of books.

Riona, the mother of Fiadh, is a woman of knowledge. Wise. Not only does she have knowledge regarding medicin, herbs and how to help people with illnesses, but she also has a good understanding of people in general – how to work with them and socialize. Knowing people has also led to her being protective of her daughter and warn her daughter of the dangers that there can be out there.

Gideon is a big strong man with a soft heart. After an incident in the forest, he wounds up at Riona’s and Fiadh’s home, where they mend him back together again. A sweet young man with a lot of love in him. Especially regarding his family.

Of course we also have the bad guy, Darragh, and his mother Haegna. I won’t say much about them, but I’ll say that I’m looking forward to where we’re going with them. I enjoy them as bad guys.

My thoughts on the world building

As mentioned before, this is a quick read. This also means that the world building isn’t huge or overwhelming. We aren’t force fed a whole bunch of information, just enough to follow along with the story. As someone who does enjoy lore from the real world, I would have liked to learn more about these creatures. I would not have minded it at all since I’m not well versed in Celtic mythology and learning about magical beings from different cultures is one of my favorite things. Like, give me all of the magic. The awesome and the scary stuff! But it doesn’t feel like we as readers are being left out, we still get to understand what is going on and we can follow along with the story. It’s just the nerd in me that misses some more lore 😅


If you like dark fantasy, and you’re okay with violence and blood, I highly recommend this quick read. However, if you’re one of those fantasy lovers that just adore world building, and immense magical systems and politics, this might not be for you. However, I’ll make a note of it, if we get that in the future books.


Kristin Ward is an award-winning author from Connecticut. She embraces her inner nerd regularly, geeking out with SciFi flicks or quoting 80s movies while expecting those around her to chime in with appropriate rejoinders. As a nature freak, she can be found wandering the woods – she may be lost, so please stop and ask if you see her – or chilling in her yard with all manner of furry and feathered friends. Often referred to as a unicorn by colleagues, in reality, the horn was removed years ago, leaving only a mild imprint that can be seen if she tilts her head just right. A lifelong lover of books and writing, she dreamed of becoming an author for thirty years but lazed about and didn’t publish anything until 2018. Her debut novel, After the Green Withered, is the first of other stuff you should probably read.

Happy reading ❤️


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