Into the Heartless Wood

Joanna Ruth Meyer

fiction fantasy young adult
emotional medium-paced

368 pages | first published 2021

Epic, heartbreaking, and darkly atmospheric, Into the Heartless Wood is the story of impossible love between a monstrous tree siren and a boy who lives at the edge of her wood.

The forest is a dangerous place, where siren song lures men and women to their deaths. For centuries, a witch has harvested souls to feed the heartless tree, using its power to grow her domain.

When Owen Merrick is lured into the witch’s wood, one of her tree-siren daughters, Seren, saves his life instead of ending it. Every night, he climbs over the garden wall to see her, and every night her longing to become human deepens. But a shift in the stars foretells a dangerous curse, and Seren’s quest to become human will lead them into an ancient war raging between the witch and the king who is trying to stop her.

What the community thinks

summary of 25 ratings (see reviews)

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emotional 81%
adventurous 75%
mysterious 56%
dark 50%
hopeful 31%
tense 31%
reflective 25%
sad 25%
challenging 6%
inspiring 6%


medium 66%
fast 20%
slow 13%

Plot- or character-driven?

A mix: 88% | Character: 11%

Strong character development?

Yes: 88% | It's complicated: 11%

Loveable characters?

Yes: 66% | It's complicated: 22% | No: 11%

Diverse cast of characters?

No: 55% | It's complicated: 22% | Yes: 22%

Flaws of characters a main focus?

Yes: 66% | It's complicated: 22% | No: 11%

Average rating