This is the second book this year I've read about a sentient malicious forest, the other was [b:Crimson Bound|21570318|Crimson Bound|Rosamund Hodge|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1413217438s/21570318.jpg|40902835]. I've never read a book with this type of 'evil' before but both books were spectacular and very different, and coincidentally my favorite books this far this year.
I'd actually go so far as to call this book the best epic fantasy book I've found since [b:Daughter of the Forest|13928|Daughter of the Forest (Sevenwaters, #1)|Juliet Marillier|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1343589988s/13928.jpg|1897725] (maybe even better).
This novel was incredible. Almost perfect. The narrative, voice, pace, style, it was all flawlessly delivered.
The protagonist was one of my favorite literary characters ever. I was pretty much sold from the beginning but there's a scene pretty early on where she's pressured by the very mixed hero of the book who is titled the 'dragon' he keeps pressuring her to beautify herself but she defies him and says 'she doesn't owe him pretty.' It sounds way more trite with me writing it but I just loved that. I'm so tired of these 'ugly' protagonists obsessing over their looks like just because it's negative it shouldn't be considered vanity. Positive or negative, if a character focuses half their time and attention on their looks, they are vain. Anyhow rant over.
That wasn't the only great thing about the MC, she grew as a person but never to please anyone really. She just rocked, 100%.