Forest of Souls is the first book in the Shamanborn series by Lori M. Lee, author of Gates of Thread and Stone, The Infinite, and self-described “unicorn aficionado”. This book is the first leg of an epic journey full of political intrigue, magic, friendship, and darkness.
In this story, we meet Sirscha Ashwyn: an orphan obsessed with rising above her status as a houseless reject and becoming the Queen’s Shadow—a Master Spy answerable to only to Queen Meilyr herself. To reach her goal, Sirscha becomes the apprentice to the current Shadow, a woman named Kendara. And at Kendara’s behest, she joins the Queen’s Company, the royal army academy where she is bullied and degraded due to her orphan status. However, she endures these things because of her friendship with a high-born girl named Saengo and the prospect of winning the coveted spot as Shadow over the other apprentices.