Heart of the Forest, A Synopsis


At the start of Heart of the Forest: Book II of the Nymph Keepers, the war between Ireece and Galia has just begun, sparked by the death of the ambassador — the Nymph Keeper — who Jay killed. Meanwhile, a new plot unravels in Fethens, threatening to unravel Forest’s life as court herbalist: Silic and Protis secretly poison the king of Ireece with Hellfire in a zealous attempt to put Terryn on the throne.

Jay is caught up in the war between Ireece and Galia while Aleah, his sister, is still trapped on the other side of the border. As Aleah negotiates with her captor, Lord Heleron, to send her back to Ireece as a spy, Jay and his fellow soldier Flint are captured by the Galian army in an attempt to blast through their walls.

In Fethens, Forest is desperate to find a cure for the king, to prove herself as court herbalist and make the world a better place for nymph kind. She convinces Terryn to let her travel south, to Ether. Silic demands to join her to keep her safe.

Aleah returns to Fethens to find them gone. She begins feeding information back to Lord Heleron through Keelie, her lady-in-waiting, but news is hard to come by and he grows quickly frustrated with her. Meanwhile, Jay and Flint break out of their Galian prison. They open the gates in time for Ireecian forces to take the mountain pass. Jay discovers that Flint is a nymph, and that the army commander is aware of his blood as well.

While Jay and Flint march with the army into Galia, Forest and her companions reach Ether. They’re somewhat worse for wear after a nearly-deadly encounter with some bandits in the woods. Lord Edwin, the masked bandit who collected blood from Forest in the attack, returns home to try and heal Aleah’s deformed hand. But the blood doesn’t work. Believing Forest dead, Aleah descends into despair with no one but Keelie to comfort her.

Meanwhile, Jay goes after Flint when he deserts the Ireecian army to head deep into the dying forests of Galia in search of his past. They find the remains of the building where Flint was held captive as a child, and the ruin is overrun by the same decay that plagues the rest of Galia. They discover the alleged source of the Galia’s agricultural troubles nearby: a mythical creature called the Heart of the Forest, dead or nearly there. But before they can understand what this means for the land, Ireecian soldiers catch up to them and detain them for desertion.

In Ether, as Forest attempts to gather more information from the Herald of the Gods and his scholars about Hellfire, Silic sets out to free the nymphs trapped beneath the palace. After discovering that the Herald is a Nymph Keeper, Silic is discovered helping the other nymphs flee and he is forced to jump into the ocean below the palace. Believing Silic is dead, Forest is captured by the Herald and locked away in the palace.

Back in Ireece, Aleah has tried Heleron’s patience for the last time. She is abducted from her home and sent with Keelie to Ether, where Heleron intends to recover from his defeat in Galia. Despite their differences, Aleah finds an unlikely ally in Keelie. In their darkest hour, they resolve to do everything in their power to end Heleron’s reign of terror together.

Meanwhile, Jay must escape execution for desertion by telling the army commander, the Grand Marshal, about their discovery in northern Galia. The Grand Marshal sends Flint back to Fethens to work with the king’s herbalists to tackle the problem with the land, while he sends Jay after Lord Heleron, who escaped during the Ireecian assault on his city.

Forest, believing Silic dead and overwhelmed with grief, throws herself back into trying to find the cure for Hellfire even as she tries to keep the Herald at arm’s reach. But the new king of Ireece has other plans for her: Terryn shows up in Trisk himself to take her home, pretending that she’s betrothed to him so that the Herald cannot argue with letting her return to Ireece.


And pre-orders are now OPEN for Book III!

Keep in Touch