Review: Ghosts in the Yew by Blake Hausladen

on Jan 29, 2013
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Genre(s): Fantasy 

Blurb: A novel of violent magic, intrigue, and statecraft, Ghosts in the Yew is the story of four who are banished beyond the edge of the map to a land of gnarled forests, ancient magic, and the site of a terrible murder. Their struggles to survive will put them at odds with their families, their nation, and the very powers that shaped the world. Ghosts in the Yew is the first book in Blake's Vesteal series and invites the reader as follows: The dark forest hid them from their destroyers. The matriarch of the forest wept a century at their murder. The priests rewrote the songs and rhymes until the world forgot them and the conquerors abandoned their watch. But then it happened that the Zoviyan Empire--bloated by its centuries of glut--sent the last thing it should have into the trees. Ghosts forget nothing, and when the blood of their enemy walked beneath them, they woke, their revenge at hand.

ReviewGhosts in the Yew is a long and intruging tale of adventure, magic and unlikely friendship.

We start out in the midst of a huge amount of action which grabs the readers attention and pulls them right into the story.

The reader follows four misfits as they learn not only about those around them but about themselves, as well and about the land of Enhedu.

The most important main character is Barok, a spoiled and arrogant prince. Probably the most round character, (though all the main characters change quite a lot) Barok endures a long and hard journey throughout the book. But by the time I finished the last page he had become my favorite character.

Only slightly less important is Leger, Barok's alsman. He starts out as a drunk with overwhelming memories of war and battle. During his adventure he rises to challenges and becomes crucial to the success of Barok and his kingdom.

Next is Dia, she caused a lot of conflicting emotions for me. I liked her, then I didn't like her, then I liked her, and so on. At the beginning of the book we really don't know to much about her character but she has a very interesting personality that is revealed as the novel progresses.

And last, but not least, is Geart. A former soldier, with a hidden gift, who spends the majority of the book in a jail cell. Throughout most of the book he was in a different place then the other three main characters which got sort of confusing at times. Geart was certainly the most unexpected character. I was completely, and pleasantly surprised by the large role he ended up playing in the story.

Near to the end an element of philosophy came into play that honestly I hadn't noticed until I went back and read over several pages. Although many readers will probably pick that up right from the start. Ghosts in the Yew presents an interesting take on the battle between good and evil.

This novel is fairly long and while the world Mr. Hausladen has created is fascinating, some readers may become overwhelmed by all of the information contained in the 600+ pages.
To sum it all up, the author has created a vast and detailed world of princes and magic, with characters the reader will find most relatable. Ghost in the Yew is one book you definitely do not want to miss!

About the Author:
Armed with an English degree from Ripon College and an MBA from Chicago’s Stuart School of Business, Blake has enjoyed a sixteen-year career in the shadowed back-office realms of the financial industry. He currently works in Chicago and writes in his free time.

About the Reviewer:
M. A. Bronson is a bookworm, book reviewer, and aspiring author. Since 2012, she has been revieweing indie and traditionally published books at She enjoys reading, gaming, drinking tea, writing, and building Legos with her nieces. M lives in Upstate New York, and works at a library surrounded by thousands of stories. Connect with her on twitter and instagram @theprincessmab


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