Familiar characters are back, with new ones introduced who instantly become friend or foe. This includes Emily’s niece/assistant, Ariadne, and a few of her colleagues in the field of Dryadology. Colleagues that hold fantastical secrets that span the years.
The same intricate worldbuilding that enthralls one reader will spark an outburst by another bemoaning the novel’s insufferable pace. Further, the task of composing a best of list is extra tricky when applied to the fantasy novel as the lines between that genre and sci-fi have become so blurred in recent years that many curators metaphorically throw up their hands and lump the zany tales together.