Now that she has (sort of) defeated a diabolical elf, Keelie Heartwood reluctantly joins her father in the Dread Forest. Her "real" friends are gone, her dad is preoccupied with his new responsibilities as Lord of the Forest and now it seems that her budding romance with the hunky Sean is dashed. Except for her impossible guardian cat Knot, and Alora, a demanding and bratty little princess tree, Keelie has no one to hang with—unless you count that nasty elf-girl Elia, who suddenly wants to be Keelie's frenemy.
Meanwhile, an age-old rift in Keelie's family and among the elves reaches a dangerous climax as humans and dark magical forces alike encroach on the elves' enchanted realm. The fate of the Dread Forest—and of all who dwell within it—lies in Keelie's hands.
Why I read this: I loved the first two books in this trilogy, so I had to read this one.
Plot: The last book of the trilogy, The Secret of Dread Forest does not disappoint. Keelie now has to face her formidable grandmother, who loathes her deceased mother as well as seems to dislike her because she is only half elf. Not only does she have to face her grandmother, but a vampire. Vampires are different in this world - they are fey that no longer are true to their nature. Also, the Dread that keeps humans out of the forest is in danger, and, in turn, so are the fey that live there.
Characters: I really love Keelie. She's definitely outspoken and, at times, speaks before thinking. She has to adjust to more changes, but puts up with the situation the best she can. She holds grudges, loves easily, and sometimes trusts too easily. I like that she is not perfect, but hardheaded enough to help even when told not to.
Relatability: Anyone who has dealt with loss/love/or adjusting to a new home can relate to this series.
Cover Commentary: I like it - the covers in the series follow the theme of the book nicely.
Rating: 5/5 Roses
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