by Leah Cypess


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Isabel remembers nothing before the prince rode into her forest to take her back to the castle. Nothing about who she is supposed to be, or the powers she is supposed to have. Prince Rokan needs Isabel to be his Shifter. He needs her ability to shift to animal form, her lethal speed, and her superhuman strength. And he needs her loyalty—because without it, she may be his greatest threat. Isabel knows that her prince is lying to her, but she can't help wanting to protect him from the dangers and intrigues of the court . . . until a deadly truth shatters the bond between them.

Now Isabel faces a choice that threatens her loyalty, her heart . . . and everything she thought she knew.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061957017
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/26/2011
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 148,400
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)
Lexile: 750L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Leah Cypess wrote her first short story—in which the narrator was an ice cream cone—at the age of six. She has degrees in biology, journalism, and law, and has traveled to Iceland, Israel, Jordan, and Costa Rica, among other places. She now lives with her family in Maryland. She is also the author of the acclaimed fantasy novels Death Marked, Mistwood, and Nightspell.

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Mistwood 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 129 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Isabel is the Shifter. She is bound to protect the kings of Samorna at all costs. When she is not needed, she resides in her forest, Mistwood. When they need her, she goes to the castle. When Prince Rokan comes for her in Mistwood, she does not remember why she had left Samorna many years ago. She also doesn't remember how to change forms. Isabel knows the prince needs her to be the Shifter. But she also knows that he is lying to her. The truth can change everything, and Isabel must make a choice. MISTWOOD is a beautifully written debut novel. Isabel is a confused character who in the end figures everything out. I'm not that big on reading fantasy, but I loved this storyline. I thought the idea of a Shifter was really cool, and the twists and turns in the plot kept me guessing on what was going to happen in the end. I didn't see the *almost* end coming, which always makes a good book even better. My only problem with the novel was the actual ending. I didn't care for it because it was very abrupt, and it left a cliffhanger. I really wanted to know how things were going to happen, but the story just ends. But other than that, as I said, this was a wonderful book, and I look forward to reading more by Ms. Cypess!
Emily Neil More than 1 year ago
bored to death i literally fell asleep it didnt have a good support backround
Burg More than 1 year ago
Talk about the author staying one step ahead of the reader until the very end! Leah Cypess is a mastermind in my opinion, she had me guessing until the very end. As her YA debut novel, Mistwood is sure to make an impression on readers everywhere. This was a story of mystery, intrigue, romance and danger and although Cypess presents readers with clues and puzzle pieces throughout her tale, I didn't stand a chance at putting it all together until she was good and ready to tell me. I will say that at times I loved that I was no closer to solving the mystery that is at the center of Mistwood, but it also frustrated me to no end. Her writing style and character development have set the stage for what I'm sure will be a fabulous future of upcoming releases from Cypess. The main characters in Mistwood were incredibly unique and fresh and my only complaint where they are concerned is that I would have liked to have been able to get to know them even better. Will there be a sequel? I think there's room for one and would definitely enjoy reading more about Isabel and the whole royal family. The ending left me torn. On one hand the surprises blew me away, but on the other hand I did feel like it was all wrapped up very quickly. And after having a mystery like this one last throughout the entire book, I thought it was strange the the conclusion really only took up a few pages. I'm hoping Cypess just didn't want to drag out an ending that wasn't meant to be the final glimpse we get, if there's a sequel in the works than I'm slightly happier and more understanding as to why the ending wasn't stretched out with more detail. With the paranormal genre being so popular at the moment and the repeated characters like vampires, werewolves, fairies, etc...being in just about everything it was a nice change of pace to see a completely new type of character. Isabel is completely unique and I for one do not want this to be the first and only time we see the shifter, more of the likes of Mistwood would be completely welcome!
GirlintheStacks More than 1 year ago
It was a rough start, flow a little choppy, but it recovered and in the end was an enjoyable read. Mistwood is a mythical forest and home of the immortal shifter, Isabel. The shifter's emotionless purpose is to protect the kings of Samorna, when needed. This time she has pledged to protect crown prince Rokan. She is an exceptional guard and very loyal, however she just can't seem to remember details of her past, is having trouble shifting and is full of emotions. Just who is the Shifter and why is she acting human? Where do her true allegiances fall? There are so many great characters in this story that are well developed and multi-dimensional. I pretty much liked them all, even the bad, evil ones. First off Rokan is a great name. I like saying it. Rokan, Rokan, Rokan. He was an extremely likeable character, though not very kingly, he was too nice. While reading the book I bordered between thinking he was a bad judge/good judge of character. I still am undecided. Though I do think he was smart, always thinking a step ahead. I really liked Isabel. She always kept a level head and had good instincts. She was true to her character. However, she had such an internal struggle throughout the whole book, which caused her to make some tough decisions. She was put into such an unusual circumstance, pitted against each other that no matter what she chose it would hurt. The biggest surprise and my favorite character from the book is Clarisse, Rokan's sister. She was evil, conniving, and resourceful and up until the very end you didn't know whether she was an ally or not. The storyline and plot were also fascinating and very original. I like the idea of a mystical forest where the mist can shift into various forms. My one complaint. Kissing. There should have been more of it. Oh, and I really dig the cover. A castle and fog equals my kind of story. Though, I am not crazy about the title font. I give this book 3.5 out of 5 STACKS for more reviews check out girlsinthestacks.com
AndAnythingBookish More than 1 year ago
This was UNBELIEVABLY AMAZING AND BRILLIANT. I am at a loss of words at how it left me. I never knew what was coming, and all the characters were so well rounded that they left me yelling at the pages when every chapter ended although I would have liked the secondary characters explored a bit more. I just HAD to find out what would happen next. Not reading it would be like an a drug addict quitting on drugs--bad comparison, but really, I couldn't stop reading. In all the pages, it packs suspense and mystery. It was rivetting going through everything Isabel went through throughout the book as she discovered herself. I never expected to like it this much, not to mention love it. Even though toward the end it became a teensy bit predictable, I didn't really care. The plot is indeed amazing with subtle romance and a great big hunk of mystery. Definitely appealing. I really recommend this to everyone! On the back of the book, it says "For fans of Kristin Cashore..." I could see how it was similar with a girl protecting a prince and all, but it is surely really, really special in its own way. I have been told not to compare books by completely different authors so I'll just shut up for now. Shift-shapers are now my favorite supernatural creatures!
sithereandread on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
MISTWOOD, by Leah Cypess, takes you far away on a fantastical journey of intrigue with a hint of the supernatural. Isabel is the coveted Shifter, bound to help the king whenever the kingdom is threatened, but the only problem is that Isabel does not remember her previous time as Shifter and why she left the kingdom all those years ago. Cypess creates a world where loyalties are challenged and the threat against a prince is lurking around every corner with only the Shifter to protect him.I had this book on my shelf for a while and after reading it, I deeply regret not getting to it sooner. I was thrust into Isabel's world without a shred of back story about her or the Mistwood. At first I was quite frustrated but I think that was the intent. The reader follows along and only knows just as much as Isabel does in her journey of self-discovery, which I think has an added element of anticipation for the reader. I enjoyed learning about the characters in this book. I loved when Isabel was able to shift, the lore of Cypess's Shifter was really intriguing to read. As each new character was introduced, my mind added another person to be wary of, just as Isabel was. With her memory loss, she did not know who to trust within the castle except for Rokan, and there were times when I didn't even trust him. Overall, this is a really great fantasy book, fans of the genre will want to pick this one up!
Kskye on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book had a lot of hype, and I was uber excited to read it. Strangely though, it fell flat. I mean, Isabel is suppose to be this badass shifter, but all we really hear about is the legend of the shifter. We don't actually get to see her in action a lot, in fact some of her legendary powers don't even work. The romance was sort of like a last resort, and the one that had the most chemistry with her was taken out of the picture.There was a twist as to who she really was, but the ending was anticlimactic. Read if you really love books about girl shifters and castles, but other than that I'd skip this one and try the same authors Nightspell. I hear that one is generally more liked.
nocturnewytche on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was excited for this book as it fit right into my list of favorite things- paranormal, mystery, fantasy, and romance. However, everything fell to pieces with this one. Isabel was annoying as a character. It felt like all the hype of her powers never came to fruitition and her relationship with Rokan felt flat. While their relationship was forced, it felt like Leah Cypress didn't take advantage of that and rather let it hang. Everything felt a bit forced, then rushed, then stagnant in a cycle. It felt like the romance was then forced and unneeded at the point it happens. The plot was there but it just wasn't executed in my opinion. A good read all together but nothing I would read again.
kburgess1984 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Talk about the author staying one step ahead of the reader until the very end! Leah Cypess is a mastermind in my opinion, she had me guessing until the very end. As her YA debut novel, Mistwood is sure to make an impression on readers everywhere.This was a story of mystery, intrigue, romance and danger and although Cypess presents readers with clues and puzzle pieces throughout her tale, I didn't stand a chance at putting it all together until she was good and ready to tell me. I will say that at times I loved that I was no closer to solving the mystery that is at the center of Mistwood, but it also frustrated me to no end.Her writing style and character development have set the stage for what I'm sure will be a fabulous future of upcoming releases from Cypess. The main characters in Mistwood were incredibly unique and fresh and my only complaint where they are concerned is that I would have liked to have been able to get to know them even better. Will there be a sequel? I think there's room for one and would definitely enjoy reading more about Isabel and the whole royal family. The ending left me torn. On one hand the surprises blew me away, but on the other hand I did feel like it was all wrapped up very quickly. And after having a mystery like this one last throughout the entire book, I thought it was strange the the conclusion really only took up a few pages. I'm hoping Cypess just didn't want to drag out an ending that wasn't meant to be the final glimpse we get, if there's a sequel in the works than I'm slightly happier and more understanding as to why the ending wasn't stretched out with more detail.With the paranormal genre being so popular at the moment and the repeated characters like vampires, werewolves, fairies, etc...being in just about everything it was a nice change of pace to see a completely new type of character. Isabel is completely unique and I for one do not want this to be the first and only time we see the shifter, more of the likes of Mistwood would be completely welcome!
fayeflame on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Mistwood will grab the readers attention with its mystical story and captivating writing.Every chapter had its own mystery which lead to more twist and turns. Sometimes i would get confused. But what made this book awesome was Cypress, i mean she rocked this debut.Although sometimes i was confused i enjoyed reading about Isabel, at first i wanted her to break out of her shell. Everything she would say revolved around being a Shifter. Never thinking about herself only the loyalty of her King. She a strong character and just bold! Rokan...he is a good guy but he has his secrets. A BIG one at that. A character i did want to know more about is Ven, he was there for Isabel when she was confused. He helped her learn more about being a Shifter. My favorite parts of the book was when Isabel went back to the Mistwood to find her inner Shifter. It was amazing being lead into the woods full of magic and mystery...Isabel broke out of her shell in the end. She followed her heart. Throughout it all i just didn¿t want this book to end.Fans of Tamora Pierce and Kristin Cashore will definitely enjoy this book. I can't wait 2 see what Cypress has planned for the future.
wordnerd213 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
MISTWOOD is about Isabel. Isabel is the Shifter - the legendary creature formed from mist who can shift into anything and is sworn to protect the royal family. She is anything but human. Loyalty is all she knows. Her life does not matter. Only the safety of the king is important to her.But all of a sudden, Isabel has emotions. After ten years alone in the Mistwood, not having served the previous king for a reason that Isabel cannot remember, she is called back to her duties by Prince Rokan, and this time, things are different. And when a disputed succession challenges everything she thought she knew about herself and her loyalties, Isabel has to determine what it really means to be the Shifter.MISTWOOD was very well-crafted, and Isabel's character is so easy to relate to even though she's not human. The perspective was very different from the norm - we get the world through the eyes of someone not human - and it just makes you want to read more. Also, there's a lot of talk about the various relationships between people and what it means to love, but it is in no way a sappy romance novel. Like, at all. This is a great book, and I absolutely recommend it.
monsterofbooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This review is going to, probably, sound mostly negative. But I do not want to give the wrong impression to people reading this review. I did enjoy this novel, quite a lot. I couldn't stop reading it, and when I wasn't reading it I was thinking about it. This book was fast pace, and enjoyable. But in the end, I came to conclusion of giving it three stars. Now onto the review!!Something in Mistwood that bothered me, was Isabel (protagonist) knew things that were never mentioned before. The best way to describe this is, there are scenes were she'll just randomly start thinking about someone (or talking). She'll say there name and all about them, and as a reader your thinking: when did she meet this person. I felt this story biggest problem was the timing. It was rushed way to much, to the point where I was getting confused.Now for anyone who hasn't read this novel, Isabel comes to this castle as a shapeshifter. But she has no previous memory of her life. Now I believe that this rush in the story, made me feel that her loss of memory was unbelievable. I think that if the story weren't so fast paced, and spent more time going through the days when the main character first got there then it would be a bit more realistic.The characters were all strongly built, my favorite being Rokan and his sister Clarisse. Even though the story is told in third person, which by the way was magnificently done, Isabel was the character you as a reader felt more in touch with. At first I found her character development quite slow, and really saw none. I really didn't notice any change in her until the very end, and somehow that worked out really well. Especially with the romance element, which is very distant in the novel. It's obvious, but you don't really feel it until mid way through. But when the scene comes for romance between protagonist and love interest you'll be happy and disappointed.Which leads me to my next point, I hope there is a sequel. This novel would feel incomplete without it. Some of the mysteries are still yet to be resolved/found out.The plot twists were mostly predictable, there was only one that shocked me.Overall it was a good book, but I thought it could of been developed in some areas. The writing is beautifully done, and it will be easy for readers to get into the world of Mistwood and become attach to it.
DarkFaerieTales on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Quick & Dirty: This books premise is interesting, but it never fulfills its promise.Opening Sentence: She knew every inch of the forest, every narrow path that twisted and wound its way beneath the silver branches.The Review:Prince Rokan braves the ¿magical¿ forest in search of The Shifter. The Shifter has many abilities and cunning skills that will come in handy for the protection that Prince Rokan is so desperately seeking. The Shifter is bound to serve and protect the Kings of Samorna, and Prince Rokan will do anything to protect his throne. The problem is that The Shifter, Isabel, has no memory of her existence. She doesn¿t even know how to shift. Isabel struggles to regain her memory, and identify the threat of which Prince Rokan is so fearful. Betrayals, dangers and lies unfold as Isabel searches for clues and answers.The execution of this fantasy tale doesn¿t quite live up to the promise of the story. Unfortunately, Mistwood can¿t overcome an absence of a solid plot and lackluster characters. I never felt as if I got to know the characters. The pacing of the book is also slow and I was always hoping for something exciting to happen. I expected a much more gripping story. Reading about betrayal, loyalty, and political intrigue should have been a very fulfilling experience, yet the story fell flat. Most of the various plot points were fairly predictable.Initially, I thought that Isabel was an interesting character. Ultimately, the way in which her character is crafted made her hollow. I understand that Ms. Cypess wanted to convey Isabel¿s internal struggles with her identity, but I never felt it, let alone cared about it. In my opinion, despite all of Isabel¿s struggles, she had little depth.The romantic elements in the book are quite thin. Romance doesn¿t always have to be woven into the story for me to enjoy it, but if it is, then it should be believable. I had a hard time believing that Prince Rokan and Isabel actually shared a romantic connection. I think the romance comes off as forced, unfulfilling, and not present enough for it to be an integral part of the story.The character that I enjoyed the most was Clarisse, Rokan¿s sister. Her character definitely surprised me. Beyond all of the plotting and scheming, she¿s an intelligent and strong character. She¿s definitely a scene stealer.I don¿t have an issue with the writing style of the book, but the world-building wasn¿t enough to draw me in. Many aspects of the kingdom aren¿t fully realized. The readers are told that Mistwood is this magical forest, yet nothing about it seems or feels all that magical.Overall, Mistwood is just a so-so read. While I did enjoy parts of the book, I was also fairly bored. There is too much dull dialog and the seemingly cold heroine is unsympathetic.Notable Scene:If she had been human, it would have ended right there. But she was the Shifter, and when the moment ended she was still fast enough to snatch a goblet off the table and throw it with deadly accuracy. It hit the knife and shattered, and Rokan turned just in time to take the blade in his shoulder.FTC Advisory: Harper Teen provided me with a copy of Mistwood. No goody bags, sponsorships, ¿material connections,¿ or bribes were exchanged for my review. In addition, I don¿t receive affiliate fees for anything purchased via links from my site.
galleysmith on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Royalty, intrigue, and romance peppered with a hint of the supernatural; Cypess has crafted a paranormal story with an Arthurian feel. Set in a land of castles, forestry and magic the reader is volleyed between the feeling of having their feet firmly planted on ground or floating weightlessly in the mystical air. Not the least bit disorienting, this push and pul makes for an invigorating read.Characterization is the name of the game in Mistwood¿s. The strongest being the world in which Isabel, Rokan and the many players moving about the mystery live. I enjoyed that I could feel the physical surroundings of the castle and the forest in which it resides, but more than that the hazy air of magic penetrates almost everything. It¿s ever present amongst the many inhabitants of the story regardless of their ability to wield it.The thematic elements of the power struggle, political intrigue, and romance were strong but at times, could be considered overwhelming with more going on at once than I liked. But, I admit that is my own preference, not necessarily a detractor format he story as a whole. I freely admit that the overall plot was not so convoluted that readers would have difficulty following what was going on. Additionally, there were a couple of key revelations peppered throughout that Cypess did a great job building up to. I was as surprised as I assume she wants readers to be.While I did find a few of the secondary plot lines to be more predictable the overall mystery and larger story was not one of them. Readers will take a fantastical journey through Isabel¿s life as she navigates political and supernatural forces.Cypress¿ characterization of Isabel as a woman of power is engaging. Her inner dialogue allows us to understand not only her state of mind but the conflict she continuously struggles with. As a shape shifter there are certain expectations of her, yet she wants to be her own person. The struggle to maintain her obligations while still being true to herself adds depth and strength to the story.What was the weakest element of the story? I will admit, that the relationship between Isabel and Rokan fell short on me. Was it supposed to be romantic? Platonic? I couldn¿t quite vibe that one out. Also, he was a bit too whiny for my liking. Far more wishy washy than I would envision the leader of a land such as the one he was living in. My interpretation of this is that it was possibly done to allow for Isabel to be the stronger of the two, however I¿m not sure that it was needed. Isabel was so unique and powerful regardless that Rokan could have had equal strength of character and still their relationship would have been as dynamic.The latter certainly doesn¿t take away from the overall greatness of the story, however. If you are a lover of young adult fantasy, I encourage you to pick up Mistwood. Cypess has written an enjoyable story allowing us mere humans to escape into the land of shape shifting and magic.
stephxsu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Isabel knows she¿s a Shifter, a mythical creature created from mist and wind, whose only purpose is to defend the life of the king. She¿s been brought from her beloved Mistwood back to the Samornian king, the young Rokan. Magical and political conspiracy abound in the Samornian court, and it¿s up to Isabel¿s powerful Shifter senses to seek out danger to the king, even if it means risking her own safety and well-being.Meanwhile, Isabel struggles to puzzle out her hazy memories of her previous lives as Shifter in the court, but when she uncovers a shocking conspiracy, Isabel learns things about Rokan¿and herself¿that she¿s never had to deal with before.MISTWOOD is an exquisitely written, beautifully rendered high fantasy YA debut that will make it an instant favorite of fans of Kristin Cashore. The beauty and complexity of Isabel¿s story literally took my breath away and left me begging for more.Leah Cypess wastes no words in her writing. Instead, every sentence provides a wealth of material about the story: setting the scene, describing Isabel¿s inhuman-like thoughts and her struggles. It is fascinating to watch Isabel change over the course of this novel. The change is subtle yet carefully crafted, and just when you thought you had things figured out, Cypess comes along and throws you for a loop that is unexpected but, on second thought, completely appropriate and wildly appreciated. As I¿ve said in previous reviews, I like when books outsmart me, and I was delighted that all my predictions were blown out of the water in a totally plausible manner.The secondary characters were not as well developed as Isabel, which can oftentimes lead to confusing conversations. Likewise, the plot can always get rather confusing at times: I found myself having to read slowly in order to fully understand the intricacies of particular scenes. Not that I didn¿t enjoy doing it, however. All the enjoyable twists and turns¿and yes, even the confusing bits¿ensured that I didn¿t want this book to end.Overall, MISTWOOD was a book that started off strong and just got better by the ending. The publicity line for the book, comparing it to works by Kristin Cashore, Tamora Pierce, and Megan Whalen Turner, doesn¿t lie. This is an incredible debut accomplishment, and I¿m hoping for many more books written by Leah Cypess in the future.
maidenveil on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Past shrouded in mystery, a possibility of conspiracy, and betrayal hound the story of Mistwood.Samorna will now have a new King in the person of Rokan. He sought the help of the legendary immortal Shifter who served the royal family but have retreated to the Mistwood for reasons unknown. Afflicted by memory loss, the Shifter grapples to aid Rokan in politics as well as seek out the threat that made Rokan seek her in the first place. But she feels that isn't the same Shifter in the legends anymore. Confused by her emotions and the flashes of memory that makes her question her loyalty to the royal family and even the truth about herself.I like reading this one because it started out with an uncertainty that led to a mystery. There's new a revelation or question in every chapter that left me wanting to read the next pages. I was definitely surprised by how things ended. I was just thrown a bit off by how the love angles developed or evolved in the story that made me somehow wish there was a next book after this.
cinnleigh on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Travelling deep into the dangerous Mistwood, a young prince and soon to be king call upon an ancient power. Summoning and then binding Isabel to them, it would seem that all of their problems are now solved. Or are they?Isabel is the Shifter, bound to protect the royalty of Samorna both with her strength and her mind. Immortal and able to take on any shape she chooses, the Shifter is a formidable weapon and great protection for a king in need. When Rokhan summons her and brings her back to the castle with him, however, Isabel soon learns that everything is not as it should be. Strong in character and wise beyond the appearance of her years, Isabel is a fantastic character with quite a bit of depth to her. This is easily a character one could follow throughout many stories as there always seems to be something new to discover about her.Prince Rokhan, next in line to the throne after the death of his father, finds himself relying heavily on Isabel. Her powers and physical abilities should help protect his life while her mental capacity and experience advising past kings should help Rokhan lead his people well. With a strong desire to better his kingdom and rule wisely, Rokhan appears to have great potential. With Isabel at his side, he truly believes nothing can go wrong. Unfortunately for him, however, secrets rarely stay hidden and when his come to the surface, losing his crown may be the least of his worries.MISTWOOD by Leah Cypess is a robust tale of royalty, deception, self-discovery, romance and a decent amount of the paranormal. As we follow Isabel throughout the story, we learn more about her and the memories that slowly come back to her. Snatches of memory and good reasoning skills allows Isabel to discover that Rokhan may not be who he truly seems although the compulsion of the Shifter magic forces her to protect him anyway. Uncovering more about Isabel and Rokhan, we find ourselves in the midst of deception. Full of sorcerers, princes, princesses, kings and the Shifter, MISTWOOD is a wonderful tale of magic and the strength of the human spirit.Originally drawn to MISTWOOD by the beautiful cover, I was amazed at just how good the story was. Isabel is unlike many of the shape-shifters that we see nowadays. Ms. Cypess has done an amazing job of creating her own world and her own set of rules. What really made this book fantastic was how well she stuck to those rules. I have experienced many paranormal books where suddenly the characters could do things that had been impossible for them to do previously in the story. Here, Ms. Cypess gives Isabel her quirks and limitations while actually sticking to them. That made the story much more believable and realistic, which is great for something so full of magic.Relationships played a major role in MISTWOOD. As Isabel learns more about herself and uncovers the truths about others, we see relationships grow and falter. This is more than a single week of time in the life of some girl. While not covering a huge expanse of time, this book does seem to cover quite a large expanse of events. Ms. Cypess does a fantastic job of allowing the story to ebb and flow throughout the book, giving us little mini adventures and allowing each event to come Isabel¿s way to really shine. When I said that the story was robust, that really is the best way to describe it. MISTWOOD is a very full story with plenty of twists and turns. Every time it felt like the story was coming to a close, something else would happen that would keep our heroine constantly moving forward.For me, the true test of a story is how long it stays in one¿s mind after the final page has turned. With the plot twists throughout the book and especially at the end of the story, I believe MISTWOOD will stay with me for a while. This story is dark and mysterious, the lies surrounding Rokhan and the loss of Isabel¿s memory aiding the mystical feel of the book. The way in which this book has fully wrapped around my mind is evidence of
STACYatUFI on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I give this a 3.5 stars, I found it to be a very enjoyable read.
twonickels on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I think this fell victim to too many Graceling comparisons ¿ not that it wasn¿t a good book, but it didn¿t meet the extremely high standard that I had set in my mind. The story is interesting, and the court politics are great ¿ particularly anything that involved the prince¿s sister Clarisse, who is a total Machiavellian ass-kicker. I started to really enjoy it towards the end as Isabel began to realize exactly what was happening to her, which gives her a little bit more depth as a character.
eduscapes on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Mistwood by Leah Cypess tells the story of a Shifter named Isabel who protects the king. Caught between the mist of immortals and the human world, she must figure out who she is.I'm not a huge fan of the "kings and queens"-type fantasy stories, but this one is a great match for the young adult audience. I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of the characters. Cypess does a wonderful job turning this fantasy about an ageless character into a "coming-of-age" story about loyalty and choices. The way the author deals with Isabel's emotions and the romantic elements are effective for the young adult audience.The betrayals, red herrings, and twists make the plot complicated enough to be engaging without confusion. This first novel is a great start for this new author. I look forward to her next book.
Urbanfan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Shifter has no known beginning and no end according to legend. It derives its power from the Mistwood and lives a life seeking purpose. That purpose becomes to protect the true royal family of Samorna, any rightful heir to the throne. The current heir to the throne, Rokan has been without a Shifter for protection since it disappeared into the Mistwood ten years ago. He seeks the Shifter in the Mistwood to bring it back as new threats have arrived in Samorna. Isabel, as the Shifter has been known in human form, returns to the castle with no memory of her previous time with the late king or why she fled for the Mistwood a decade earlier. She also does not understand why her full power to shift no longer works, a secret she keeps from Rokan. The reason and treacherous plots that unfold, not to mention the Shifters uncharacteristic human behavior and feelings that begin to emerge, have Isabel confused as to where her true allegiance and heart lies. Finding her past, understanding her present, and reaching for her future are all that you will find in Mistwood.Mistwood is an enjoyable book set among a castle full of threats, intrigue, political plays, sorcerers, and unrequited love. It is difficult to review this book without giving away some of the twists in the plot, so I will leave it as this: There are many twists that keep you thinking and re-evaluating the hows/whys you previously thought you had figured out. Isabel is a complex character you want to figure out. The problem is you can't, and I didn't start to put two and two together until right before the author did it for me. I liked that! I was kept guessing.The characters Cypess develops for this book fit together well. Rokan as a king with a heart, his sister who is ruthless and cunning, and his little brother that hero worships him are a great family triad, yet dysfunctional at times. Isabel, the great protector that begins to have human emotions which makes her wonder if she really is the Shifter of legend or if something has happened to make her weak. Everyone is keeping secrets that can either lead to the success of the king or his demise. The relationship that evolves once the decisions are made just make you sigh. There can be a happy ending for the "good" guys, which left me feeling satisfied as I finished this book. I would have liked to have been able to see more of this happy ending and where it is all headed, but that will have to come in another book. The ending does lend itself well to a new saga for Rokan and Isabel.I would recommend this book to anyone that likes young adult and fantasy fiction. It is a smooth read, one that I finished within several hours. The pace is consistent, not choppy. My complaint would be that I wanted more of what the ending had to offer, which I guess, is the goal of every author: to keep you wanting more.
ericajsc on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I¿m not a big-time fantasy reader. It¿s not that I don¿t like it, but it seems to takes me a long time to really get into the story, so my problem is picking up the book in the first place. While Mistwood is not an exception to that, the story did win me over.With themes of self-discovery and not knowing who is trustworthy, the story resonates with the teenage experience. Isabel isn¿t sure who she is, and she¿s not even sure if she can do everything she¿s supposed to be able to do. Most of the book shows Isabel¿s confusion about her position in this world she doesn¿t remember. When she finally finds someone she thinks she can trust, things go awry, leaving her alone once again.The tense relationship between Isabel and Prince Rokan had me questioning everything about who these two were to each other. At times Rokan seems to want Isabel only for the protection she can give him, and other times he seems to be connecting with her on another level. However, as she constantly reminds herself, she is not human and feels no emotion, so she forces herself to do her duty and nothing more.As the story progresses Isabel finds herself torn between two guys ¿ and it¿s not a love triangle! When she learns more and more about the kingdom¿s history and her role in it, she must take sides and hope that she chooses correctly. Although the boys fight over her as if she is a possession ¿ which is how they see her, since they believe it is her sole duty in life to protect the king ¿ she is the one with the power. The way she wields that power, along with the discoveries she makes about her past, makes me glad I picked up the book and read it.
gildedspine on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is one of those sitting-the-fence reads that I'm really glad I took the chance on. Ever read a review by someone you really trust (ie. another book blogger) that wasn't really positive, but you REALLY like the way the book sounds? Yeah, that was my conundrum right there, and (with all due respect to the blogger, because she's awesome) I'm glad I didn't listen to her because I really would have missed out.The cover evokes this Lord of the Ring-esque world in my mind, but in reality the story and its situation sounds more like a royal court intrigue from the medieval times - or maybe Henry IV. Nothing is as it seems. Isabel, famed Shifter, guardian of the line of kings, emerges from the forest at the behest of the man who should be her next protectee - but she doesn't remember anything about who she is, or her duties.From the beginning, I was attached to Isabel. She's determined to stick to the role of the mythical protector, but in reality she's just as lost and worried about the resolution as the reader. To me, she felt the way that Katsa (Graceling, Kristen Cashore) should have turned out, without all the gratuitous "no need to get married, just run around and pray you don't get pregnant" trifle that was shoved in. I loved the fact that (for once) the protagonist's self-discovery wasn't just centered around the romantic plot and being dependent on a man.Rokan was a bit of a harder sell. Honestly, at times he seemed like a bit of a milk sop. ("Oh Daria! She's so perfect. Wait, why are you here bossing me around? Oh right, you're my protector. Hey, you're kinda cute...") I was glad he grew a bit of a backbone at the end...a bit.When I reached the end, I had mixed feelings. On one hand, I was relieved that it was a stand-alone book because - honestly, the endless series are becoming a bit much. On the other hand, GAH IT ENDS RIGHT THERE?! At least there's a companion novel, but that's little comfort considering that I'm pretty sure it won't be the same. Ah, well. I can't bash it before I try it.Warnings: One instance of bad language that can be quickly passed over. Other than that, this is one of the cleaner YA books I've read this year.Final verdict? Yes. A big, red-pen YES.
amanderson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a lovely YA fantasy - atmospheric, mysterious, with a bit of romance, some understated violence and a dash of tragedy, set in a medieval style kingdom. Isabel is the Shifter, an immortal supernatural creature from the Mistwood, bound to protect the kings of Samora. When Prince Rokan finds her again in the Mistwood and brings her back to court, she remembers very little of her past. There's more than one threat to the prince, whose coronation fast approaches. She needs to find her memories in order to be able to fully shift into various creatures and protect her prince with her supernatural powers, yet her loyalty will be tested in the intrigues of the court and her sense that there's something the prince isn't telling her.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This work captivated me in a way very few bookk have accomplished. Bringing forth the ever complicated themes of love and betrayal, revenge, suspicion and trust, this book has indeed proven to be a work of literary art. Highly recomended for anyone. This book starts out with mystery and keeps you guessing the whole way through. It was impossibk to put down. Although slightly confusing in som areas, the good outweighs the bad as this book combine the art of magic, mystery and action. Worth every cent.