The Sacrificial Wood (The Faithwalker Series: Book II)
FaithWalker Publishing (2008)
Reviewed by Ian McCurley (age 15) for Reader Views (1/09)
“The Sacrificial Wood” begins when Stephanie has just moved into her estranged father’s house with his new wife and her 5-year-old daughter. He, being a sexist, and she being a woman, he forced Stephanie to do housework for hours on end. Though she hated it, her biggest torture was being separated from her boyfriend, Vaughn, who was at a State Labor Farm because he is an orphan.
Meanwhile, in another reality, strange creatures are tending the forest of life, where every human in society has their own tree. The malignant creatures seek to destroy Stephanie and remove her glowing tree from the forest. Because they cannot destroy her directly as she is good and they are evil, the creatures use the people around her to try to destroy her.
Stephanie, after some time at her father’s home, meets a girl named Arlupo who is a member of the Appendaho tribe. Her people, because they have been away from society for such a long time, have no trees. The creatures seek to solve this problem through Stephanie. By creating trees for the Appendaho people, the creatures can destroy them, because they have glowing trees. While the creatures plot, Stephanie learns to deal with her father and Vaughn tries in vain to escape.
First of all, the plot of “The Sacrificial Wood” is somewhat confusing, especially to those who have not experienced the first book, “Call of the Tree,” which was a semi-finalist in Reader Views’ 2007 Literary Awards for Teen Fiction. The writing style itself is original and has a certain rhythm to it. Darryl Markowitz, though the plot may need work, manages to slowly draw the reader in without informing him too much what is going on. The only other drawback is the fact that this is a “chick” book. Though this may be just right for chicks, it has little appeal to the opposite gender. “The Sacrificial Wood” is for readers ages 14 and up who are female, who like trees, and who have read the first book, “Call of the Tree.”