Zaria Fierce & the Secret of Gloomswood Forest by Keira Gillett | Book Review

(Zaria Fierce Trilogy #1)

Published: March 6, 2015


On her birthday, Zaria Fierce finds her usual path to school blocked by an ugly river-troll. At first she’s surprised and curious, but then Olaf threatens to eat her, which is an act Zaria could not in good conscience consent to, so Zaria counteroffers. A deal is struck and she goes to school, but Zaria is about to learn the hard way that one does not trick a river-troll and expect to win.

Zaria Fierce_bookcover
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My Rating: 4 stars 4/5 (Really Good)

Book Information

Publisher: Keira Gillett

Illustrator: Eoghan Kerrigan

Genre(s): Middle Grade, Young Adult, Fantasy

Pade Count: 224

Format: E-book

This book was used for the Popsugar challenge: A book set in a place you always wanted to visit.

Note: I received a free digital copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Hi! I have another review for y’all, this time on Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomswood Forest by Keira Gillett, in case you haven’t already figured that out. It’s a middle-grade fantasy novel with a great plot and writing style! The characters were also very interesting. All in all, a solid 4 stars.

Quick Summary

13 year-old Zaria Fierce has always loved to read fantasy novels. Fantasy becomes reality when she meets a river troll, Olaf, who she finds to have taken her best friend Cristoffer. In order to get him back, she agrees on a risky deal to get him back, and she and her friends set off.


What I liked most about the plot was the fantasy aspect of it. Not only does it involve trolls, it incorporates all sorts of mythical creatures and legends. There are witches, elves, dragons, changelings, fae, and so much more! Also, the book is filled with plot twists, cliffhangers and a great storyline, which made it really interesting to read. I especially liked how the whole plot was an adventure kind of thing. It went along great with the fantasy, and kept me on the tip of my toes to see what kind of creature will appear next in their quest.


Zaria (and the other characters) were all great! I especially enjoyed Zaria, who, as a reader who loved fantasy, was very relatable and an enjoyable protagonist. She’s shy but smart, and goes through great character development by the end of the book, which I loved. It was wonderful seeing how she slowly started to become a stronger, braver person from the book-smart, quiet girl she was.
Of course, the secondary characters (like Zaria’s friends) were no less enjoyable. Not only were they crucial to the story, they were loyal and brave, never backing down when it came to keeping each other safe.

Writing Style

Gillett created a great story with her writing, bringing the characters and world to life with detailed descriptions and intriguing imagery. While I’ve never been to Norway (where the book first takes place) or any of the mythical settings in the book, the writing alone allowed me to picture everything clearly. In a fantasy novel, I would say description is pretty important, and I feel that Keira Gillett nailed it. The illustrator Eoghan Kerrigan also helps in that aspect in providing little illustrations of the mythical creatures (like trolls). Through all the description and imagery, the writing was still very easy to read, and I flew through it, which can be difficult to achieve in fantasy books.

Book Trailer


A great book with vivid descriptions and relatable characters, I definitely recommend this for those of you who are looking for a middle-grade fantasy novel. The plot was intriguing, with exciting action scenes, plot twists and cliffhangers. The main character becomes a strong female lead, and the writing and illustrations make this fantasy world even more real and interesting. All in all, you should definitely pick this up if middle-grade or fantasy is your thing! Also, don’t forget to check out the blog tour stop for this book, featuring an interview with Keira Gillett!

Come follow me! Let’s eat this book together and find out the secret of Gloomswood Forest.



11 thoughts on “Zaria Fierce & the Secret of Gloomswood Forest by Keira Gillett | Book Review

  1. Wish I read more!! Your blog seems really interesting! I would greatly appreciate it if you check out mine too! I do “what if” posts, and started before Elms challenge!! Hope to hear from you soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    • ❤ Aw thanks! Who knows, maybe you'll find a book that piques your interest that will get you into reading! 😉 And I'll definitely check out your blog. Thanks for following and stopping by with the kind words!


  2. WOW, Analee!! You’ve really blown me away with this SUPERB review!! I love how you broke it up into sections, analyzing each aspect of the book in detail. KUDOS to you, girl!

    I don’t usually read middle-grade books, but I am very much interested in this one! It just sounds SO WONDERFUL. From what you’ve written, it sure looks like the world-building is amazing, and the writing and characters are also great. The illustrations from the book trailer are also terrific! (However, I don’t much like the cover.) I also agree that Zaria is a character who’s very easy to relate to. She’s the typical bookworm, and that’s all of us who love books!!

    This novel is on my TBR, and I think I’ll include it in next week’s Friday Finds post.

    Thanks for your thoughts on this one!! ❤ 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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