Wing and Claw #1: Forest of Wonders by Linda Sue Park (2016)

As he stirred, the paste began to take on a gentle vermilion glow, and in his mind he heard something that sounded like a faraway cowbell — not musical, but not unpleasant (p 60-61).

WingandClawRaffa is a young apothecary, trained by and under the careful watch of his parents. But he has something his parents don’t have; an intuition that manifests through different sensations. While preparing remedies, he’ll hear, see, feel or smell something which guides his actions to produce a superior result.

This talent, along with his undersized stature for his age, has lead to his being nicknamed “baby genius.” His cousin, Garith, whom he learns alongside, is more brawn than brain and the two compliment each other nicely.

Than a severely wounded bat flies into Raffa’s bedroom. Needing a unique plant, Garith and Raffa venture into the Forest of Wonders to retrieve a red plant with mysterious abilities. Most shockingly, the cured bat can talk!

When Garith and his father leave their little village for the capital city of Gilden with a shaving from the red vine, the balance between man and nature will be violently disrupted.

Set in an earthquake distressed world that thrums with hints of magic, Park’s first in a new series delivers a solid coming-of-age story about a boy’s desire to find his place in the world as the world pushes back.


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