This was one of the books that most fascinated me this year. The fantastic characters, brave heroine and fantasy genre are a perfect mix. The book is just such a mix of imaginative fairytale-like quests and the main character, Prue, goes through everything just to save her baby sibling! There are a lot of really positive messages and thought-provoking moments throughout the book, which not only made it a really good read, but gave it a high educational value as well.
The book is very well written, with a lot f twists and turns along the way. The writer uses the creepy, mysterious setting of "The Impassable Wilderness", to give the book an eerie atmosphere, but is written in such a way that it is not too scary for younger readers. I think that it is fine for ages 10+, because there is quite a violent war towards the end of the book. The villains are definitely not for more faint hearted readers, but towards the end, when it becomes a battle of good versus evil, the good characters are shown to be much stronger.
The climax is good, but can be a slight let-down to the otherwise brilliantly imaginative story. The villains reach their climax as well, the worst of them being the ivy. When fed with human blood, the ivy wakes from its dormant state and destroys everything in its path. Younger or sensitive readers might find that a bit disturbing and scary, but it is soon over when peace is restored to wildwood.
Overall, it is very well written with wonderful characters and a great role model, with a good message about how far someone will go to protect their family. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys fantasy or adventure.