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The Way of the River:
Kellandale Wood (Book One)

Middle Grade Fantasy Adventure
368 Pages, Paperback
by Shan L. Spyker

What begins as a sneak into a forbidden haunted forest turns out to be a bit more life-changing than Tillie, young, daring, and precocious, could ever expect. After convincing her much more anxious older sister, Elinora, to go searching for a mysterious parcel they had witnessed being dropped into the river on their property, they discover a young wolfhound with an extraordinary ability deep in the forest, and in need of help. Their quest to reunite him with his canine family pits them against a treacherous and unscrupulous man, requiring a balance between bravery, temperance, and learning how to communicate effectively in order achieve what seems to be the impossible. Along the way, their journey unlocks the secrets of Kellandale Wood, revealing what links their family to the forest, and the forest to the wolfhound’s own traumatic past. It is a tale of family and friendship that explores and cherishes our interconnection with nature, with one another, and with all living beings. {read full description}

What Reviewers Have to Say

“Two curious young adventurers find themselves in the strange heart of a magical forest, and at the center of their own family secrets, in The Way of the River by Shan L. Spyker, the first book in the Kellandale Wood series. Despite a high-fantasy atmosphere reminiscent of Narnia and other incredible YA realms, this story remains a uniquely plotted tale, as well as deeply symbolic. The concept of nature being a source of untold power and strength, coupled with a healthy nod towards paganism and older belief systems, makes this novel impactful for a broad range of readers. The prose is accessible, the protagonist dynamics are touching, particularly between the girls and Henry, and the more whimsical aspects of this novel keep it balanced and compulsively readable from the first page.” Self-Publishing Review, ★★★★½

“So much adventure, magic, danger, and suspense. There are also several moments in the book when you see what simply being kind can accomplish. Big focus on animal rights, family, friendship, kindness, and the environment and nature as a whole. The ending was epic! Highly recommend!” — 5-star Review from Belle’s Middle Grade Library (Instagram/Goodreads Review)