In the Heart of the Linden Wood

Released: February 7, 2023 by Atmosphere Press


How do you overcome a broken heart?

For generations, the magic trees have supported the kingdom of Linden. The wood is prized in kingdoms everywhere for its special properties. It’s one of the few good things King Christopher inherited from his late father, the evil King Vincent.

Vincent also gifted Christopher a lack of confidence. The only person who believes in Christopher is Queen Lily. When he loses her and their only child, Christopher’s grief threatens to undo him. The love of his life has returned to the fates, and now all he wants to do is spend his days mourning her.

Then word comes that the trees are dying, and no one knows why.

Despite the urge to hide in the castle forever, Christopher meets the mysterious Keeper of the Wood to find out what’s killing the trees. The answer demands he go on a quest with old friends and new allies. Along the way, they’ll try to save hostages and mend another broken heart by putting it back together piece by piece.

Through it all, Christopher will fight to conquer his doubt and prove to his people, the memory of Lily, and himself that he deserves the crown.

Purchasing links:

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Reviews, press, etc.

Kirkus says the book is “An often moving fantasy novel about emotional pain and a quest for personal and natural healing.”

Reedsy Discovery says “the poignant lesson and morals contained within the book, along with the heartfelt, relevant plights of the different characters combined to form a wholesome, exciting and worthwhile read.”

German reviewer Melli says the book “shows you what true love and an incredible deep and painful loss can make out of a man. One of my first very loved highlights this year. Really amazing.”

Feathered Quill says, “Whoever says that fairy tales are just for children must read In the Heart of the Linden Wood. It will easily remind all adults of why it is so important to just “be a kid again” as it transports you to another time and place where you will simply fall in love with the author and the characters.”

D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review says, “Ekta R. Garg’s story may seem like just another classic fantasy, but under the veneer of kings, struggles, and magic lays an attention to emotional details that make In the Heart of the Linden Wood as much a psychological draw as an adventure story.”

Cristina Prescott for The Book Commentary says, “This is a spectacular novel that will hold the attention of readers from the beginning to the very last page, thanks to the impeccable world-building and a hero who must first conquer his fears in order to lead his people. Ekta R. Garg hits most of the right notes for an epic fantasy tale, infusing the writing with realism while creating a world in which danger and magic operate interchangeably.”

Alexandria Ducksworth at Independent Book Review says, “Ekta Garg’s book is a fantasy with deep, people-oriented themes. It stands out for its beautiful and vulnerable display of human nature. I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a story like this one in the fantasy genre.”

Jennifer Allen for Saathee magazine says on page 44 of the April 2023 issue: “[Ekta’s] particular style of prose leans itself to exploring a character’s personal thoughts and draws you in to understand more of who they are.”

Also, read my author interview on Feathered Quill here!

Check out my author interview on Feed My Reads!

Here’s an interview I did with The Daily Gamecock, the student newspaper at my undergrad alum!

In April 2023, I did a virtual author event with two other Atmosphere authors. Check out the event, hear us read from our work, and learn more about how In the Heart of the Linden Wood came to be!

See In the Heart of the Linden Wood on a special list by Hasty Book List for Asian American and Pacific Islander Month in May 2023!

Michaela Gordoni for Reader Views says, “Ekta R. Garg has taken her time to produce a work worthy of being in every library. …it is exactly what you want in a fairy tale.”