New Fantasy novel: Laurie Forest’s The Iron Flower

Vermont fantasy author Laurie Forest has a new book out: The Iron Flower, the second in her series, Black Witch Chronicles.

The first novel, The Black Witch, hit bookstores last year, about Elloren, a young woman believed to be the heir to Carnissa Gardner, legendary mage — The Black Witch —prophesied to save the world.

But Elloren begins to realize that her world, society and dreams — including study at the prestigious Verpax University, are … problematic. The book generated some controversy on Goodreads, after reviewers took issue with Forest’s approach to race and bigotry, saying that it was “racist, ableist and homophobic.”

This new installment continues Elloren’s journey, as they’re brought into a resistance movement. Here’s the full description:

Elloren Gardner and her friends were only seeking to right a few wrongs when they rescued a Selkie and freed a military dragon. The last thing they expected was to be thrust into a realm-wide underground resistance against Gardnerian conquest.

While the Resistance struggles to fight back against the harsh rulings of the Mage Council, more and more Gardnerian soldiers descend upon the University…led by none other than Lukas Grey, now commander of the nearby military base. Though Elloren tries to keep him at arm’s length, Lukas is determined to tie himself to her, still convinced that she is the heir to the power of the Black Witch, a legacy of magic that will decide the future of all Erthia. As his own magic calls out to her, seeking to awaken a dark force within, Elloren finds it more and more difficult to believe that she’s truly powerless, as her uncle always claimed.

Caught between her growing feelings for the rebellious Yvan Guriel and the seductive power offered by Lukas, Elloren must find a way to stay true to what she knows is right and protect everyone she loves…even if that means protecting them from herself.

She just did a pair of events in Vermont, and will be embarking on a tour that sees stops in Chicago, Salt Lake, San Diego, San Francisco, Denver, and New York City in the coming weeks.