The world Beyond the Walls is the third book in the Natural Forces series by Jean Gill. It’s an original and creative YA fantasy adventure story. Included in this novel are elements of magic, action, drama and good vs evil. While this genre isn’t one i normally read, I did enjoy it. Gill weaves around the reader a spectacular tale that draws you in while
The World Beyond the Walls is the third book in Jean Gill’s Natural Forces series. The series juxtaposes the sterile and highly regulated Citadel with the wild and free Forest beyond – an enticing and thought-provoking fantasy setting.
It was great to catch up with familiar characters and meet some new ones as well – I particularly like Jeanette whose curiosity and determination get her into trouble and who knows the value of stories.
I really like how this series focuses on bees in the fantasy narrative. It’s very current, with concerns about bee populations dwindling, and also lends itself to an interesting perspective on society and loyalties.
This is the third book in the series, and I would definitely recommend starting at the beginning to enjoy the story in order. Gill does recap some important events of the earlier books so it makes sense on its own but the books are all so good you’ll want to read them all!
For me, this is a five-star read. I would recommend it to confident teen and young adult readers who enjoy fantasy and nature, particularly those involved in activism.
Mielitta Queen Of The Warrior Bees and Mage-Smith Kermon are back living in the Forest and the Citadel respectively, Kermon is trying to teach the children magecraft while also keeping his dual role as a spy between the two parties, as he is carrying out his plans for the transition test where the children go into the world beyond the walls, the children he is testing are also trying to push the boundaries set by their genders, but they don’t fully know why those boundaries are there, in fact, only two people know that at all and Mage-Smith Kermon is one of them.
When Mage Smith Kermon is disturbed in his forge with news that one of his students has gone into the world beyond the walls and not returned, he is frustrated and annoyed, but he is also worried because of the evil which lies within them, he sends the young student away and has to attend a Council meeting to request permission to do this, however as they took the time to listen to all the opposing viewpoints and make a decision which appeals to all, he finds out afterwards that the other student has gone ahead alone, so now he has to go after both of the students with another mage at his side to be his anchor.
Mage-Smith Kermon gathers the children who have spoken to the two missing students to find out any information about what they had gone into the wall to decide, based on the little he is able to gather, he has a starting point for when he takes his turn to enter the mysterious world, he takes the time to gather provisions and goes to the water gate to connect with Mielitta to inform her of the situation and what he is about to do, including that the student was possibly following the story of Mielitta, however, he speaks to someone unknown instead and they say that they will pass on the message to her, when the connection is cut off, Mage-Smith Kermon is surprised to find where he had thrown some boots containing seeds into the mud at the base of the gate, now there are plants forcing their way through to the Forest, with this new knowledge, he sets off to find his students. Meanwhile, Mielitta and her two friends are being woken up after a long winter hibernation, but the news they receive on awakening is not what they had hoped and it means they need to return to aid another of their friends and the bees who rely on them, in this Mielitta shifts from bee to human and back to help the bees and the humans to communicate while the others help her, while the one with the nature of a bear replenishes his reserves in the way he needs to, but while he is resting in the cave, he has a vision which leads to a way to get back into the Citadel to help Mage-Smith Kermon.
When they follow the vision, two of them can enter the walls, however, Mielitta is not able to, so she decides to find another way in which she can help, but is distracted by her heart and the hurt the walls just caused her, she is prompted by her bees to think of and return to the homestead, however, her steps lead her to the water gate instead and she goes in to help the others in bee form, but she has no idea of the danger leaving the Citadel and heading in the opposite direction to her.
Will the four friends be able to solve the mystery of Mielitta’s history, find and protect the missing students from the evil within the walls and come out of the other end unscathed, or will the duplicity within the Citadel lead to their demise? This is a thrilling final installment to the series and you will not be able to put the book down until it is finished and you know how it ends.
Reviewed by @roxsannel
I’ve read the other two books and was in love, this one was fantastic. I can’t say enough about Melitta’s story. You really do need to read these in order, so if you haven’t go start book 1! This one focuses a lot on the walls and everyone around her, which rounds out the stories very well. I love each character, even the bad ones. They play a great role and are important for each little situation that helps the greater plot. Some of my favorite characters is Verity, and I can’t get into details but she’s boss lol. Please read these in order, if you don’t, you won’t understand everything you need to. It’s fantastic and elegantly written.
Mielitta is now the Queen of the Warrior bees after the battle for the Forest and she and her bees are settling to their new life with two of her friends as the other settles back into life in the Citadel, meanwhile the Council are reporting what happened to the rest of those living within it, while also spinning it in the light of their victory and the fact that those they paint as traitors are still alive, as well as the noble sacrifice of their Chief Mage, what they don’t say is how he died Mage-Smith Kermon is adjusting to life back within the Citadel and he is missing it and his friends greatly, but he spends his first few days back creating the system he needs to connect with them again and while he is completing this task, he learns about the old transition test from childhood to adulthood as he does this.
When Mage-Smith Kermon successfully contacts Mielitta, he is feeling a barrage of emotions and finds it hard to concentrate on the words being said, even though there isn’t much to report this first time, so when a messenger announces that his presence has been requested at a meeting, they cut off the call and he agrees to contact them again when he has more news. Life in the forest continues as they learn the ways of the Forest and its inhabitants, they decide what tasks they need to complete first with guidance from the bees and go out to forage and hunt before finding somewhere they will feel safe as a home base, that is until Mielitta is summoned by her bees to help the hive, but when she arrives, she realises that it is her that needs the helps and so she experiences life as a worker bee to help her to recover from the battle. As the Council meet to replenish their numbers and choose those to replace the ones they lost, they have to adhere to the blood made in the Forest with Mielitta, even though they don’t necessarily agree with it, so they elect people who they feel will fit with the demands, yet still bend to their will, as well as how to commemorate the Chief Mage’s father with an award for going into the walls and helping Perfection to continue with what they find. After that has all been decided, the Chief Mage announces that Mage-Smith Kermon will devise the new transition test and that to do this, he will be going into the walls and at the same time, be the first recipient of the newly created award.
As their lives continue and they all adjust to their new roles, Mage-Smith Kermon enters the wall, but as well as finding the information needed for the new test, he also discovers the more malevolent side to them and when he returns to complete his reports, both for the Council and for Mielitta, something has changed, even though he cannot put his finger on what it is. Will Mage-Smith Kermon be able to continue his double life and still keep his sanity and loyalty intact, or will the web of lies, subterfuge and this mysterious malevolence destroy everything that he, Mielitta and the rest of their group have worked for? This is another journey of secrets, discovery and balance, which propels you along as the revelations come in thick and fast.
This is the 3rd book in the Natural Forces series and wow what a book. It grips you and drives you right into the action from the first page so you really need to read them in order to understand the story.
The main character is Mielitta the Queen of the warrior bees. With her future in the forest protecting her bees she seems content until things start to change.
Her man inside the Citadel Kermon is at risk for being exposed as the traitor he is. When two of his students go through the wall and get lost he has to find them but things aren’t that straight forward. With evil forces working within the walls could this be a mission no one can win.
Also when Mielitta’s husband and friend also disappear through the wall she ends up on her own quest to save them returning the the Citadel.
Can everyone make it out of this story alive? Will we now learn the full story of Mielitta’s birth? And can Mielitta save her friends, her bees and teach the people of Citadel that perfection isn’t the only way of living?
This is the third book in this series. The story holds true to the other two. I would recommend reading them to follow along more easily in here. The characters are lively and there seems to be a lot of movement between the Citadel and the Forest.
I did struggle with this one a bit. There is a lot of looking into the scenes and not a lot of dialogue. That is the type of story I am not a huge fan of. I enjoyed the discussions the characters had as the story unfolded. I got their meanings and felt their feelings. Panic, fear, loyalty and friendship.
Overall while the story is good it’s not my favorite of the series.
Mielitta is an eighteen year old girl, she is a servant in the Citadel of Perfection and she is despised by everyone around her and as hard as she tries to be invisible, there are ones who torment her relentlessly, but there are also those who ignore her as if she was never friends with them in the first place, this has led her to a life of loneliness and the only solace she finds is in the archery classes she runs with the children and the skill she has built up in it over the years. She also enjoys reading in the library when she has done her servants work, she is able to absorb the information like a sponge and this has led to a fascination with the Forest outside the Citadel, but whenever she tries to ask about it, she is tongue tied, she also suspects that the Maturity Test which she is not ready to take stops the adults from talking about it as well. Life in the Citadel is bland for Mielitta, just like the food and water they consume, the greylight which changes depending on the time of day and the building materials used to build her home.
When she wakes up on her eighteenth birthday, she receives a mysterious gift with a small phial of liquid and a riddle contained inside, the riddle makes no sense to her, but the liquid is full of scents and she is enthralled by them, but she is shocked to find that when she wears it, nobody around her can smell it. When she is given the task of taking refreshments to the Council Chamber, she discovers that something has happened in the outer defences and that the Forest beyond is gaining strength and preparing to attack Perfection, but when the conversation turns to the Forest and it’s dangers, Mielitta is wondering if the loss she has felt all her life is Nature, then something happens which shocks her to the core and she gains knowledge of how to access it, but as they declare that her mind has to be wiped of this knowledge, she quickly has to store it away somewhere they cannot get to it, but she can.
The next day she accidentally spills the last of the liquid on herself and the scent is overpowering, bus she soon gets lost in her daily activities and it becomes part of the background and while she is doing this, she uses the time to make a decision about her future and when she goes to visit her father and talk to him about it, her hopes of making it happen are dashed when someone takes the place she wanted, she rushes out to escape the sadness this causes her and instead heads to where she stored the memories, not believing that she would really find them, but when she does and it all comes rushing back to her, she is disturbed by her tormentors. They taunt Mielitta and when she dares to fight back, they proceed to chase her, she heads towards the gate where the memories guide her, she says the words and escapes into the Forest. When she gets out there, she feels, sees and experiences things for the first time and is drawn in deeper as she examines everything she sees, when she comes across a beehive and opens it, she is attacked by the bees within it.
When she wakes up after the ordeal, she sees all the dead bees around her, but when they disappear into an ultraviolet light, she discovers that she can also feel them within herself, however, she just ignores the buzzing and changes to her sight and other senses and returns to the citadel so that she isn’t missed. The next day when she discovers that there is an outline of a bee on her thigh, she also realises that she can hear the bees, she decides that this was her Maturity Test and she devises a plan to take the opportunity to become a woman on the outside to match the woman within her, it is after she has done this that she discovers a plot within the Citadel and the dangers associated with it while she is in the library, she also discovers the ability she has to be called to aid the bees in the hive she now belongs to.
Will Mielitta be able to use her new status and the bees help to foil the plot against the Forest, or will those who want to hurt her and the Forest succeed and wipe out everything outside of the Citadel and keep it in the Perfect state they want? This is a brilliant journey of personal discovery, danger and the wonders of nature which keeps you enthralled as plots are discovered and decisions are made which affect more than just Mielitta.
Reviewed by @roxsannel
This epic conclusion to the series was everything I was hoping it would be. Such a fantastic adventure, it stands well on its own but truthfully is that much richer having read the whole series. Gill has done a beautiful job creating this world and these characters. Loved every page.
The World Beyond the Walls: epic dystopian eco-fantasy (Natural Forces Book 3)
By Jean Gill
This book had me hooked from the beginning. This is my favorite one in this series. If you haven’t read the first two it is my suggestion that you go back and read them. This story is full of action, danger, magic, wonderful characters and more. The author weaves such a detailed rich story that you feel like your right there in it. I had a hard time putting this book down. I found this book to be refreshingly original. I will definitely be reading more books by this author. I recommend this book and series as a whole.
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