Reborn by Stephanie Ellis
What's it about?
Return to the Weald, the world Stephanie Ellis introduced us to in The Five Turns of the Wheel.
Reborn is the story of Cernunnos, the Father of all, who has risen. Born of the blood offerings, he travels to the Layerings - one of those places, like Umbra, which sit just beyond the human veil.
Reborn is the story of Tommy, Betty and Fiddler, the infamous troupe whose bloody rituals were halted by Megan, Tommy's Daughter. Rendered weak by Megan's refusal to allow them to hunt in the human world of the Weald, they seek their rebirth and forgiveness from the Mother and Cernunnos.
Reborn is the story of Megan, who follows Cernunnos and Hweol's sons on a pilgrimage of hope - one that would see her husband restored to her and the dark presence of Hweol removed.
Ultimately, though, Reborn is the story of Betty, the most monstrous of the three brothers. He is Nature, red in tooth and claw. He is what the Mother made him. And who are we to judge?
With Reborn, Eliis delivers another powerful tale of folk horror that will captivate the reader from the first page until it's final bloody climax.
Stephanie Ellis is the Queen of British Folk Horror, over the years I've read lots of her short fiction and its always left me terrified, especially her novella Bottled which I loved!
Reborn id the sequel to The Five turns of the Wheel, which I thoroughly enjoyed! It was like nothing I had ever read before. A novel where Steph Ellis takes the quaint and idyllic nature of rural life and infuses it with gripping toe curdling horror so visceral it will give you nightmares.
Reborn follows Megan's story after she attempts to take down the Lord of Umbra, she's paid a big price and her life is in ruins, but she is stronger than she looks and still full of hope.
Although this is a sequel I think it works really well as a standalone novel but you'll be missing out if you don't read The Five Turns of the Wheel! Stephanie Ellis has a really unique voice in the folk horror scene, her world building is simply magical yet horrific at the same time. There's a big sense of realism in her tales that will have you believe that this is really happening somewhere in some rural isolated community forgotten by the wider world.
This is a must read for all fans of folk horror!