As a reminder, from now on, our monthly discussions will be both here on the OwlCrate blog AND on The Nest! Go check out Amber's discussion that will be full of fun extras!
On each day we'll read a section of After The Forest on the blog and in The Nest's discussion group. You can find a book club style discussion on The Nest app, and an insider's view to curation and my thoughts on our book here on the blog.
Just a reminder that this post will be a SPOILER FILLED recap for chapters 24-End of After The Forest, so make sure you read or are finished this section before continuing.
The spellbook helps Greta get away from Fizcko by using fighting dogs as a distraction.
Greta, too realizes that the book has masked her appearance, she now looks like a maid.
Using her gingerbread, she cons her way through the castle, asking people about the bear. Eventually she finds him by enchanting the dungeon guards, but even they cannot free him because only Fizcko has the key.
Greta goes to Fizcko's chambers where she helps draw water for his bath, knocking over oils to cover the scent of her from him.
Before Fizcko can make her do something degrading, she's asked to attend to the Baroness herself.
Greta has no intention of serving the Baroness so she turns and walks away. She's found by someone and forced to wait on the nobles and the Baroness.
Outside in the bailey is set up an extravagant feast where the Baroness can watch the bear be baited and attacked by the dogs.
Greta is trying not to be seen but Fizcko, whose keys she has stolen, and his men soon spot her. She runs down to the dungeon and finds Hans whom she frees after struggling with the spellbook/woman about using tattermagic.
Its then that they're found by Rob who holds her fox pelt. He tells her that they'll get the folks out but that she cannot return to the village because everyone does believe she's a witch.
Greta finds Mathias and goes to him. He is chained and she smears herself with honey so that he knows her.
Just when she thinks the bear has realized it's her, Fizcko grabs her and she's knocked out asleep.
When she awakes, she finds herself in the Baroness's chambers.
The Baroness reveals that she has been Mathias's stepmother and also Greta's, yes she's Leisa as well as Leisbeth and Elisabeth. She explains that she's been looking for witches for years in order to use them to bring her dead sister Rose back to life. She intends to sacrifice Greta for the same reason.
Greta also finds out that the book has been working against her and was Leisbeth's mother's grimoire, seeking to return to her.
Greta thinks and then uses the wood at her back. She calls on her greenwitch powers and the vines, flowers and wood all wrap around the room, ready to help her.
She first tosses the book into the fire, glad to be rid of it's evil and then sees Mathias, the great bear at the door. Fizcko has placed himself in his iron cage where he think he's safe…but Greta has the key. She opens it and Fizcko struggles at the end, but the bear gets his revenge.
Greta notices that Elisabeth has run and she goes to her. The stop together at an apple tree wound with nightshade.
Greta is shown a vision of a huntsman who murders Elisabeth in the woods. But instead of dying her heart drops back into her body, reviving her. While this happens, her sister Rosabell drops onto the hunter. He kills her as well.
When Elisabeth rises she kills the huntsman and carves out her sister's heart, hoping that it will return her. It does not, and Elisabeth has been looking for her sister ever since.
Greta is feeling empathetic but she can't suffer Elisabeth to live so she uses her greenwitch magic on the tree and encapsulates Elisabeth in it's trunk.
Mathias comes to Greta asking her what happened. She shows him the tree that's swallowed the witch, the drops of blood on the snow and one discarded shoe.
He's proud of her and they leave the Hornberg and come across Rob and Mira. Greta tells Rob that she will be following Mathias to Tyrol and they're sad but happy for her.
They stop briefly at the cottage where Greta fetches her gingerbread molds and a few belongings. Hans is sad to see her go but is happy she's with Mathias.
Mathias takes Greta to the Alpen where they see fires on mountains and walk leisurely among the marketplace, sampling wine and tasty treats.
It's about as happy ever after as you'd get.
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