Walking the TreeBotanica is an island, but almost all of the island is taken up by the Tree.

Little knowing how they came to be here, small communities live around the coast line. The Tree provides them shelter, kindling, medicine – and a place of legends, for there are ghosts within the trees who snatch children and the dying.

Lillah has come of age and is now ready to leave her community and walk the tree for five years, learning all Botanica has to teach her. Before setting off, Lillah is asked by the dying mother of a young boy to take him with her. In a country where a plague killed half the population, Morace will otherwise be killed in case he has the same disease. But can Lillah keep the boy’s secret, or will she have to resort to breaking the oldest taboo on Botanica?

Kaaron Warren’s first novel, Slights, had very good reviews, but I don’t like horror, so I was happy to hear that her second book, Walking the Tree, was fantasy.

The island Botanica, almost entirely taken up by the Tree, is a fascinating place, filled with many different small communities.  Each community has adapted slightly differently to their place on the island, and I enjoyed seeing Lillah experience each new Order, and slowly picking up clues about the true nature of the Tree and the ghosts.

Unfortunately, I didn’t feel emotionally connected to Lillah or Morace.  I only finished Walking The Tree because I wanted to know about the Tree and the ghosts; I didn’t really care about Lillah’s journey to find her place on the island, or whether Morace’s secret would come out and he would be killed.

Regretfully, I have to say that I found Walking The Tree to be intellectually interesting but emotionally unsatisfying.