Friday, December 29, 2023

Book Review - Thornhedge by T. Kingfisher


Thornhedge by T. Kingfisher is a retelling of a fairytale about a princess, Princess Fayette, who is trapped in a tower and the creature that protects it. 

When Toadling was born to her human family, she was stolen by fairies and switched with a Changeling.  She is taken to the swamp where she spends most of her childhood. Toadling is transformed from a human girl into a toad shaped being that can transform into an actual toad. She is surrounded and loved by the faeries at the swamp. They teach her how to use magic and coddle her. They are the only family she has ever known.

Toadling enjoys her time there and when she reaches adulthood, one of the fae asks her for a favor. Toadling is to return to the human world and offer a blessing of protection to a newborn baby. She is given her mission and is offered training to help her succeed with her quest. However, as much as Toadling is prepared, nothing is as easy as imagined and something always goes wrong. Toadling fumbles the blessing and the faerie child’s power grows uncontrollably along with unleashing her evil side. As a last resort, Toadling placed the child under a curse that put her asleep to prevent her from using her evil powers.

Centuries have passed since Toadling was asked to pass her blessing to the child. A knight has stopped by a wall that is surrounded by brambles and thorns. He has heard that there is a curse and rumors of a hidden treasure beyond the thorn covered wall. Toadling is serving as the guardian of the wall and will stop at nothing to make sure that the curse isn’t broken.

I was excited to read the novella and was able to finish it in a day. I heard many good things about the author and was excited to read the book. However, I was a bit disappointed with the story. I found the novella hard to get into and the writing clunky and hard to follow. I found myself re-reading the same sentence a few times to try to understand what was going on.

There are a lot of things that I found confusing. For example, the timeframe and world the story takes place in. It wasn’t very clear to me when or where the story takes place. The family of the Princess was called a King and Queen but when they were describing the property they loved in, it seems like they were more like a lower level lord and lady.  The book was an okay read but I would be open to reading other books by the author.

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