THORNSPELL by Helen Lowe

THORNSPELL

Age Range: 9 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A quiet hero anchors this nicely crafted blend of fairy tale and dreamscape. Prince Sigismund lives in the West Castle; the King placed him there for safety before riding off to quell rebellions. Bordering the castle is a thick wood that a 100-year-old interdiction prohibits entering. One day a strange woman approaches the castle gate and offers Sigismund a gleaming ring. His head buzzes, he falls down in a fever and dreams plague him. The ring-bearing Margravine had placed a death spell on a princess in the wood; the Faie who tweaked the spell’s result into a 100-year sleep hides in Sigismund’s lilac garden. An enigmatic, amber-eyed man named Balisan trains Sigismund for years in meditation, swordsmanship and walking consciously in dreams. A scrubby girl bound in thorns repeatedly helps Sigismund escape the Margravine as he finds his path among faie, human and dream realms to the princess he must awaken. A narrative that begins as an exploration of fairy-tale archetypes thus moves into a very human and nevertheless magical drama. Thoughtful and understated. (Fantasy. 9-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 9th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-375-85581-8
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2008




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