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THE TWISTROSE KEY by Tone Almhjell Kirkus Star


by Tone Almhjell ; illustrated by Ian Schoenherr

Age Range: 9 - 13

Pub Date: Oct. 22nd, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-8037-3895-9
Publisher: Dial

Skillfully blending facets of classic high fantasy, this debut novel will captivate readers with its rich plot and detailed worldbuilding.

Sylveros is populated by the formerly beloved pets of Earth children. After an animal’s death on Earth, it passes over to a life of apparent harmony in the winter beauty of the Sylver Valley. While a winter setting inevitably invites Narnia comparisons, this layered plot holds its own. The peace in Sylver has been disturbed, and chief chronicler Teodor does not know why. Nightmares are threatening the protected border. In times like these, a Twistrose—a human child—is called from Earth to give aid. Lin Rosenquist, mourning her tamed pet vole, Rufus, who died some five weeks earlier, finds herself magically transported to Sylver and is met by Rufus himself, now as big as she is. Teodor tells Lin she is the Twistrose and charges her with finding Isvan Winterfyrst, a “glacial-kin” child who has mysteriously disappeared and whose presence is imperative to continue the magic that keeps Sylver safe. Lin’s only clue is an ancient, nonsensical ballad. Deeply drawn characters with heart combine with meticulous details to convincingly bring readers into the fantasy world, while a revelatory ending makes this a satisfying read that may be enjoyed even more the second time around. 

Fantasy that evokes the classics of yore and stands proudly among them. (Fantasy. 9-13)