Thursday, March 19, 2009

Thornspell, by Helen Lowe

A loving recreation of the Sleeping Beauty tale, Thornspell is not without it's flaws. It's beautiful and sweet and captures the romanticism of the original, and yet, it did not hold my attention until some way through the book. I found the plot thin, and every time the hero acted someone thwarted him or pulled him out of trouble, and then there would be explanations -- or as many people call them, "infodumps." Not that they were terrible, but I like things to become apparent as a story unravels -- characters shouldn't have to explain things so that the reader can catch on.

On the other hand...

Sigismund, the young prince is a delightfully earnest character, determined to do his best and make the right decisions, even as everybody in his life seems just as determined to keep him out of trouble. (And bore us with explanations.) Only when we get to the half-way mark do the antagonists in this story really begin to make their mark and there are swords and dragons and danger aplenty. Even better, it is Sigismund's connections to the people around him that make him realize what is important so that he can forge a path through good and evil, and fight his way through to the princess.

Review by Alicia Ponder

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