Review of Thornhedge by T. Kingfisher @UrsulaV @torbooks

A few of days ago I reviewed the audiobook version of T. Kingfisher’s A House with Good Bones; my first T. Kingfisher. At the same time, I was reading a hard copy of her novella Thornhedge, a fantasy, due out in August, that is charming, soulful, and as great of a read as A House with Good Bones but in a completely different way. Read on.

Blurb: From USA Today bestselling author T. Kingfisher, Thornhedge is the tale of a kind-hearted, toad-shaped heroine, a gentle knight, and a mission gone completely sideways.

*A very special hardcover edition, featuring foil stamp on the casing and custom endpapers illustrated by the author.*

There’s a princess trapped in a tower. This isn’t her story.

Meet Toadling. On the day of her birth, she was stolen from her family by the fairies, but she grew up safe and loved in the warm waters of faerieland. Once an adult though, the fae ask a favor of Toadling: return to the human world and offer a blessing of protection to a newborn child. Simple, right?

But nothing with fairies is ever simple.

Centuries later, a knight approaches a towering wall of brambles, where the thorns are as thick as your arm and as sharp as swords. He’s heard there’s a curse here that needs breaking, but it’s a curse Toadling will do anything to uphold…

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I don’t read fantasy. I mention this quite frequently. And, yet, evidently, I sometimes do. Take Thornhedge. I read the blurb in the Shelf Awareness newsletter and knew that I had to read about Toadling. What an exquisite sounding character! Guess what? She is!

Toadling was stolen by the fairies and replaced with a changeling. In fairy land, she grows up and is loved but then she is asked to return to the human world to cast a spell, understanding only later that while many years have passed in fairy land, only five days have passed in the human world and the spell she must cast is on the changeling. Things go awry, or sideways, and Toadling must spend her days protecting a tower while the world passes by. Then one day a kind knight named Halim who has read many stories about the tower and kingdom comes, hoping that he can rescue someone.

Thornhedge is both charming and engaging, a story that I couldn’t put down. I loved the characters of Toadling and Halim, such seemingly average people never appear in fairy tales or princess stories, and I loved them the more for it. While some rather gory things happen, I never lost the feeling that at its heart this was a gentle story of gentle people.

Despite it being a novella, a great deal happens as Toadling recounts her story to Halim and the reader feels Toadling’s isolation and sadness, which gives way, possibly, to hope.

I loved it.

Many thanks to Tor for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

2 thoughts on “Review of Thornhedge by T. Kingfisher @UrsulaV @torbooks

  1. I quite like novellas, they are very succinct, meaning the waffle is kept to a minimum

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