Thornhedge by T. Kingfisher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Thornhedge is my first book by T. Kingfisher, and my goodness, it’s a delight.
Thornhedge is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty that turns the classic tale on its head. The story focuses on Toadling, a young woman who is forced to confront her past as she learns to navigate a world incredibly foreign to her. With just 120 pages, it’s hard to truly explain what Thornhedge is about without spoiling the story. It’s magical. It’s outlandish. It’s strange. And yet, it’s utterly delightful.
I don’t recall requesting Thornhedge, although, I’m sure I requested it based on the cover (the ARC cover) alone having not read the description… and I’m kind of glad I went into this book blindly. I had no expectations, and that only made my reading experience all the more enjoyable. Toadling – yes, her name is ridiculously great – was stolen from her family at birth and was raised in the waters of faerieland. She’s a strange being that doesn’t seem to truly fit in anywhere outside of the muddy waters. She knows very little of the human world, or humans for that matter, but soon enough, she’s forced to return to a world she was stolen from – a world that doesn’t care for her. During her time within the human world, Toadling encounters a mysterious stranger named Hamlin who she soon builds an unconventional friendship with as he promises to help her explore the world.
While that may sound like a simple premise, there’s so much more to Toadling’s story. Readers that enjoy stories about changelings, the fae and fairy tales will easily devour Thornhedge. Despite its short length, Thornhedge manages to successfully tell a compelling story that feels complete by the end. Sure, there’s room to revisit this world – should Kingfisher decide to – but it doesn’t feel as though it’s ever rushed or incomplete.
Overall: Thornhedge is a delight. Don’t allow the short length to dissuade you. Give this unique and unusual tale a read, you won’t regret it.
Disclaimer: I received a physical ARC copy for review. This in no way influenced my review.