Thornspell By Helen Lowe– Loved it. It’s a twist on the Sleeping Beauty/Aurora story but from the boy’s point of view. He happened to be born at a time to make him come of age first as the spell grows to full term. It’s as simple as that. He is sent away to a remote “castle” after his mother mysteriously dies. There is a curse on the father’s side, numerous generations have been weeded out. The fairies we know of who cast the wicked spell and try to change it from death to sleep are far more dangerous, conniving, loyal and dedicated. Not to mention, apparently these fairy folk, which are not from this realm, are in the bloodline of two of the strongest families who rule two of the strongest kingdoms, which make them the perfect victims. And the ultimate reason the spell involves Aurora and Sigismund.
I couldn’t help thinking back to the Disney version of this story and seeing in this novel the explanations and twists and turns the led to what we see in Disney’s movie. But this book and its strong characters are so much more. There are no weak characters, no needy characters. All have faults and weaknesses, but strength is drawn or shared from allies. Even Aurora is strong enough of mind to break out within her enchanted sleep to help (Prince) Sigismund on his enlightening journey through truth, reality, magic, and power. The difference is she must do it without speaking, without being seen, or the gig is up and the evil one will know that she is more alive than dead. The puzzle to save her is so involved and yet any one of us could solve it if it took place in our own lives. Special abilities, tools, and powerful friends help, but it is the intellect, the ability to remember a story, a quote, and the importance in the drive to say “thank you” and “I’m sorry,” even far after the fact of the matter, that bring the enlightenment needed in trying times.
Excellent book. Excellent for boys, especially, and girls alike. This is not a novel where adults refuse to listen to “kids,” where experiences cannot be shared and discussed. The turmoil is not built on misinformation or lack of communication but in the how the politics of the land play out, in attempts at various methods to solve a jigsaw and understanding how the pieces fit. There are no victims in this book, except for the initial spell. I was very much impressed with the weaving of the tale and how seamlessly the plot points fit together across generations and around the world. I kept thinking, “ah, that make’s sense” just as the character did. I would read this again, it was that good. And, I did not foresee every twist and turn!