Saturday, January 21, 2012

Book Review Saturday: The Thorn and The Blossom

I come to you all today with great news! Quirk Books had two exciting releases this past week, Taft 2012 and The Thorn and the Blossom. Later today, Lauryn and I will dual-review Taft, but for now I'd like to talk about The Thorn and the Blossom, which I may have mentioned is printed in a unique way.

According to an interview with the author, Theodora Goss, the concept for the accordion-style printing was decided on before the actual story. "The format came first, and then the story. I told my editor that a story in an accordion format could either be a mystery or a love story. We both agreed that I should write a love story--that was what felt right to me at the time." And what a love story it is.

I read this book in two sittings, neither of which took longer than an hour. I couldn't put the book down once I had started; I had to see it through from both points of view. The story follows two young lovers, Brendon and Evelyn, as their lives intersect, diverge and then come back to each other over the course of several decades. Their story, however, may be even older than either of them know, as it draws parallels to a legend from King Arthur's court in which two lovers are cursed to live intersecting lives for a thousand years before finally coming together again.

Goss defied my expectations from the very beginning by telling the story from two truly unique perspectives, making both versions of the story highly enjoyable regardless of where you start reading. Without giving anything away the endings of each story were truly unexpected, and avoided any stereotypes that spring to mind INCLUDING the happily ever after. While there are loose connections made to the characters of The Book of the Green Knight, the legend that brings Evelyn and Brendon together, nothing is ever so explicit as to be known for a fact, and each struggles with their own obstacles as they move through the book.

Possibly my favorite part of the book is the fact that it's written in a very modern world where magic is waiting just under the surface, ready to boil over at any moment. yes, it takes place in the 21st century, but it was written in a style akin to Epic poetry, exactly the kind of tale that would fit in an anthology of fairy tales. It was the kind of book that warmed my heart and made me want to come back to it again and again. Not only was the story enthralling, but the world was beautiful and the characters so intricately crafted that I'm only just getting to know them. In a market quickly becoming over-saturated with supernatural love stores, The Thorn and The Blossom is a pleasant surprise.

You can pick up The Thorn and the Blossom at a bookstore near you!

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