Monday, February 27, 2012

The Thorn and The Blossom, by Theodora Goss- Review

From Goodreads:
One enchanting romance. Two lovers keeping secrets.
When Evelyn Morgan walked into the village bookstore, she didn’t know she would meet the love of her life. When Brendan Thorne handed her a medieval romance, he didn’t know it would change the course of his future. It was almost as if they were the cursed lovers in the old book itself . . .


The Thorn and the Blossom is one of those books you can't help but share with others. The story is delightful, and the gimmick makes it unique and fun. The gimmick you ask? That's right, this is no average novel, The Thorn and the Blossom is a unique accordion fold novella with Evelyn's story on one side and Brendan's story on the other.

Way back when, on my 16th birthday, my dad presented me with a box set of the first three Griffin and Sabine books by Nick Bantock. At the time I had never read anything quite like them. Mysterious, intriguing, and a unique experience, Griffin and Sabine was full of beautiful art, hand written letters that you pulled out of envelopes and post cards. It was like finding a collection of stunning love letters in the attic, you never knew existed. They've remained one of my favourite series of books all of these years later. So when I caught a tweeted line from a review comparing The Thorn and Blossom to the Griffin and Sabine stories I knew I had to read it.

Sadly I didn't make note of who it was, but the reviewer was right, like Griffin and Sabine, The Thorn and the Blossom was and experience as much as it was a story. The careful way you read it, due to it's lack of a spine, the way it's contained in a cardboard slip cover, and the mysterious two sided love story, all of these things make it so much more than just a story about star crossed lovers. It's an absolutely enchanting reading experience.

I particularly liked how Goss used ancient Celtic folklore to intertwine the stories. The story of the Green Knight and Elowen adds the extra dimension of intensity and mystery to the story, taking it from love story to mythical tale of star crossed lovers. I also liked the openness of the ending, Goss suggests a possibility but doesn't actually wrap it out for the reader, which I appreciated.

All in all it was a delightful read I expect I'll be gifting to family and friends alike for the next year or two.

The Thorn and The Blossom, by Theodora Goss
Published by Quirk Books, January 17th 2012.
Buy The Thorn and Blossom on Amazon
My copy kindly provided by the publishers

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