Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Castle Behind Thorns (2014)

The Castle Behind Thorns. Merrie Haskell. 2014. HarperCollins. 336 pages. [Source: Library]

Sand woke, curled in the ashes of a great fireplace. Surprised to find himself waking at all, for he had no memory of falling asleep, Sand scrambled to his feet. Soot billowed from him in a cloud and sneaked up his nose. He sneezed four great sneezes that came back in lonely echoes from the vast room beyond the fireplace. Sand had never slept in a fireplace before. He never wanted to again. But he hesitated inside the fireplace, one foot suspended in midair, afraid to leave. In the room beyond, everything was broken. Every single thing.

I loved, loved, loved The Castle Behind Thorns. It is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty, I suppose. It puts a definite spin on it that is completely different from the original, but that is completely fascinating. Sand, the hero, wakes up in a fireplace in a castle that he's only heard stories about. The castle being abandoned quite suddenly when his own father was not yet grown. He finds himself very alone; he's the only living thing in the castle. (No growing plants, no bugs or insects, no birds, no mice, nothing). He keeps the panic to a minimum, in my opinion. Especially considering the situation! He's in an abandoned castle surrounded by hostile, vicious thorns. He explores. He plans. He mends. He learns and adapts. He's hungry and thirsty and tired. He finds a way to survive. In his exploring, he finds the family's crypt. He restores a body that had fallen, placing the young girl's body back gently and carefully.  Several days later, or some time later, readers meet the heroine Perrotte...

The Castle Behind Thorns is a beautiful story with memorable, well-developed characters. I enjoyed every minute of this one! The mystery is quite good! I would definitely recommend this one!

Read the Castle Behind Thorns
  • If you enjoy fairy tale retellings
  • If you enjoy good/great storytelling
  • If you like fantasy novels with a touch of magic
  • If you like mysteries 
  • If you like survival stories

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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