26th December, 2018
Review: The Twisted Tree by Rachel Burge
The Twisted Tree is a story that reminded me of the books of Lisa Tuttle and Michele Paver as it has the folkloric magic of the first and the atmospheric snowy and disquieting landscapes of the latter.
17-year-old Martha runs away from home to see her grandmother on a remote Norwegian island. She hopes that the old lady has some answers for her as Martha has acquired a strange skill after an accident that left her face disfigured: She can tell people’s emotions through touching their clothes. When she gets to her grandmother’s hut, however, all she finds is a strange enigmatic boy. From there, the story becomes increasingly weird and includes norns, ravens, monstrous creatures and more.
This book had me hooked from page one and I finished it within a few hours over Christmas. Burge is a skilled storyteller and knows how to weave a tale that abounds with myth, folklore, horror and the tender beginnings of love in one single narrative. Her descriptions of landscape made me feel like I was right there on that wintry island where days are short and the nights seem to last forever. The book has just the right amount of creepiness to make you feel uneasy and keep you on the edge of your seat. I also liked that we have a very limited cast of characters which was refreshing with all those epic stories out there that take you at least half the book to get all the people straight. If I had to find anything at all to criticise it would possibly be the final battle which seemed a tad formulaic, but this will not take anything away from your reading joy.
The Twisted Tree is a clever twist (pun intended) of the old Norse myths and a wonderful read for anyone looking for some magic and a bit of suspenseful horror. I'm wondering if there will be a sequel as there were a few loose ends that I would definitely like to see tied up in another book.
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
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