Title: The Thorn Queen
Author: Elise Holland
Blurb Welcome to Glendoch!
Hidden to most, this glacial world once crackled with alchemy. Now it waits for war―divided and bound by strict rules. So when twelve-year-old Meylyne falls from a tree onto Glendoch’s sickly prince, she must flee or face imprisonment in the Shadow-Cellars. The only way she may return home is with a cure for the prince’s peculiar disease.
Convinced she will perish, Meylyne and her companions embark on their journey―and before they know it, they are knee-deep in a plot to sink Glendoch into shadow, like other worlds before it. Poisoned guardians, cursed wizards, and cunning witch-spirits bound into wands are just some of the dangers that dot the way of their travels.
And behind it all is the Thorn Queen. Mysteriously magnetic (or murderously vengeful, depending on whose side you’re on), she is always one step ahead of them . . .
What I Liked
The world is very cool, with layers of secrets and all kinds of magical creatures around. Meylyne is a kid with a parent of questionable morals and actions, and she's making do the best way she can. I'm surprised that this seems to be a standalone for now because there are a lot of things that could be expanded into a sequel. As an adult reader, the writing was sort of simplistic in places, but it's not a book for adults. It's for kids! And I think the writing level is appropriate for a middle grade audience.
What I Would Have Liked To See
More development of the magic (I'm just a tiny bit obsessed with magic). I felt like there was so much that could have been explored, but there wasn't time for it!
Blue! (Even though the name Blue for characters is kind of getting crazy now, there are too many Blues, authors, stop it.) He was funny and kind of cheeky and I was glad he didn't turn into any kind of love interest.
Magic kid with troubled home life tries to save the world from ghosts and lava snakes. A fun adventure for readers in the 8-12 age range!
I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley for my honest review. All thoughts are my own!