Thornhedge by T. Kingfisher

Thornhedge by T. KingfisherThornhedge by T. Kingfisher
Published by Tor on August 15, 2023
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 128
Format: Hardcover
Also by this author: Nettle and Bone, What Moves the Dead, A House With Good Bones

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Thornhedge is a darkly delicious retelling of Sleeping Beauty. What if that iconic hedge of thorns was to keep the princess in? What if the fairy’s curse was actually a blessing for the rest of us?

About Thornhedge

Toadling is kidnapped away to the fairyrealm as soon as she’s born. Left with the swamp and bog fae known as greenteeth. The frightening creatures grow to love their Toadling and she’s content with her watery life of raw fish, kelpie rides, and darkness. 

Then she discovers she was kidnapped for a reason. And now it’s time to fulfill her destiny by bestowing an enchantment on the changeling who took her place. A changeling who could destroy the world. No pressure.

But Toadling stumbles over the magical words and the spell isn’t quite right. And Princess Fayette turns out not quite right either. A bad seed who starts terrorizing the palace staff, then torturing and killing animals. It’s up to Toadling with her small watery magic to try to contain Fayette.

My thoughts about Thornhedge

T. Kingfisher writes the best unexpected heroines – not obvious badasses or powerful mages or even beautiful creatures. But strong, independent women who do what needs to be done.

Toadling is a delight and I love her interactions with Halim, the knight whose curiosity has led him to look for the tower he’s heard stories about – the one with a sleeping princess. Her determination and steadfastness to do what’s right even when it costs shows her strength even when she feels powerless.

Touches of gentle humor keep this from utter darkness – it’s a well judged balance. For fans of dark fantasy and fairytale retellings.

In closing

If you haven’t read one of T. Kingfisher’s books, do yourself a favor and do it now. She writes fantasy and horror novellas and even if those aren’t your usual reading fare, I’m sure you’ll enjoy whichever book of hers you try.

Thank you Tor Books for the ARC of Thornhedge.

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About T. Kingfisher

T. Kingfisher is the vaguely absurd pen-name of Ursula Vernon. In another life, she writes children’s books and weird comics, and has won the Hugo, Sequoyah, and Ursa Major awards, as well as a half-dozen Junior Library Guild selections.

This is the name she uses when writing things for grown-ups.

When she is not writing, she is probably out in the garden, trying to make eye contact with butterflies.

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