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Book Review | Thornwood by Leah Cypress

From the publisher: This middle-grade debut is Sleeping Beauty like you’ve never seen it before, about a girl who lives in the shadow of her older sister and the curse that has haunted her from birth.

For years, Briony has lived in the shadow of her beautiful older sister, Rosalin, and the curse that has haunted her from birth–that on the day of her sixteenth birthday she would prick her finger on a spindle and cause everyone in the castle to fall into a 100-year sleep. When the day the curse is set to fall over the kingdom finally arrives, nothing–not even Briony–can stop its evil magic.

You know the story.

But here’s something you don’t know. When Briony finally wakes up, it’s up to her to find out what’s really going on, and to save her family and friends from the murderous Thornwood. But who is going to listen to her? This is a story of sisterhood, of friendship, and of the ability of even little sisters to forge their own destiny. The first in a three-book series of fairy tale retellings, these are the stories of the siblings who never made it into the storybook.

This is a gorgeous, dark retelling of Sleeping Beauty, focusing on sisterhood and saving your own self and family, rather than waiting for someone to do it for you. Illusions abound and the encroaching thorns genuinely creeped me out. There are twists and turns and lost memories, and whoever said fairy godmothers had to be good? I definitely recommend this for fairy tale lovers who can handle darkness and danger, and I look forward to the author’s next book. 

Thornwood is available for checkout at the Galesburg Public Library.