Thornhedge by T. Kingfisher: Lovely Re-imagined Fairy Tale

There’s a princess trapped in a tower. This isn’t her story.

Meet Toadling. On the day of her birth, she was stolen from her family by the fairies, but she grew up safe and loved in the warm waters of faerieland. Once an adult though, the fae ask a favor of Toadling: return to the human world and offer a blessing of protection to a newborn child. Simple, right?

But nothing with fairies is ever simple.

Centuries later, a knight approaches a towering wall of brambles, where the thorns are as thick as your arm and as sharp as swords. He’s heard there’s a curse here that needs breaking, but it’s a curse Toadling will do anything to uphold…

Thornhedge by T. Kingfisher is a lovely re-imagined fairy tale that will make the reader contemplate the roles of the villain and heroes in their favorite stories. As soon as I met Toadling in this evocative tale by T. Kingfisher, I fell in love with her. She is caring and determined, a complex character that isn’t the fairy princess you expect. Neither is the knight. And that complexity and unexpectedness is exactly what makes this story so perfect. Nothing is as you expect it.

The story is a beautiful and layered re imagining of the Sleeping Beauty tale with a story that starts out in the present of Toadling but delves into the past to present us with the truth of the tale. The concept of going backward in time works well in a fairy tale as fairies are not wont to follow rules and neither does the author. I love the weaving of the story backwards and forwards in time. It adds to the complexity but also the depth of this lovely re-imagined fairy tale. 

If you love fairy tales, I highly recommend Thornhedge by T. Kingfisher. It spins the fairy tale on its head, changes up who the villain and heroes are, and gives readers complex and real characters. The knight isn’t very knightly but he is brave and the fairy princess may not be beautiful but is magical. I loved both the beauty and the darkness of this tale. It is one of the best re-imagined fairy tales I’ve read. 

Rating: 5 out of 5 toads.

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