Monday, June 29, 2015

The Castle Behind Thorns

by Merrie Haskell

Story summary: Sand wakes up in the nearby castle, in which every single item has been torn asunder, with no memory of how he got there. Stuck behind the wall of living thorns surrounding the castle, he builds a blacksmithing forge and begins to slowly mend all the broken items, setting up a life in the castle, and surviving. But he discovers he may have more of a talent for mending than he thought when the princess buried in the castle crypt comes to life.

Why You Might Like This Book:
  • The theme of forgiveness is excellently done, especially for a children's book.
  • It actually makes me want to take up blacksmithing. And that's saying something.

And Why You Might Not:
  • It's a quiet sort of book, and not fast. This is a good thing for this book, but it does mean that it can seem like nothing much is happening for the first half of the book.

Thoughts: This is definitely my favourite of Haskell's three books so far (see The Princess Curse and Handbook for Dragon Slayers). Although I found it slightly slow at the beginning, it all comes together in a beautiful way by the end. Especially, as I mentioned above, the themes of forgiveness, hearkening back nicely to Sand's mending of things from the beginning of the book.

Grade: 3 1/2 stars

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