Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Thorn and the Blossom by Theodora Goss

This book I discovered purely by accident at work.  I was taking care of our daily "shop" at the store (where we order books that are selling well for us) and I noticed this title, and the fact that we had sold out of it.  Curious, I checked out the book information, and was immediately hooked.  Now I just had to wait a few days to get the book back into the store, so I could buy it and rush home to read it.  

And that's exactly what I did.  I bought it Friday night, and read it today.  It's a very short book, but magical.  It's in a slipcase, and when you take the book out, it's in an accordion-fold binding.  This means it has no spine, but both a front and back hardcover, and when you open the book, it opens like an accordion.  This story has two ways to read it:  you can start with Evelyn's story, or you can flip the book and start with Brendan's story.  Each story is about Evelyn and Brendan, their meeting in Cornwall, and how their story intertwines with the story of Sir Gwain and the Green Knight, in  which Gwain comes to the rescue of Queen Elowen to defeat the giants who are destroying the countryside.  They fall in love, but Elowen uses her magical powers to finally turn the giants into stone, with devastating results:  Elowen is dying.  They pledge their love to each other, but the evil Morva has also fallen in love with Gwain, and curses them to never be together for a thousand years.  

Are Evelyn and Brendan finally Gwain and Elowen together after all this time?  It's a wonderfully romantic story, told from both sides.  The end of both stories makes you sigh.  It has certainly woken an interest in me to read some epic poetry. And go to Cornwall.  Really.  I want to go to Cornwall.

If you're looking for a really quick read, or a great Valentine's present for someone you love, pick up this book.  It's beautifully presented in an elegant slip case, and the story makes you linger over the pages.  

My rating:  4/5 for originality and just a story that makes your heart go pitty-pat.

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