History That Never Was

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Review of Thornwood by Leah Cypess

Thornwood by Leah Cypess (Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 2021) is a delightful retelling of the Sleeping Beauty from the perspective of her sister. Written for a middle grade audience, the book is a wonderful read for kids and adults alike.

The book begins with the premise that Sleeping Beauty’s story went mostly as the fairy tales would have us believe, but that she also had a younger sister, Briony, who was forgotten in all of those tales. Briony is the protagonist of the book, with older sister Rosalin (Sleeping Beauty) mostly being a combination of love-struck teenager and the sort of pesky annoyance that only a sister can be. The retelling also adds in added complications of some missing memories about how Rosalin pricked her finger in a kingdom where spinning wheels had been banned and things after their long years of sleep not being entirely what they seem.

I’m a sucker for stories with spunky young protagonists and realistic sibling relationships, and Thornwood has both in abundance! The story is charming and fast paced, with just enough peril to keep the reader turning pages to find out what will happen to the sisters and their companions next! Everything is completely appropriate for younger readers, and older readers and adults will be equally entertained by this wonderful book!

The author provided a copy of the book for review consideration.


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