Reviews for Thornspell

Booklist Reviews 2008 November #1
Confined to a country castle while his father fights in the south, bored Prince Sigismund dreams of adventures he believes happen only in stories. The nearby Wood is the source of most of his fantasies; it s been forbidden since his great grandfather s time, and stories abound as to why. No one visits the castle, and the gates rarely open, so when Sigismund spies a wealthy carriage on the road, he rushes to meet it and is flung headlong into an adventure involving the dangerous Wood, an enchanted palace, and a princess sleeping among thorns. Aided by a dragon and other allies, his own magic, and a legendary sword, Sigismund must break the spell before the evil fairy who cast it can gain enough power to take over his world. This reimagining of Sleeping Beauty follows the prince as he develops from a wistful little boy who longs for his stern father s approval into the worthy hero he is destined to be. This version fittingly has more swordplay and dangerous escapades than romance, but it still ends happily ever after. Copyright Booklist Reviews 2008.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2009 Spring
Prince Sigismund dreams of adventure as he wanders about the forbidden woods near his home. This story, full of mystery and romance, will grip readers as they follow Sigismund on his quest to wake a sleeping princess hidden in the forest. A creative retelling of the Sleeping Beauty story from the prince's point of view. Copyright 2009 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2008 August #2
A quiet hero anchors this nicely crafted blend of fairy tale and dreamscape. Prince Sigismund lives in the West Castle; the King placed him there for safety before riding off to quell rebellions. Bordering the castle is a thick wood that a 100-year-old interdiction prohibits entering. One day a strange woman approaches the castle gate and offers Sigismund a gleaming ring. His head buzzes, he falls down in a fever and dreams plague him. The ring-bearing Margravine had placed a death spell on a princess in the wood; the Faie who tweaked the spell's result into a 100-year sleep hides in Sigismund's lilac garden. An enigmatic, amber-eyed man named Balisan trains Sigismund for years in meditation, swordsmanship and walking consciously in dreams. A scrubby girl bound in thorns repeatedly helps Sigismund escape the Margravine as he finds his path among faie, human and dream realms to the princess he must awaken. A narrative that begins as an exploration of fairy-tale archetypes thus moves into a very human and nevertheless magical drama. Thoughtful and understated. (Fantasy. 9-12) Copyright Kirkus 2008 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2009 April

Gr 5-8--After his mother's death, Prince Sigismund, 14, is sequestered in a remote castle for his own protection. He dreams of knights-errant and quests, but knows that as the only heir to the kingdom, it's unlikely that he can pursue them. However, he soon learns that magic is real--and is a threat to his life and his kingdom. The legend of a princess who's been sleeping for 100 years is true, and Sigismund may be the one who can break the spell. With help from his magical paladin teacher, Balisan, Sigismund develops his own fighting and magical skills while dealing with palace intrigues and threats from a powerful faie sorceress, the Margravine zu Malvolin. While she is truly malevolent, Sigismund finds a group of magical allies, including the faie who had cast the spell, and a silent girl he names Rue. A daring quest of his own brings all of Sigismund's skills into play as he confronts danger and magic to find love and save his kingdom. Lowe brings the fairy tale to life, adding both complexity and a believable hero, as well as an Aurora who's more than just a "sleeping beauty." This is a fun retelling with much to offer readers.--Beth L. Meister, Milwaukee Jewish Day School, WI

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