The Twisted Tree has been on my to-read list forever. The exact date you ask? Well that would be 28 July 2019. Specific, I know, but I saw author Rachel Burge speak at YALC in 2019 and her book went straight onto my wish-list along with the other books from British authors on the New Voices of YA Fantasy panel.
The difficulty is that I have this preconception that fantasy is difficult to read and that the world building is too much for me to handle because I admittedly struggle with comprehension issues that plagued my academic life.
I was wrong.
The Twisted Tree was an absolute pleasure to read and I'm just disappointed that I didn't pick it up sooner. There was so much to love in this short book with ghosts and demons, witches and ancestors, and a healthy dose of Norse mythology.
Oh, and it also featured a skinny, leather-trench-coat-wearing goth boy in it, which just happened to be my exact type at age 15. (Little known fact, I eventually snagged said goth boy from the clutches of my evil best frenemy and we dated for over a year, which is practically a decade in high school).
Martha is desperate to see her grandmother. Ever since a terrible accident when she lost sight in her left eye, she has been plagued by the feelings and emotions of people that she can gather simply by touching their clothes. Only her grandmother will understand but Martha hasn't heard a word from her in weeks and she lives on the isolated Norwegian island of Skjebne, almost a full day of travelling from London.
Martha takes the perilous journey alone but all is not well when she arrives at Skjebne to find a boy called Stig squatting in her grandmother's home instead of her grandmother.
A winter storm is coming to Skjebne, one that will suck the life out of your lungs and transform the landscape in minutes. Trapped and isolated, Martha and Stig are in for the most terrifying couple of days in their lives as ghosts emerge, horrors are uncovered and Martha comes face to face with her ancestral responsibilities.
The Twisted Tree is a page-turning triumph from the very first page and I'm so pleased that I read it now because I can dive straight into the sequel that was released in September.
For being spooky and thrilling, scary and interesting, I give The Twisted Tree a superb five out of five stars and recommend to lovers of ghost stories and witchy women.
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