Author: Leah Cypess
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: April 6, 2021
Page Count: 272
My rating: 4 stars
About the book:
This middle grade debut is Sleeping Beauty like you’ve never seen it before, about a girl who lives in the shadow of her older sister and the curse that has haunted her from birth.
For years, Briony has lived in the shadow of her beautiful older sister, Rosalin, and the curse that has haunted her from birth–that on the day of her sixteenth birthday she would prick her finger on a spindle and cause everyone in the castle to fall into a 100-year sleep. When the day the curse is set to fall over the kingdom finally arrives, nothing–not even Briony–can stop its evil magic.
You know the story.
But here’s something you don’t know. When Briony finally wakes up, it’s up to her to find out what’s really going on, and to save her family and friends from the murderous Thornwood. But who is going to listen to her? This is a story of sisterhood, of friendship, and of the ability of even little sisters to forge their own destiny. The first in a three-book series of fairy tale retellings, these are the stories of the siblings who never made it into the storybook.
Thornwood by Leah Cypess is the first book of the new middle grade fantasy Sisters Ever After series. Thornwood is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty done in a new and creative way of making the main character of the story actually the little sister of the family. This first book is only a start to the series featuring siblings that didn’t become the star of their own show.
Briony has lived her whole life in the shadows of her older sister, Rosalin. When it was told that Rosalin was cursed and that on her sixteenth birthday she would prick her finger sending the entire castle into a hundred year sleep of course everyone focused on Rosalin and breaking the curse. Unfortunately though the curse did happen and now as Briony awakens she wants to know just how this curse managed to overtake them and how they are going to escaped the castle that has held them captive.
Of course I am a lot older than the intended audience of this series but I actually really enjoyed the story. I always find myself drawn to retellings and my favorites are those that do something new and different than just re-writing every event we had before and this one did that in a cute way. I found Briony very rambunctious and fun to follow along as she navigates her own journey in the book. I’ll definitely be interested in seeing what the author comes up with next and expecting another fun, creative journey.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
Leah Cypess wrote her first story in first grade. The narrator was an ice-cream cone in the process of being eaten. In fourth grade, she wrote her first book, about a girl who was shipwrecked on a desert island with her faithful and heroic dog (a rip-off of both The Black Stallion and all the Lassie movies).
After selling her first story while in high school, she gave in to her mother’s importuning to be practical and majored in biology at Brooklyn College. She then went to Columbia Law School and practiced law for almost two years. She kept writing and submitting in her spare time, and finally, a mere 15 years after her first short story acceptance, she sold her first novel.
Leah currently lives in Brookline, Massachusetts with her husband and children.