The Twisted Tree by Rachel Burge

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The Twisted Tree by Rachel Burge

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Category: Fantasy
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Mary Waterfall
Reviewed by Mary Waterfall
Summary: Rachel Burge presents us with a stunning intermingling of Norse mythology, horror, and an unusual coming of age. Hauntingly beautiful descriptions, juxtaposed against a ramping relentless sense of peril. Wonderfully eerie, deliciously frightening, a perfect story for a dank and windy night in front of the fire.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 180 Date: September 2018
Publisher: Hot Key Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1471407765

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Martha's world has changed. Blind in one eye after falling from a tree, she wakes with a disturbing gift. She can read people through their clothes, secrets tumble from the weave, revealing insights she doesn't really want, and knowledge she doesn't understand. She flees to her grandmother, Mormor's cabin, seeking answers no one is prepared to give and stumbles into a world of menace.

Her grandma Mormor is dead, a boy, a stranger, living in her place. Not naturally brave Martha has to force herself to face the unravelling strands of her life. The clamouring voices of the past and the overwhelming responsibilities of the future compete with her need to understand why she has gained this unwanted gift. Uncanny happenings force Martha and the boy out of the cabin and into the blizzard, where something terrifying stalks the woods.

Scenery descriptions are atmospheric. The wide and desolate spaces contrast sharply with the isolation of the cabin. The claustrophobic woods add to the feeling of dread that builds oh so slowly, to an outcome that is never guaranteed to be a happy ending. The characters - complex and fully rounded - draw you into their fear but also their hope. The more you learn about them, the more difficult it becomes to predict what their actions will be.

Overall, this is a riveting dark and twisted tale, a perfect match for the twisted tree that literally plummets Martha into spiralling chaos. There seems to be more to tell, so I hope Rachel Burge is planning further books in a similar vein. For readers wanting more in the meantime, The Monstrous Child by Francesca Simon offers the darker side of Norse Mythology. For evocative horror, try Dark Matter by Michelle Paver. You might also enjoy Bodies of Water by V H Leslie.

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Buy The Twisted Tree by Rachel Burge at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Twisted Tree by Rachel Burge at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy The Twisted Tree by Rachel Burge at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Twisted Tree by Rachel Burge at


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