Earlier this month, I bought The Wolf and the Woodsman, and before I could start it, I was approved for an ARC of Juniper & Thorn, and because the temptation of the blurb was too much to pass on, I started this one first. Going in, I didn’t know what to expect, and I confess my words failed me when it was time to write this review.
I enjoyed the mini tales within the story and recounted them to my family. I love how dark this story went and the secrets that once spilled, continued to do so. Reading some other reviews before writing my own, I agree with others that the pacing is slow, but for me, that’s only true at the beginning, where it seemed a bit repetitive. But the more I got to know Marlinchen, the more I wanted to know. She was so sheltered that everything was a new experience for her, and I delighted in watching her thrive.
This book isn’t for the faint of heart. I see many people posting trigger warnings, which I’m not a fan of, but if you are, it might help you to read them before starting this. Juniper and Thorn is a dark blend of romance and horror, gothic and fairy tale, and lyrically written. Absolutely a gem that I recommend. Thank you, Avon and Harper Voyager, for sending this along.
Book Links (releasing June 21st)
About the Book
A gruesome curse. A city in upheaval. A monster with unquenchable appetites.
Marlinchen and her two sisters live with their wizard father in a city shifting from magic to industry. As Oblya’s last true witches, she and her sisters are little more than a tourist trap as they treat their clients with archaic remedies and beguile them with nostalgic charm. Marlinchen spends her days divining secrets in exchange for rubles and trying to placate her tyrannical, xenophobic father, who keeps his daughters sequestered from the outside world. But at night, Marlinchen and her sisters sneak out to enjoy the city’s amenities and revel in its thrills, particularly the recently established ballet theater, where Marlinchen meets a dancer who quickly captures her heart.
As Marlinchen’s late-night trysts grow more fervent and frequent, so does the threat of her father’s rage and magic. And while Oblya flourishes with culture and bustles with enterprise, a monster lurks in its midst, borne of intolerance and resentment and suffused with old-world power. Caught between history and progress and blood and desire, Marlinchen must draw upon her own magic to keep her city safe and find her place within it.