The Twisted Tree, Rachel Burge – Book Review

Hello Humans! Today’s review is for a book that I actually read quite some time ago since I was lucky enough to be invited to the launch at Bonnier Zaffre HQ in London in October. I am, as the title of this blog post suggests, talking about Rachel Burge’s The Twisted Tree which is the perfect autumn/winter read. You can actually get your hands on the Ebook now, or you can pre-order the paperback, releasing on January 10th. Inspired by Norse mythology, The Twisted Tree is a spooky story, ideal for those looking for a quick fix.

the twisted tree rachel burge

Goodreads Summary:

Martha can tell things about a person just by touching their clothes as if their emotions and memories have been absorbed into the material. It started the day she fell from the tree at her grandma’s cabin and became blind in one eye.

Determined to understand her strange ability, Martha sets off to visit her grandmother, Mormor – only to discover Mormor is dead, a peculiar boy is in her cabin and a terrifying creature is on the loose.

Then the spinning wheel starts creaking, books move around and terror creeps in …

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I’m really glad I was able to hear the author talk about this book because there’s a lot of inspiration that you don’t necessarily get when you just read the summary. There’s quite a bit of influence from the Tarot, along with the Norse pantheon. I urge you to check out Rachel and see what she has said about the book because I think it will give you a richer reading experience for this book. That’s not to say that this isn’t fun to read without that knowledge, it’s just improving your reading experience.

I actually went to Norway earlier this year, so it was very cool to be transported back through the lens of fiction. Given the amount of Norse inspired fiction I’ve read this year it was surprisingly novel for the story to actually take place in Norway. I was mostly on the water the whole time we were there, but I thought that Rachel managed to capture the isolation of Norway. That’s not a bad thing, it’s a very sparsely populated place which makes for some gorgeous uninterrupted views and a real sense of community where there is one, but it is also quite a scary idea, especially if you pull in the notion of the supernatural. It’s the idea that there was nowhere they could go for help that truly got to me, much more than the paranormal goings-on.

I liked Martha’s power, the idea of being able to sense things through fabric was done well, and I didn’t feel like it got forgotten halfway through the book – as sometimes happens when characters have just a small power to set them apart from everyone else. Where this becomes very significant is with the ‘peculiar boy’ in the cabin – I think people can probably imagine where that goes without me spoiling too much (I’m making it sound more salacious than perhaps it is).

The romance is probably worth mentioning, as I say this is quite a short book, so any romantic feelings do feel quite fast acting, but in a high stakes situation such as these characters are in that doesn’t bother me too much, I feel like intense bonds and formed in intense moments and that certainly describes the action in this book.

I appreciated that this didn’t feel like any other Norse mythology inspired book I’ve read this year. It felt like it explored a different facet of the mythology, giving you something a bit darker and more interesting.

There’s more action to this than a ghost story, but it’s got more of an ethereal quality than a fantasy/action novel, it’s somewhere between the two and it just sort of works. I hugely enjoyed reading this and I would definitely recommend it to anyone seeking something to read this winter (or maybe in the spring, if you’re the kind of person who wants the cold weather to last as long as possible!).

My rating: 4/5

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

What say you? Is this on your TBR? Let me know in the comments below!

J

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