When a mysterious parcel arrives at her family’s new home, eleven-year-old Lin Rosenquist has a curious feeling she’s meant to discover what’s inside.
Much to Lin’s surprise, the ornate key contained in the parcel unlocks a spellbinding world called Sylver, hidden behind the cellar door. Sylver is an enchanting land of eternal winter, inhabited by animals that shared a special connection with children in the real world, either as beloved pets or tamed wild animals. In death, they are delivered to Sylver, where they take on a curiously human-like form and still watch over the children they cherish. While Lin is overjoyed to be reunited with her beloved pet, Rufus, she soon learns that the magic of the Petlings and Wilders is failing, and snow trolls want to claim Sylver for themselves. Lin must discover a way to stop them and save this enchanted world.
Full of charm, suspense, and heartfelt emotion, this memorable classic in the making will leave readers breathless.
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
Number of Pages: 356
The Twistrose Key is one of those familiar yet original stories. In an alternate world where beloved human pets go after death, full of magic and nightmares that haunt children's dreams, a human girl is summoned to help save them all.
The beginning of this book disappointed me. The writing began and ended with excellent, imaginative prose. I was constantly impressed by how the author was able to conjure such specific images. Yet, much of the beginning felt cheesy. I think partly because the book was compared to The Golden Compass and Narnia. Those high expectations fell short.
The biggest let down for me was Rufus, the Twistrose's pet, who was supposed to be this amazing character. Though he did evolve into one by the very end of the book, I thought his dialogue was bland and felt cliche.
However, about a hundred pages in it started to get interesting--and only heightened from there. I'll admit, Almhjell creates both disturbing and magical scenarios and descriptions--which only made it that more enthralling and unique (not cheesy at all!). The book had an eerie undertone and an inspiring setting!
I really did think this book would end up being a let down, but as I look back, I have nothing but fond memories. It really was a fantastic journey, with a lot of symbolism and unique perspectives. I believe this book will be better enjoyed by the "reader" child, however there are so many fun elements that the "nonreader" might get sucked in as well. Just get through the first 100 pages!
Lin Rosenquist has a great life, with loving parents, loyal friends and a fun imagination. In the novel, she was a brave yet relatable character and her point of view served well for the story. I hope you end up enjoying it as much as I did!
Here's a preview:
"We know it is no easy burden," he said. "We thank you for volunteering."
"Volunteering?" Lin's voice sounded brittle in the book-lined hush of the room. "What do you mean volunteering?"
"Oh, you chose yourself for this. The name of Twistrose never lies."
Lin put her tea down on the table with a loud clink. "I invented that name because of Mrs. Ichalar's climbing rose. For the troll hunt. It was only a game!"
"Tonight, young Rosenquist," Teodor said, flashing his crooked smirk, "you will find that some games are real."
Copyright The Twistrose Key by Tone Almhjell. Published by Dial Books for Young Readers.
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Rachel, age 18