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Cover image for The thorn queen : a novel
The thorn queen : a novel

Tempe, Arizona : SparkPress, a BookSparks imprint, 2018.
Physical Description:
244 pages ; 22 cm
"Twelve-year-old Meylyne longs to impress her brilliant, sorceress mother-but when she accidentally breaks one of Glendoch's First Rules, she accomplishes the opposite of that. Forced to flee, the only way she may return home is with a cure for Glendoch's diseased prince"-- Books In Print


Call Number
TEEN Holland, E.
TEEN Holland, E.

On Order



Welcome to Glendoch!
Hidden to most, this glacial world once crackled with alchemy. Now it waits for war--divided and bound by strict rules. So when twelve-year-old Meylyne falls from a tree onto Glendoch's sickly prince, she must flee or face imprisonment in the Shadow-Cellars. The only way she may return home is with a cure for the prince's peculiar disease.
Convinced she will perish, Meylyne and her companions embark on their journey--and before they know it, they are knee-deep in a plot to sink Glendoch into shadow, like other worlds before it. Poisoned guardians, cursed wizards, and cunning witch-spirits bound into wands are just some of the dangers that dot the way of their travels.
And behind it all is the Thorn Queen. Mysteriously magnetic (or murderously vengeful, depending on whose side you're on), she is always one step ahead of them . . .

Reviews 2

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-8-This new middle grade fantasy introduces readers to the trilevel world of Glendoch and its surrounding queendom. Hidden from most of the world by glacial ice and composed of an Above, Between, and Beneath realm, Glendoch was once so supersaturated with alchemy that the presence of magic appeared as suspended precipitation in the atmosphere. At one time, the three realms cooperated in sustaining Glendoch's powerful magic through shared leadership but is now in literal turmoil from the stringently bound sanctions of the fearful Royals, whose ranks have been infiltrated by an unknown entity. When 12-year-old Meylyne, an inhabitant of the cavernous Between, sneaks into the Above town of Tyr to retrieve her mother's long lost black opal, she knows that if caught she could be charged with trespassing. Her mixed-species progeny is also prohibited, but because she inherited more of her mother's human characteristics than the birdlike traits of her infamous father, she is shielded from instant detection. Fueled by advice from an ancient well, Meylyne sets out on a quest that, if successful, will save not only herself and the young prince, but the future of the entire Queendom. The phantasmagoria of Holland's world-building is effortless in this topsy-turvy world where perceived evil and perceived good exchange places as each hidden layer of the narrative is thoughtfully revealed. VERDICT Hand this skillfully written fantasy to fans of Maile Meloy's The Apothecary, Michael Scott's The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, Corneilia Funke's Inkheart, and Suzanne Collins' Gregor the Overlander.-Sabrina Carnesi, Crittenden Middle School, Newport News, VA © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

This middle-grade debut sees a young outcast discover her true potential while on a quest to save others.In the kingdom of Glendoch, the town of Tyr, 12-year-old Meylyne sits in a willow tree. She's originally from the cavernous Between-World but has trespassed to the Above-World to find a special black opal belonging to her mother. Hiding in the tree, she waits to see Prince Piam, who only visits once a year. When a woman climbs into the tree with her, the situation gets precarious. The prince passes directly beneathand Meylyne falls on him. She bolts back to the Between-World, realizing that she's broken the First Rule by going above. Her mother, the alchemist Ellenyr, and her great-uncle, Prime Minister Groq, could send her to the Shadow Cellars. When she asks advice from the Old Well, it reveals the ultimatum that Queen Emery has offered Ellenyr: She must cure Prince Piam's fast-aging illness within three months or Meylyne will live among the Snake People. The Old Well then tells the girl to visit the stream between the towns of Tyr and Welke, where she'll meet a stalliynx (who has a horse's head and a lion's body). She does so, beginning a journey to save the prince and possibly all of Glendoch. With social nuance and a crackling wit, Holland presents a deep bench of fabulous creations in her fantasy adventure. Meylyne is only half-human and forbidden to use the magic that should be her birthright from Ellenyr. Her father, Meph, meanwhile, is a garlysle, who's got a beak and feathersand is supposedly a criminal. When Meylyne gives her mother the black opal, Ellenyr isn't quite overjoyed. The stalliynx, named Hopexivaffoplos-ploossenaagen, suggests Meylyne call him Hope for short. Around this pair grows a cohort of heroes who commit to more and more dangerous tasks. Eventually, Meylyne learns that an aspect of herselfwhich she's been taught to be ashamed ofproves central to solving a slew of problems. Holland excels in burying twists that flip the whole narrative on its head. Readers should wish for a longer stay in Glendoch.An effervescent fantasy crafted from the heart. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.