Books, eBook, Fantasy, Fiction, Folklore, Horror, Novel, Retelling

Juniper & Thorn is a gothic horror fantasy with folklore elements by Ava Reid (4.5/5 stars)

Juniper & Thorn by Ava Reid
(post may contain affiliate links)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars (4.5 rounded up to a 5)

Juniper & Thorn is a gothic horror fantasy with folklore elements by Ava Reid. The ebook version is 303 pages. We follow our main character with a first-person point-of-view.

Marlinchen is the youngest of three sisters who are the last of the true witches in the country of Oblya. They live under the thumb of their abusive and xenophobic wizard father, Zmiy Vashchenko. Though they all have different powers, the girls feel as if they are little more than a tourist trap. At night, the girls sneak out to enjoy the amenities of the city and to eke a bit of happiness out of their existence.

When Marlinchen finally joins her sisters for a jaunt to the city, she meets a dancer at the recently established ballet theater who steals her heart. At the same time, there seems to be a monster loose in the city that has an unquenchable appetite.

This story is set in the same universe as the author’s The Wolf and the Woodsman, though in a different time and place. It is a gothic horror retelling of The Juniper Tree, one of the grimmest tales of The Brothers Grimm. There are a ton of content warnings, so please check those out before you pick up this book.

I really liked this! It was very dark, though, so I had to read it in bits and pieces. I stayed up really late to finish the last few chapters because I really needed to see how it ended! Also, this cover is GORGEOUS and after reading the book I can see just how many little details are included from the story itself.

This book really showcases how powerless some young women feel in society, and how sometimes it feels like our bodies are not our own.

Tropes in this book include: folklore, retelling (The Juniper Tree)

CW: gore, body horror, child sexual abuse, incest, cannibalism, antisemitism, xenophobia, scientific racism, physical and psychological abuse, gaslighting, self-harm, suicidal ideation, bulimia (graphic descriptions), animal death

Special thanks to Harper Voyager and NetGalley for providing an eGalley of this book for me to review. All opinions contained herein are my own.

, , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s