A Hunger of Thorns
by Lili Wilkinson
Narrated by Katy Sobey
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Pub Date 01 Jan 2024 | Archive Date 14 Dec 2023
Be swept away by a lush, witchy tale about forbidden magic and missing girls who don't need handsome princes to rescue them. Perfect for fans of The Hazel Wood.
Maude is the daughter of witches. She spent her childhood running wild with her best friend, Odette, weaving stories of girls who slayed dragons and saved princes. Then Maude grew up and lost her magic—and her best friend.
These days, magic is toothless, reduced to glamour patches and psychic energy drinks found in supermarkets and shopping malls. Odette has always hungered for forbidden, dangerous magic, and two weeks ago she went searching for it. Now she’s missing, and everyone says she’s dead. Everyone except Maude.
Storytelling has always been Maude’s gift, so she knows all about girls who get lost in the woods. She’s sure she can find Odette inside the ruins of Sicklehurst, an abandoned power plant built over an ancient magical forest—a place nobody else seems to remember is there. The danger is, no one knows what remains inside Sicklehurst, either. And every good story is sure to have a monster.
"The luscious depth of the worldbuilding and the effortless skill with which it is conveyed make me utterly jealous. Read this, and wonder where Lili Wilkinson has been all your life." --Amie Kaufman, New York Times bestselling coauthor of the Aurora Cycle
"A Hunger of Thorns is visceral fantasy; it tells its story not just in the bodies of young people but through all creation around them. This novel teems with life-forms real and imagined--winged, scaled, furred, barked and leaved, macro and micro, solid and almost intangible. It zooms in with scientific precision, then pivots to passionate invention. Maude's quest will take you to deep, dark, festering places and bring you soaring back out into the light. This novel resonates strongly with our uncertain times. It will give courage and hope to readers seeking their true selves and a way forward into a richer, realer life." --Margo Lanagan, author of Printz Honor Book Tender Morsels
"In this wonderful book, Wilkinson creates a whole new kind of magic--enchantments woven from family, from living things, and from the marrow of Story itself. Unlike anything else." --Scott Westerfeld, author of the Uglies and Impostors series
"A gorgeous dark fantasy about the unshakeable bond between two girls, and the undeniable power of female rage." --Kass Morgan, New York Times bestselling author of The 100
"A lush, spellbinding tale with dangerously enchanting characters, A Hunger of Thorns is filled with gorgeous emotion and sapphic yearning that will leave you breathless. Wilkinson's masterful new story soars. This is one for all the wild girls who get lost in fairy tales." --C. S. Pacat, New York Times bestselling author of Dark Rise
"This is my kind of fairy tale: visceral and dark, lush and lovely, and filled with feral girls who know how to save themselves. A Hunger of Thorns is a beautiful, ferocious vine that will work its way inside you and linger. I'll be thinking about it for a long time to come." --Kate J. Armstrong, author of Nightbirds
|12 Hours, 41 Minutes
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 51 members
I found ‘A Hunger of Thorns’ a very interesting read, the narrator was really good and easy to listen to and follow. I would recommend reading it and look forward to reading more from Lili Wilkinson.
Rating 4 Stars
"Be a wild thing once more, the ancient forest whispers to me now"
I am obsessed with the vibe of this book. When I tell you nothing quite speaks to me like a haunting witchy tale of wild young girls, this is the book I'm describing. The prose is gorgeous, the magical descriptions are utterly dreamy, and the worldbuilding is beyond intriguing. Most importantly, as my bold feminist heart requires, the feminine power and feminine rage are potently executed.
"Rage doesn't have to destroy. It can create things too. Great things. Rage can be a fire that inspires."
Maude was once a wild little thing, showing off her magic to her best friend Odette, the girl she longs for and obsesses over impressing. They spent their days weaving stories of heroic girls saving princes from evil dragons and monsters. That is until Maude lost her magic when puberty began, and her best friend dropped her.
From then on Maude was trying to be a good little girl. She did as she was told, she stayed small and unassuming and kept her head down. Odette on the other hand has always had a deep desire for magic, a dark jealousy of the power Maude possessed, and absolutely no plans to be a good little girl. Now her wild ways have led her down a dangerous path. She's missing, assumed dead, and Maude is the only one trying to find her.
She discovers that an abandoned (and oddly forgotten by everyone) power plant called Sicklehurst may be much more than just a place they played as kids. It was built on the remains of an ancient magical forest, and in fact, it may be hiding something much darker.
"I cry out for every girl who was told to comb her hair and wash the mud from her face. To keep herself contained. To be ashamed of her voice, her hair, her flesh. To be quiet and good and nice. Girls are not nice. Girls are wild and fierce and powerful, and I will not let anyone take that away. Not ever again."
I have to note that I listened to this as an audiobook, and my god, the narration adds a whole other level of entrancing dark fairytale vibes. There could not have been a better voice to fit this lush story, and I am so grateful to have heard the story performed so beautifully. There are some books that I just recommend having read to you, and this is that book, like a haunting bedtime story.
A huge thanks to Netgalley, Bolinda Audio and Lili Wilkinson for providing me with this audio arc and the opportunity to provide my honest review.
Thank you for the opportunity to read it before publishing!!
Bolinda as always has one of the best narrators and voice actors! Every time I listen to any books by bolinda I know I would enjoy the narration.
Now to the book …..
It was quite disappointing, the book had loads of promise but I don’t think the writing style is for me. I enjoyed the magic system, and the modern-esk setting of the story.
The main character was the most annoying out of all the characters. I think this was the reason why I did not enjoy the book so much. The main character wanted to be the feminist hero, she did all the talk but no action …
It felt like the character just wanted to rock all the feminist and inclusion boxes as fast as possible instead of allowing them to show up more organically ….
I’m sure loads of people will enjoy the book, however it was not for me.