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Reviewed by:
  • Thornlight by Claire Legrand
  • Kate Quealy-Gainer, Assistant Editor
Legrand, Claire Thornlight. Greenwillow, 2021 [464p] (Foxheart)
Trade ed. ISBN 9780062696663 $16.99
E-book ed. IBSN 9780062696687 $9.99
Reviewed from digital galleys Ad Gr. 4–7

The Break, a deep chasm that splits the realm of the Vale in half, is becoming unstable lately, and the monstrous Gulgot that lives within it will soon make its way to the surface. Discs filled with lightning have proven to be the best weapons for the kingdom, and Thorn’s sister Brier is a renowned lightning catcher; when she’s unfortunately injured, Thorn takes her place on a perilous mission from the queen to go to the go to the eastern border of the Vale. Meanwhile, Queen Celestyna is struggling with the curse that tied the monster to the royal family generations ago and the sacrifice she might have to make to save her kingdom. The book is spooled out in four threads, following the perspectives of Thorn, Brier, the queen, and Cub (the monster), and not all of them are necessary. Brier mostly comes off as two-dimensional and bratty, and while the queen is an intriguing character, the details of the curse are muddled by her greedy desire to become the savior of the Vale. Thorn and Cub are much more sympathetic and complex, driven by a gentle nature that has allowed them to be taken advantage of and even abused in Cub’s case, and their wrestling with how to treat those who have hurt them is believably [End Page 303] messy and painful. Readers of Legrand’s Foxheart (BCCB 10/16) will see familiar faces here, but knowledge of that book isn’t required. Despite its flaws, the book’s message is a worthy one: “It is no small thing, to have a gentle heart.”



Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 303-304
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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