Review: Tangle of Thornes by Lorel Clayton
Tangle of Thornes
(Eva Thorne #1)
Author: Lorel Clayton
Publisher: LC Books
Published: January 15, 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
When Eva’s brother is murdered in a city of rude elves and matriarchal dwarves where humans have no rights, she is forced to investigate the crime herself. What she discovers brings her up against a powerful slave-trading cartel, dark gods, and—worst of all—her twin sister. Both her family and the elven authorities want her hushed. She has no money and no magic of her own with which to combat them, but she does have an illegally-freed slave, a senile nanny, and an ex-almost-boyfriend on her side. Even when she nearly loses her job and almost loses her head in a sword fight on the same night, she isn’t deterred. It’s when the nanny goes missing that she really starts to worry.
Femme fatale turns hard-boiled investigator in this first Eva Thorne novel. Set in a fantasy world where magic and machines can’t stand against the God of Death, humans are on the run from the god’s invasion. Highcrowne is the only refuge, but that means living in the Outskirts of an ancient city ruled by Avian mages, indifferent dwarves, and elves who’d prefer to see humans as their slaves. It’s worst for Eva’s people, Solhans, because they were the ones who summoned the Dead God into the world. No one wants her kind in Highcrowne and there are plenty who would be happy to see her brother dead. There are too many motives and not enough time to unravel them, because other people are dying … and Eva is fast running out of vacation time.
I find Tangle of Thornes a refreshing fantasy read. It’s a story about a girl named Eva Thorne who had a brother named Viktor who was brutally killed by an unknown person. Determined to find out who the culprit behind her brother’s death, she went to a particular world to seek for help– a world enriched with dwarfs, elves, dark gods, and every otherworldly creatures. Because Eva is a Solhan, a human who is below the level of everyone in this world, she wasn’t able to easily get the needed help. Thus, she went through every corner of the place in order to attain her goal– which led her to various people who played critical roles in her journey.
This book is fantastic when it comes to its concept. It has rich characterization plus a witty writing style that will keep you entertained. I loved how the authors’ writing made everything light because of the solid-rock humor in it. However, I had a problem with the world-building. The image of the world the authors created was easy to perceive but as I went through the pages, there were a lot of questions that kept bugging me. Like, how did this world become like this? Was there a story behind the elves’ indifference towards humans? How and where did they get those slave humans? Maybe I needed more explanations on these things.
But as a whole, this book is beautiful and enjoyable in a way. I loved Eva’s character and how vibrant and strong-willed she became while carrying out her mission. She’s the kind of character that is so easy to like and relate to. The side characters were also funny and with depth. This book may not be that perfect, but it’s not that bad at all. It’s actually a promising start to a great series! If you love fantasy with entertaining mythical creatures, I know you will love this book, too.
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