The Thorn and the Blossom by Theodora Goss

I just finished The Thorn and the Blossom by Theodora Gloss, and this is what I thought about it. 

The disclaimer: I got this through a give-away on Goodreads. We were given the book by Quirk Books in the hope of getting reviews. My review will not be colored by this, my review will be honest and fair.

First: The Book
The book has a really cool concept. The binding is like an accordion and it tells the story from two sides. So you can read Evelyn’s story, and then when you get to the end and just flip the book over and read Brendan’s story, or the other way around. I thought it was really cool, because you get to see both perspectives.

The Story
The story is about Evelyn and Brendan. Evelyn is American, who goes to Oxford for a semester. Her last week in England she goes to Clews in Cornwall because her family is from there and she meets Brendan, a kid from the town. He tells her of Elowen and Gawain. Gawain was one of Arthur’s knights and he went to Cornwall to help queen Elowen slay giants. The story skips ahead in time and tells the story of Evelyn and Brendan as it unfolds over the next 15-20 years.

My thoughts
I really liked it. I really liked the idea of telling a story from both sides, because I read it from Evelyn’s perspective first, and I didn’t know what Brendan’s intentions and thoughts were, and then I read Brendan’s story and I saw his drive and intentions and they made sense. And I saw how he saw Evelyn’s behaviour, which was also interesting, because I now knew what she was thinking, but for Brendan it obviously seems to be a different way.

I really liked the magical undercurrents. They tell the story of Elowen and Gawain and to me at least, it felt a lot like Evelyn and Brendan were connected to them in some way, that maybe they’re the next iteration of the queen and the knight. And Evelyn has these visions of fairies and trolls through her whole life, which also makes it interesting.

The ending (of both stories) was really interesting to me. It’s very open ended. It was very up in the air. It lets the reader decide what happens next, and I realized when I read it that I am apparently a romantic. I really love open endings. I love sort of deciding my own ending. I also, at the same time, find them extremely frustrating. I like things that frustrate me sometimes. This is going to a weird place.

It’s a very short book, and it’s very compressed. The author skips forward in time in leaps and bounds, but it didn’t bother me. She left out things that weren’t needed, and she kept in the things that we did need. It’s very trim, but it never felt like I was lacking anything I needed.

And on the first and last page of both stories there is a drawing, and they’re just beautiful and so detailed and I really liked that detail.


I liked it. I thought it was sweet, and funny and the design is really cool, which made me want to read it anymore. It’s interesting to see a story from different perspectives, so I think that was fascinating.