The Path of Thorns by AG Slatter

My Five Word TL:DR Review : I couldn’t love it more

Pathof

Wow, this book.  I just loved it.  I really enjoyed All The Murmuring Bones by this author and was super excited for The Path of Thorns which is set in the same universe.  This is the gothic, dark, fairytale that I’ve been waiting for and I loved it without a single reservation.  Think Jane Eyre but with less a focus on the two central characters and the love they develop and more a tale of revenge, difficult promises to keep, witchcraft and much more.  Here are dark woods where creatures stalk at night, dark attics where all sorts of wrongs are committed and even a disused surgery just waiting to be revived.

As the story starts we meet Asher Todd as she arrives at the Morwood Family Estate to take up the position of governess.  Asher is a strong and capable character, determined not to be afraid of whatever seems to be stalking her through the woods upon her arrival.  She carries a carpetbag, many secrets, a few essential bits and bobs and more than one task to be completed.

I’m not going to delve into the plot here as the author plays her cards quite close to her chest and I will do likewise with this review.

The writing is excellent.  Slatter manages to create a wonderfully foreboding atmosphere packed with tension and suspense.  She keeps the twists coming as Asher slowly inveigles herself into the family life and becomes indispensable not only to the family matriarch but also as a protector of the children and their mother.

On top of all the deliciously dark secrets held within the walls of the house Slatter continues to create a fairy tale world where werewolves roam, ghosts rage and witches keep tight lipped about their abilities and she weaves into the tale themes of domestic abuse and sexual inequality.  In fact it’s amazing how much Asher is able to get away with simply because people often underestimate her.

So, I don’t have any criticisms for this story but I would mention that it is dark, and I don’t say that lightly.  There may be a strong fairytale vibe but don’t let that lull you into thinking this is akin to a Disney retelling because nothing could be further from the truth so be warned.  Dark content.

All that being said I couldn’t have loved this book more.  It’s absolutely my catnip.  I loved the strong gothic feel, the setting was perfection, the story compelling and to be blunt, I cannot wait to see what this author does next.

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

My rating 5 of 5 stars

Can’t Wait Wednesday : The Path of Thorns by AG Slatter

CWW

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme that was originally created by Breaking the Spine.  Unfortunately Breaking the Spine are no longer hosting so I’m now linking my posts up to Wishful Endings Can’t Wait Wednesday. Don’t forget to stop over, link up and check out what books everyone else is waiting for.  If you want to take part, basically, every Wednesday, we highlight a book that we’re really looking forward to.  This week my book is: The Path of Thorns by AG Slatter (because I loved All The Murmuring Bones and so was super excited to see this):

Pathof

Alone in the world, Asher Todd travels to the remote estate of Morwood Grange to become governess to three small children. Her sole possessions comprise a sea chest and a large carpet bag she hangs onto for dear life. She finds a fine old home, its inhabitants proud of their lineage and impeccable reputation, and a small village nearby. It seems an untroubled existence, yet there are portraits missing from the walls, locked rooms, and names excised from the family tree inscribed in the bible. In short order, the children adore her, she becomes indispensible to their father Luther in his laboratory, and her potions are able to restore the sight of granddame Leonora. Soon Asher fits in as if she’s always been there, but there are creatures that stalk the woods at night, spectres haunt the halls, and Asher is not as much a stranger to the Morwoods as it might at first appear.

Expected publication : June 2022