Wednesday 21 June 2023

A Hunger of Thorns

A Hunger of Thorns by Lili Wilkinson.  Allen & Unwin 2023. Paperback RRP $24.99. ISBN9781760526948

Reviewed by Debra Williams

Maude Jenkins is the daughter of witches, and along with her best friend, Odette, who is not a witch, the two girls ran wild as children. Maude is a storyteller, weaving deep magic with her words from a young age at the behest of Odette, who has always yearned for deep, forbidden, and dangerous magic. When Maude hits puberty, her magic mysteriously disappears. At the same time, Odette ends their friendship, and Maude is gutted.

Now, four years later, Odette has also mysteriously disappeared. Many believe she is dead, but Maude is convinced otherwise, believing that Odette has gone on a search for the magic she was seeking. She embarks on a quest to find Odette, despite their estrangement, sure that she will be found within the ruins of an abandoned power plant they had visited as children. The plant was built over the top of an ancient forest, and everybody seems to have forgotten it. Everyone except Maude.

This is an epic tale of life-and-death adventure, family tragedy, intense and fragile friendship, and arcane practices. As Maude ventures into the bizarre realm of the power plant, long-forgotten memories surface of her mother, who died when Maude was seven. Maude discovers other forgotten things, along with things that have come to life because of her childhood storytelling days. What is the shocking secret hidden deep within the power plant? Is Odette dead, never to be recovered? And what of the faithful Rufus, who has always been the quiet friend in the background?

This book is for a young adult readership of 15+. Warning-- there are some mature adult sexual themes within the story.

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