From Katherine Tegan Books
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Hardback: May 27, 2014
When blacksmith apprentice Sand wakes up in a ruined castle, he has no idea how he got there, but the thorny brambles that surround the walls prevent him from leaving. As he begins to fix up the castle in order to survive, everything he touches somehow works better than it should. Then, as he continues to explore, Sand discovers the castle’s secrets, including its long-lost heir, Perrotte. Together, they must fully repair the broken castle if they ever want to leave.
Exploring a range of weighty subjects, from the horror of war to the difficulty of forgiveness, Haskell makes every subplot and character count, reinforcing the story’s elaborate metaphorical and thematic structure. —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
The developing relationship between the two main characters is portrayed realistically; it’s often as prickly as the thorns that surround them. Fans of Gail Carson Levine’s and Shannon Hale’s fairy tale adaptations will enjoy the adventure and mystery here. —School Library Journal (starred review)
Haskell effortlessly weaves together internal and external forces, leading to a tense climax. Subtle parallels to ‘Sleeping Beauty’ are omnipresent, but Sand and Perrotte’s work of restoring the castle, avenging old wrongs, and forgiving once-bitter enemies takes its own, novel course. —The Horn Book