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The Twisted Tree by Rachel Burge

The Twisted Tree

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"Martha can tell things about a person just by touching their clothes, as if their emotions and memories have been absorbed into the material. It started the day she fell from the tree at her grandma's cabin and became blind in one eye.

"Determined to understand her strange ability, Martha sets off to visit her grandmother, Mormor - only to discover Mormor is dead, a peculiar boy is in her cabin and a terrifying creature is on the loose. Then the spinning wheel starts creaking, books move around and terror creeps in."

Firstly, let me just say that the descriptions within The Twisted Tree are outstanding! The writing style is so atmospheric, which is perfect for a book of a creepy disposition. I felt like I was really there in Norway, in the cabin with Martha and experiencing everything she did. Everything is so vivid and it just made the whole reading experience 100 times better for me.

I don't know much about Norse mythology but I loved the little aspects of it that were brought into this story. It was really intriguing to learn about something while I was reading. The way the mythology is intertwined with the story is so unique and certainly makes the book stand out. Come the end of the story, I found myself wanting to know more about traditional Nordic tales.

The plot itself has lots of twists and turns that left me guessing more than once. It is tense and had me on the edge of my seat many times. The pacing is also perfect for the type of story being told. This made me want to carry on reading and not put the book down - when a book does this to me you know it's a good one. Also, the climax of the story is thrilling and certainly didn't disappoint. It ends the way I wanted it to, which was a great surprise.

Martha is a great heroine. Her fear and curiosity throughout felt so real and despite her bravery, she knows her own faults. This makes her a very believable character that people can relate to. Stig, the mysterious boy in the cabin, is also a great character. At first I wasn't sure about him and I thought he was going to end up being an antagonist, but I was so wrong! He is also a very real character; his pain at losing people he loved is so believable that it got me choked up at times. His relationship with Martha is so touching and I was rooting for them from the beginning.

The Twisted Tree is an outstanding, atmospheric read perfect for the autumn and winter months. It is creepy, thrilling and terrifying and I loved it.