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Alphabet of Thorn
by Patricia A. McKillip

Category: Fiction / Fantasy
320 pages; ISBN: 0441011306

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner


Alphabet of Thorn
Patricia A. McKillip
Ace, Feb 2004, $22.95, 320 pp.
ISBN 0441011306

The King of the Twelve Crowns of Raine is dead and his fourteen year old daughter Tessera is crowned Queen on Dreamer’s Plain. She is woefully unprepared for her office since most thought she has years to train to be a good leader. Already the second crown led by Ermin of Sealton is plotting to overthrow the queen as his nephew Bourne is placed in the Floating School of Macie to learn how to be a weapon for his uncle in the coming battle.

Bourne is not interested in power or being the nephew of a high king. His interest is in Nepenthe, a scribe in the huge library in the castle. She is an orphan who was taken in by the Librarians and grew to love books and knowledge. She is currently interested in the ALPHABET OF THORNS a work about an Emperor who lived three millennia ago and the sorcerer Kane who loved him. Little does Nepenthe know that she is the bridge between past and present and the future of the world rests on her shoulders.

Patricia A. McKillip always writes about worlds of wonders and magical adult fairy tales that have a universal appeal with their happily ever after endings. ALPHABET OF THORN is an exceptional work of fantasy with vulnerable heroines, dashing heroes and a villain that is all too believable in his quest for power. The land of Raine is a wondrous place, one this reviewer would love to visit (only if Bourne is borne away).

Harriet Klausner


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