Book Review: The Twistrose Key

Book Review: The Twistrose KeyThe Twistrose Key by Tone Almhjell
Published by Dial Books on October 17th 2013
Pages: 336
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A striking middle-grade debut in the tradition of The Chronicles of Narnia and The Golden Compass

When a mysterious parcel arrives at her family’s new home, eleven-year-old Lin Rosenquist has a curious feeling she’s meant to discover what’s inside.

Much to Lin’s surprise, the ornate key contained in the parcel unlocks a spellbinding world called Sylver, hidden behind the cellar door. Sylver is an enchanting land of eternal winter, inhabited by animals that shared a special connection with children in the real world, either as beloved pets or tamed wild animals. In death, they are delivered to Sylver, where they take on a curiously human-like form and still watch over the children they cherish. While Lin is overjoyed to be reunited with her beloved pet, Rufus, she soon learns that the magic of the Petlings and Wilders is failing, and snow trolls want to claim Sylver for themselves. Lin must discover a way to stop them and save this enchanted world.

Full of charm, suspense, and heartfelt emotion, this memorable classic in the making will leave readers breathless.

I have been anticipating this book since I first read the summary and found from page one that I was in a magical world of imagination. The beautiful settings really brought Lin's world to life as she found herself looking for answers. She receives a key that could only belong to a certain door, one that she finds in the cellar. Where this door leads to is another world, where all beloved pets go to after dying in their own world. The world is no heaven though, strife with it's own problems that are usually solved by a Twistrose child, which is what Lin is. 

Lin, with the help of her beloved pet Rufus, must save the world they are in from being overcome with Snow Trolls. She must find a boy that is native to the land, but disappeared without a trace. She must find him in order to fulfill her own quest. I love the mystery involved in this story, where no one can really be trusted and Lin must figure out the next part of the puzzle. Her own time of make believe with troll hunting transforms into the world she is in, a lovely aspect that really leads the reader to imagine a bridge between two worlds being that much closer to real. 

I love Rufus and the memories that Lin has with him. He is loyal and respectful of Lin, but has his own personality that shines through. The world of Sylver is a beautiful place that has it's own native creatures, along with the Petlings who come from Lin's world after death. I loved how they categorized themselves, even as pets, creating their own factions and allies within Sylver. The songs and riddles within the story help guide Lin and are lyrically beautiful and made me wish for a time where bards sung in taverns and traveled afar. 

Final Verdict: The Twistrose Key is a beautifully written novel that lets the reader escape into a world where the pets once loved populate the landscape. Although I am glad this book ended as a standalone, I wish to explore more of the world of Sylver and hope for more magical adventures written by Tone Almhjell. 

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