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Often lyrical, and always entertaining, this Norse-vibed YA debut has friendship, fear and coming-of-age conundrums at its heart. It tells the tale of a land ransacked by a civil war that saw a new religion and younger prince replace a brutal old regime. Some nine years later, in peacetime, friends Torny and Ebba remember nothing of the war, or life before the uprising. But with their land on the brink of fresh upheaval, the unforgettable female protagonists find themselves on separate tracks, with painful, testing, relentless repercussions.
With a cast of characters that includes gods and spirits, shamans and magic-workers, the world-building is fabulous, and the dual narrative device (it alternates between Torny and Ebba) really adds to the drama and tension. Fantasy fans will be delighted to hear that a sequel is on its way.
You're too young to remember why we needed heroes. You should be glad... Nine years ago, two princes waged a bloody civil war for the right to rule Arngard. The younger prince took the throne and outlawed the ancient beliefs, but some wounds don't heal. New religion replaced the barbaric traditions and finally, there's peace. Torny and Ebba are friends. Sent away by their families, they work together and watch out for each other. Too young to remember the war that tore apart the kingdom, Torny dreams of the glorious warriors of old, while Ebba misses her family, despite the darkness she left behind. But when a man is murdered on the street and Torny finds herself in possession of a dangerous message, the two friends must tread separate paths. These will lead them through fear, through grief, to the source of their own power and to the gates of death itself. As Torny and Ebba are used as tools for the opposing factions of the war, a deep power is ignited in them both. Can they uncover their own strength to finally heal the wounds of a nation?
A message from author, Rose Edwards; “I wrote The Harm Tree for a lot of people. I wrote it for my younger self, who longed to see young women confronting the complexities of life. I wrote it for the students I'd taught, whose excitement for worlds beyond their own, peopled by characters they could aspire to be like, kept me going through dark days. I wrote it for people I'd never meet, who might need to know that growing up is hard, but also exciting, loving, and worth surviving.”
“A country on the brink of war, and two best friends turned enemies in a world where nothing is as it seems, Edwards has created a rich, compelling epic that will leave even the most hungry fantasy reader sated.” Melinda Salisbury
Publication date: 19/07/2019
Publisher: UCLan Publishing
|Publication date:||19th July 2019|
|Genres:||NewGen - YA Fiction, Debuts of the Month, Debuts, Sci-Fi and Fantasy,|
|Categories:||Fantasy & magical realism (Children's / Teenage),|
Rose Edwards writes young adult and literary fiction and has been writing since she was nine. She studied Literature and Philosophy at the University of York before completing a Masters in Chinese studies at SOAS. After working as an English teacher, she learned how important a good book can be. She left teaching to study Creative Writing at the University of Oxford, graduating with Distinction. She is inspired by lives that go against the grain and encapsulate periods of change, and she is dedicated to representing girl heroes whose lives, backgrounds and motivations are complex and varied.More About Rose Edwards