It’s my absolute pleasure today to be the first stop on the blog tour for A.G. Slatter’s The Path of Thorns, which is released in Australia today. The Path of Thorns is set in the same world as several of Slatter’s other books, including All the Murmuring Bones, which I loved last year (you can see my review of that one here), and is one of my most eagerly anticipated books for 2022.
What is The Path of Thorns About
Asher Todd comes to live with the mysterious Morwood family as a governess to their children. Asher knows little about being a governess but she is skilled in botany and herbcraft, and perhaps more than that. And she has secrets of her own, dark and terrible – and Morwood is a house that eats secrets. With a monstrous revenge in mind, Asher plans to make it choke. However, she becomes fond of her charges, of the people of the Tarn, and she begins to wonder if she will be able to execute her plan – and who will suffer most if she does. But as the ghosts of her past become harder to control, Asher realises she has no choice.
My review of The Path of Thorns by A.G. Slatter
I adore A.G. Slatter’s writing style, and the way she weaves her stories, and this latest novel did not disappoint. That delicious gothic feeling of something being not quite right even though there’s nothing wrong grabbed my from the opening pages, as we arrive with Asher at Morwood, and I was hooked until the very end.
Reading this one really gave me a feeling of being transported into the world Slatter has created – filled with mystery and secrets, and quite a bit of magic too. I like that elements of the world and it’s magic and myth aren’t necessarily over-explained – this helps it feel full and complete, and easy to slip into. I love the traditional dark fairytale vibe of the story telling, and also the way that ‘telling’ is almost revered as a kind of magic in itself. The pacing was great for me – I really like that we saw everything unfold from Asher’s point of view, but also that her story was revealed to us bit by bit. Knowing already that I enjoy Slatter’s work so much, I was so happy to go along with Asher on this adventure, and it made for such a fun reading experience.
I do also love a story about women working with herbcraft, and the dynamic between this and the church and what this means for the community. This was touched on both in terms of Asher’s situation in the time she was living, and also her connection back to women in her past. There is also a vibe of feminism and the struggles and strengths of women, even where this isn’t explicit in the words, which I really appreciate.
I absolutely recommend this one to fans of gothic fantasy – I just feel like the unease I want from this style of story is nailed so well. While Slatter does have several books set in this world, I don’t think you need to read them in any particular order, and if you haven’t read any others I think this would be a great place to start (I suspect, like me, you might find yourself keen to get your hands on ore as soon as you finish!).
Big thanks to New South Books for my free review copy, and for having me along on the blog tour! Make sure you head over to the New South Books Instagram page to check out other participants in the blog tour!
The Path of Thorns by A.G. Slatter
Out now from Titan Books (via New South Books in Australia).
Source: I received a free copy of this one for review from New South Books (thank you!). All views are my own.
Category: Gothic fantasy fiction.