Book Title: The Path of Thorns
Author: A.G. Slatter
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55302954-the-path-of-thorns
Release Date: 06/28/22
Gripping and dark, a mesmerizing new fairy tale.
Alone in the world, Asher Todd travels to the remote estate of Morwood Grange to become governess to three small children. Her sole possessions comprise a sea chest and a large carpet bag she hangs onto for dear life. She finds a fine old home, its inhabitants proud of their lineage and impeccable reputation, and a small village nearby. It seems an untroubled existence, yet there are portraits missing from the walls, locked rooms, and names excised from the family tree inscribed in the bible. In short order, the children adore her, she becomes indispensible to their father Luther in his laboratory, and her potions are able to restore the sight of granddame Leonora. Soon Asher fits in as if she’s always been there, but there are creatures that stalk the woods at night, spectres haunt the halls, and Asher is not as much a stranger to the Morwoods as it might at first appear. – Goodreads
I know I called it a fairy tale, but just to be clear this is not a fairy tale re-telling. It is wholly original, but is very much in keeping with the vibe of a good gothic fairy tale. It is dark and dangerous. The main character Asher Todd is a conundrum. While the reader grows to like her a great deal, and even root for her, you also know that her motivations are … complicated to say the least. She is an untrustworthy narrator, and you get the feeling is not on the side of the angels. But then again, I don’t think anyone in this story is. Doesn’t matter. I like her.
The book is very atmospheric. The vibe feels akin to halfway through Jane Eyre’s nights wandering through the darkness of Thornfield Hall, when the reader didn’t know the whole story and the madwoman in the attic was still a thing of mystery and terror.
The author also sprinkles little tales throughout the book that give you a hint as to what is really going on in the plot and I found myself genuinely excited when I saw the font change and I knew a new side story was about to unfold.
In other words, this is a 5 star book for me and the creepy feel means I have already pinned it on my TBR for a re-read when fall comes and I need something a little spooky. Ms. Slatter has become an auto-buy for me.