Title: The Apple and The Thorn
Author: Emma Restall Orr and Walter William Melnyk
Publisher: Thoth Publishing
Genre: historical fiction, romance
Length – 295 pages
Pagan & Pagan Elements: yes/yes
Card Rating: — 1 card
Reviewed by: Brandi
About The Book: From : This story is not true in the sense that most people use the word. It emerges out of the mists of time, rooted deep in the ancient heritage of Britain. A weave of mythologies, theologies, and histories, it is the story of two people, and a story of all peoples. It has no beginning and it has no ending.
The Apple and the Thorn stands upon the tradition of two mythical characters: Vivian, the Lady of the Lake and Eosaidh of Cornualle (Joseph of Arimathea). Yet the land itself is a living character in the tale, as is the surrounding marsh, the invading Roman legion and a very special cup of blue glass that unites them all. A Timeless Tale of Love and War. Source
The Review: The Apple and The Thorn is a very poetic novel, told in first person with the point of view alternating between Vivian and Eos. Though this style allowed for wonderful characterization, the story would have worked much better in third person.
The blurb states the authors’ intention of creating “the land itself is a living character”; however there is such a thing as being too descriptive. The feel of blankets, of soil, of the forest, etc. is over-explained at every opportunity, and the wording is annoying and a bit clichéd. The authors also chose to write the novel in present tense, which just doesn’t work, as there is not enough action or excitement in the novel to justify it.
Admittedly, the language used is beautiful and (to a limited degree) historical, but would be better suited in the non-fiction work author Emma Restall Orr is best known for. At times the book gets so poetic and ‘wordy’ that it’s difficult to keep track of the story line. And unfortunately, it leads the reader to ask: Is there an actual storyline here?
After the first chapter, it became a chore to read this book. While some passages are engaging and beautiful, others are tedious and boring, and I found myself skimming the pages instead of actually reading, searching for some movement of plot. I never found it.
The relationship between Vivian and Eos is well intended and has some flecks of passion, but because of the style issues of the novel, it is difficult to relate to them or to even care about the developing romance.
Pagan Elements: ~ Druidism, Historical Britain, Arthurian Legend
Cover (Rated 1-10): 7 – very pretty with subtle colors, but not outstanding, and does not pull a reader in.