Book Review: Alphabet Of Thorn

Several years ago, I moved from Illinois out to the very edge of North Carolina to settle into what would be me and my husband’s first home together. It was a cozy little apartment with ridiculously high rent, but it came with a few special benefits that weren’t the joy of living with the man of my dreams.

It was hard to get much more convenient than that little place. There was a K-Mart beside the apartment complex and a bead shop next door to the post office, which was about a mile and a half away, easily within walking distance. But the best feature of the property, hands down, was that the library was only a few blocks away.

I must admit that I did a terrible thing when I found this book in the library. I picked it up and took it home not because it sounded interesting, not because it had been recommended, but solely because it was pretty.

All of this author’s books were pretty, in fact. Stunning artwork decorating a tiny hand-sized hardcover book. It was dainty. It was cute. I had a hard time choosing, probably because I didn’t read the story descriptions, but this was the one I took home.

And what a choice it was. My only complaint is that the story is just so short, but what can you expect from a tiny book? Patricia A. McKillip’s Alphabet of Thorn is a remarkably well-crafted novella that takes place in two timelines. One where a young translator becomes caught up in revealing the history of the legendary conqueror Axis and his sorcerer companion, Kane – And the other, following Kane through trials that happened centuries in the past.

The two timelines are connected through a twist that occurs perhaps a bit predictably, but the concept of time and its manipulation are portrayed in a manner that is top notch.

I didn’t get a chance to read this author’s other works before we left that cozy little apartment, but if presented to me, I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up another one of this author’s books – Which are beautiful inside and out.

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