Something is wrong in the house that Lin’s family has rented; Lin is sure of it. The clocks tick too slowly. Frost covers the flowerbed, even in a rain storm. And when a secret key marked “Twistrose” arrives for her, Lin finds a crack in the cellar, a gate to the world of Sylver.
This frozen realm is the home of every dead animal who ever loved a child. Lin is overjoyed to be reunited with Rufus, the pet she buried under the rosebush. But together they must find the missing Winter Prince in order to save Sylver from destruction.
They are not the only ones hunting for the boy this night. In the dark hides a shadow-lipped man, waiting for the last Winter Prince to be delivered into his hands.
I was drawn to this book because of the stunning cover artwork and the word ‘key’ and I am so glad that I was; The Twistrose Key is visually stunning, complete with maps, and illustrations at the start of chapters. It may have been the visuals that pulled me in but it was most definitely the writing that kept me interested. It took me two days to read and part of me is still pawing for more.
The story follows Lin, who is spirited away to Sylver in order to go on a quest only a human child could complete. Reunited with her pet, Rufus, alongside wilders and petlings alike, Lin is off in search of a Winterfyrst and I am all too happy to follow. I couldn’t help but feel like a child again while reading but this book is not to be mistaken with simple, whimsical kid-lit. The Twistrose Key explores darkness and revels in what it finds there, travelling to darker places than you might think when reading the blurb. It’s definitely worth picking up, no matter what age you might be.
As world-building goes, Sylver is complete. I found myself completely immersed and wouldn’t mind jumping inside the book to explore the streets myself (not to mention trying a plate of waffles!) but I definitely wouldn’t want to cross the Palisade.
The only thing I would have liked to have seen more of is the Nightmares and their mysterious leader, who could have been explored further. All in all, this is a really nifty little book and well worth the read. If you like stories like Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, you might find a soft spot for this.