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The Thorn and the Blossom

3.29  ·  Rating Details  ·  819 Ratings  ·  264 Reviews
One enchanting romance. Two lovers keeping secrets. And a uniquely crafted book that binds their stories forever.

When Evelyn Morgan walked into the village bookstore, she didn’t know she would meet the love of her life. When Brendan Thorne handed her a medieval romance, he didn’t know it would change the course of his future. It was almost as if they were the cursed lovers
Hardcover, 82 pages
Published January 17th 2012 by Quirk Books (first published 2012)
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Mar 30, 2012 Hannah rated it it was ok
Shelves: romances, 2012-reads
Rating Clarification: 1.5 Stars

I'm bummed I wasn't as taken with this story as I hoped to be. After all, it involves (cue Julie Andrews from The Sound of Music) "a few of my favorite things":

1. A Cornish setting
2. A quaint bookstore
3. A hunky Brit hero
4. A fairy tale/legend about Sir Gawain, the Green Knight, and Queen Elowen
5. Lost loves/past lives intertwining throughout the centuries
6. A beautiful cover (one of the most beautiful I've personally ever seen)
7. A very cool book design, with an a
Dec 06, 2014 Aditi rated it liked it
Mathias Malzieu, the singer of the French music band, Dionysos, has quoted while saying about "love":

“We love each other like matches in the dark. We don't talk, we catch fire instead”

Theodora Goss, an American author, has weaved a sweet fairy tale in her new book, The Thorn and the Blossom .


One enchanting romance. Two lovers keeping secrets. And a uniquely crafted book that binds their stories forever.

When Evelyn Morgan walked into the village bookstore, she did not know she would me
May 24, 2016 Amina rated it liked it
Beautiful but could have been richer in events..

When Evelyn Morgan walked into the village bookstore, she didn’t know she would meet the love of her life. When Brendan Thorne handed her a medieval romance, he didn’t know it would change the course of his future. It was almost as if they were the cursed lovers in the old book itself . . ."

Evelyn, an american wealthy girl, litt student in Oxford, decides to spend a week in Cornwall to write something other than -according to professor Lambert- he
Athena Shardbearer
Sep 24, 2014 Athena Shardbearer rated it liked it
Shelves: romance

I’m totally a Shardbearer!

So this morning was not such a great morning. I woke up late, forgot to wash my hair last night, the puppies had accidents in their kennels, forgot to write a check for my daughters school pictures…the day was not going so well :(

Until this baby was in the pile of yesterdays mail. I would like to thank Quirk Books Publishing for sending me a copy of The Thorn and the Blossom by Theodora Goss. I was not expecting this in the mail! WOOP WOOP!!!

Look at the detail and the
Lent to me by a friend (thanks!) -- I received it in the post today and read it this evening in one go. It's a pair of connected novellas/short stories, which cover more or less the same events from the point of view of the two main participants. It doesn't really matter which you read first: each illuminates and complements the other. It's a lot of fun, actually: the physical copy of the book has concertina pages, so you read it one way, turn it round, and read back the other. It's a very nice ...more
Amy A
Dec 04, 2013 Amy A rated it liked it
I will be honest. The thing that attracted me first to this book was the different way in which it was packaged, an "accordian style binding". The whole concept was pretty clever I thought, one story told from two different people's perspectives.

The underlyning message of the story was not cloaked by any means. The reader knows right away who the characters are / were and the fate that they face, but instead of making the story boring it was more interesting to be able to pick out the details o
Apr 13, 2012 Kelly rated it really liked it
Evelyn and Brendan are both students at Oxford when they meet in the tiny Cornish town of Clews, where Evelyn is taking a much-needed break and Brendan is working in his father's bookstore. A romance begins to bloom between the two, and Brendan shares with Evelyn his favorite legend: a local Arthurian variant about star-crossed lovers Gawan and Elowen. Then something uncanny occurs, and Evelyn and Brendan part and lose touch. Ten years later they meet again while teaching at Bartlett College in ...more
I received this book courtesy of Quirk Books in exchange for an honest review.

Have patience, love, and we shall meet again
As surely as wild roses have their thorns
For weary years eventually pass.

The 'Thorn and the Blossom' is quite literally a "two-sided love story" about Brendan Thorne and Evelyn Morgan. Intertwined with their love story is the tale of Elowen, queen of Cornwall and Gawan and their own timeless love story. Brendan and Evelyn first meet when she walks into Brendan's family bookst
Isa Lavinia
Originally posted at Paperback Wonderland.

Never judge a book by its cover.
I already knew this and yet, here I am.

This is, quite easily, one of the prettiest books I own. The book itself, as an object, is worth a whole star (perhaps even more...).

Now the story...
First of all, and this is important, it's not badly written.
The dialogue is a bit trite and at times unbelievable, but other than that it's fine.

The plot hinges on a cliché I personally hate: that of star crossed lovers who will fall i
Mar 12, 2012 Samantha rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of star-crossed lovers and Medieval tales
Recommended to Samantha by: Patricia
Note: This review will be done in 3 parts. One for each version of the story and then the final for an overview of the entire story as a whole. I began with Brendan's Story.

Brendan's Story:
In this part, we are introduced to Brendan Thorne. He lives in Clewes, where he helps his father with the Thorne & Son bookstore. This part left my heart aching with romantic longing. I was really hoping they would end up together. This is exactly the kind of romance I enjoy. One where there are obstacle
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
I can't review this book without first commenting on the physical design. Accordion-style, printed on both sides, the book doesn't have a spine. That forces you to hold the book carefully, almost cradling it, which (for me) enhanced the sort of magical-artifact-found-in-my-grandmother's-attic artifact nature that I ate up. I suppose others will find it gimmick-y, but I was immediately charmed.

The book tells the same story from two different viewpoints, that of Evelyn, an American medievalist who
Burcugül durmaz
Dec 22, 2015 Burcugül durmaz rated it really liked it
kısa ve etkileyiciydi.. çift taraflı okumak cidden farklı bir etki yaratıyor..
Feb 20, 2015 Tracey rated it liked it
Shelves: lter, 3-star
Whatever else there is to say about this book, it's a lovely concept, and beautifully executed. It is called a "Two-Sided Love Story", and this is literal: we are able to read the story from the point of view of each of the lovers. Rather than being bound like an ordinary book, the pages are strung together in accordion folds, sandwiched between two very pretty covers, and encased in a gorgeous slipcover. When one story is finished, the book is turned around, and the end of one leads into the be ...more
I'm a fan of Quirk Books. They're always looking for ways to challenge the status quo a bit, try something new, and I appreciate that. (And with hits like Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children to their name, they aren't doing a bad job of it, either.) So I'm always curious to see what they have planned next. But The Thorn and the Blossom surprised even me. I mean, I knew of accordion bindings in a sort of abstract way, as something that's just not done. And yet, here they are, doing it.
Jan 13, 2012 Beth rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful novella. The book is accordion-bound telling two sides of a wonderfully told love story. The book is housed in a gorgeous slip cover. The artwork is stunning. This is one book I highly recommend buying the print version versus the e-book edition. The quality of the paper and cover are extraordinary!

One side tells the story from Evelyn's viewpoint. Evelyn travels to Cornwall for a week, where she meets Brendan in a bookstore. They both discover their common love for medieval l
Sofia Samatar
Jan 29, 2012 Sofia Samatar rated it really liked it
I've read a number of reviews of this book online. People are generally enthusiastic about the accordion book concept and the sheer beauty of The Thorn and the Blossom as a physical object, and rightly so. Many seem to have read it because they were so attracted to its material form, and to have approached it with excited cries of "The packaging! The packaging!" I, on the other hand, approached with cries of "The Goss! The Goss!"

So this is a Goss reader's review, because I have been in love with
Jan 07, 2012 Sapphyria rated it really liked it
**4 1/2 Stars**

This is one of the most unique novels and I'm glad I was given a chance to read and review this. I may not have discovered this literary gem otherwise.

When Evelyn, an American, makes an impromptu visit across the ocean to Cornwall, she hopes to just get away from it all for a week; Oxford and her studies, her parents...She wasn't counting on meeting Brendan Thorne and forming a connection to him. While walking through a forest together near the end of her week-long vacation, Brend
Alex Maidy
Dec 14, 2011 Alex Maidy rated it really liked it
I do not think I would have picked up this book if it were not for the unique binding. Having read Mark Z. Danielewski's two-sided novel Only Revolutions, I was intrigued by another attempt at the dual story printed on opposite sides of the same physical book. Where Danielewski's novel was almost impenetrable (you had to flip the book every nine pages), Goss has achieved an interesting balance here. You truly can read either story first and it does affect the other.

The basic premise is two Oxfor
Jan 01, 2012 Karissa rated it really liked it
I got a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This was a beautifully written and hauntingly romantic read. It is a very short read, but the way the book is put together is interesting and unique.

Evelyn has been haunted by hallucinations of fairies and other fantastical things much of her life. Then she decides to spend a summer in a small English village and meets Brendan in a bookstore. The two get along famously until Evelyn starts to see things again and flees
Kathy Martin
Jan 02, 2012 Kathy Martin rated it it was amazing
Usually when I am reading a story, the format doesn't matter to me - ebook, paperback, hardcover, PDF, or computer file are all just vehicles for the story and quickly fade into the background. But with this book it mattered. Initially, I didn't know how to hold this book. It kept falling into its accordion folds and ending up in my lap. I almost felt like it needed one of those reading stands that you see in medieval book rooms along with the white, acid-free gloves you wear to not damage the p ...more
Jan 17, 2013 Jessica rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Let me start by saying that I love Quirk Books. They do a lot of unique and interesting things with the books they choose to publish. I've long said that working at Quirk would be my dream job, especially after I got to meet a few members of their tiny staff during grad school. Unfortunately, that small staff means that they never seem to hire anything expect unpaid interns. Maybe one day (if I could reconcile the fact that I'd have to move back to Philadelphia).

Anyway: the subtitle of this boo
Dec 04, 2013 Sari rated it really liked it
This is a love story - the story of Evelyn and Brendan. I really enjoyed this book - the format is something I think a lot of people will be talking about. It's printed "accordion-style" and you can either read Evelyn's story first or Brendan's, it doesn't really matter, they both read from front to back, from different ends of the book.

Evelyn is an American who sometimes "sees things" and is always being told she's too imaginative for her own good and that she needs to get more serious with her
Jun 13, 2013 Res rated it it was ok
Shelves: sff, romance
The reversible book that tells the story of a romance separately from each character's point of view.

I expected more. I mean, it would be very tricky to do this, not knowing which story the reader would read first, but if I read the same events twice from different POVs, I expect that the second story will in some way change the meaning of the first one, or shed new light on it, or whatever. Instead, frankly this just felt like reading the same story twice.

Also, maybe I'm too old and grumpy for
Hitessh Panchal
May 27, 2016 Hitessh Panchal rated it really liked it

Love Story Of Evelyn And Brendan

I picked this book, after reading the Red as Blood and White as Bone by the same author.
It is a fine love story, that runs along with another love story, that springs right from a book,that has a medieval romance.

The Characterization are absolutely fine.

The book narrates the love story twice.

- She says it first
- He says it again.

Both narrating their side of Love Story. As if both gets a chance to pour their feelings out, instead a third person deciding for

Rachel Houston
Mar 10, 2016 Rachel Houston rated it really liked it
This book is actually closer to 3 stars, but the innovative design and beautiful cover deserve a star of their own
Sue Moro
Feb 22, 2015 Sue Moro rated it liked it
This is a uniquely bound book. It is spineless and looks like an accordion which is contained within a slip case. This, and the cover design, are what initially drew me to pick up the book. It is a tale of star-crossed lovers meeting now in contemporary times within the bodies of Evelyn Morgan and Brendan Thorne. It is a romance story full of hope that the curse that has kept them separate for a thousand years may be over and they can once again be reunited.

Both Evelyn and Brendan are Oxford stu
Dec 24, 2011 Bookworm1858 rated it really liked it
I first heard about this book due to its unique appearance. It has accordion-fold binding with a story on each side. One side is Evelyn's story; the other is Brendan's. They cover the same period but only reveal what each person is thinking at that point in time. There are also some (black and white) illustrations that made me think of engravings and a very beautiful box to hold the book.

Honestly the book was a little awkward to hold and I ended up bending a few pages but it's so short that it s
Jan 17, 2012 Rebecca rated it really liked it
When I was contacted to review The Thorn and the Blossom the design and description made me say "yes" immediately. So often I will read one POV in a book and wonder what the other main character is thinking. I had never read an accordion-bound book before, it was a bit tricky to figure out how to hold at first. But, I like the way Evelyn and Brendan’s covers are done. The slipcover that The Thorn and the Blossom is classically beautiful.

I started with Evelyn’s side of the story. I enjoyed Evelyn
Jan 15, 2012 Lauren rated it really liked it
The Thorn and the Blossom is a short novel that tells the tale of Evelyn Morgan and Brendan Thorne. They first meet when Evelyn is visiting the small town of Clews, where Brendan runs his family bookstore. From there, the two young lovers embark on a journey where they discover things about each other, about history, and about themselves.

Evelyn is an intelligent, determined young woman. She is a professor who enjoys literature, history, and tall tales. When Brendan and Evelyn meet, they bond ove
Feb 19, 2012 Larou added it
Shelves: fantasy, 2012-02
I do like my Kindle, and after having owned it for ten months and using it extensively I would not want to miss it. And while it is extremely convenient and very much to be preferred over most physical books which these days are more often than not badly designed, badly bound and badly printed in a miniature font that gives you a headache after ten minutes of reading, there still are (and likely will remain) some things that simply cannot be done with an e-book.[return][return]The Blossom and th ...more
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Theodora Goss's publications include the short story collection In the Forest of Forgetting (2006); Interfictions (2007), a short story anthology coedited with Delia Sherman; Voices from Fairyland (2008), a poetry anthology with critical essays and a selection of her own poems; and The Thorn and the Blossom (2012), a two-sided novella in an accordion format. She has been a finalist for the Nebula, ...more
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