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Treasure at the Heart of the Tanglewood

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  1,421 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews
First, she is Brown Hannah-a healer who lives in the Tanglewood, a drab girl who, for reasons unknown to her, unnerves the villagers who come for salves and charms. But when she challenges the magician who has held her captive for longer than she can remember, she becomes Green Hannah. Then she is Golden Hannah traveling through the land, her talking animals and birds (and ...more
Published May 21st 2001 by Viking Juvenile
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Mar 07, 2012 Lynn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Today’s post is on Treasure at the Heart of the Tanglewood by Meredith Ann Pierce. It is a stand-alone novel and is 241 pages long. It is published by Viking. The intended reader is young adult but anyone who has read Pierce’s other works will enjoy this one and if you have never read her before this is a good starting place. The cover has a curtain that is the night sky pulled to the side with a young girl looking at the reader and flowers are growing out of her hair. There is no language, no s
Feb 20, 2009 Ronda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Summary: Hannah is a healer in search of her identity and place in the world after she defies the wizard she has served for more years than she knows and sets out with her animal companions to locate the faraway queen who might be able to save the life of the injured young prince who has come to fight the fierce golden boar.

Booktalk: Hannah is a gifted young healer who lives at the edge of a deep, dark wood known as Tanglewood. She has no human friends, no memory or her past, nor any idea as to
Sep 14, 2009 Corinne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Instead of the usual review, this time I will be doing an interview with the main character of the book, named Brown Hannah.

me: Brown Hannah, tell me about yourself.

Brown Hannah: Well, I live on the borders of the Tanglewood - alone, except for my animal companions.

me: The Tanglewood, huh? I've heard around the village that the Tanglewood is sorta "creepy."

Brown Hannah: Not to me! I've lived my life amongst the trees and while I get the sense that people from the village are wary of me and my ab
Rachel Brown
An ageless girl named Brown Hannah speaks to wild animals, but neither
she nor they can remember anything of their past. She lives in
Tanglewood, in thrall to a wizard who forces her to pluck the flowers
that bloom in her hair and brew them into a tea that he drinks to
increase his powers. When she falls in love with one of the many
enchanted knights who come questing to Tanglewood, she defies the
wizard and goes on a quest seek out the mystery of his past. But as
she changes with the seasons and the b
Brown Hannah is a mysterious girl who lives with her animal friends in the Tanglewood; in her hair grow leaves and flowers, and she helps the people of a nearby village with herbs and charms. When she meets a knight in search of the fabled treasure of the Tanglewood and challenges the enigmatic wizard who lives at the heart of the wood, she decides to leave the wood in search of her true identity.

Treasure at the Heart of the Tanglewood is as beautifully written as Pierce's other books, but lack
Sep 05, 2008 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an interesting book! It reads very much like a myth... along the lines of Lewis' Till We Have Faces, though it's nothing like that story. One of the reviews quoted on the back cover of Enchantress of the Stars calls says that book is akin to The Faerie Queen. This title felt something like that... like it should be connected to some myth or tale though, as far as I can tell, it's Pierce's own creation. How clever she is to be able to lend her story that ancient feel! Still, it can be argued ...more
Jun 03, 2015 Pkelsay rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The plot is predictable, which is alright, but the language is frustrating. It's as if the author or editor decided that no adjective could be repeated in the entire novel. Just because I know fifteen synonyms for yellow doesn't mean I really want to see them all in a five-page span.

The dialogue also uses a faux-archaic version of English that is contrived as well.

The goal of the author to create a dream-like story is counteracted strongly by the problems with the language in dialogue and desc
Feb 13, 2017 Julie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The book started out strong, but I didn't really care for second half at all!

I feel like a few of Meredith Ann Pierce's books start with good ideas, but she doesn't quite know how to finish them. In this case, Hannah has a major confrontation about half way through the book with a ton of fallout/consequences. The rest of the book is when Hannah quests to resolve those consequences. The problem is that the ending of the book never shows the resolution of those consequences.

The other issue is that
Nov 30, 2016 Shayla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
That was pretty lovely. I've owned this book since I took it from my 7th grade classroom's bookcase 6 or 7 years ago, but I've never read it before now. Lately I've been really appreciating fantasy stories like this that are a little less known but are still really good.

This story was about a girl named Hannah who lives at the edge of the Tanglewood with some animals and none of them have any memory of how they got to the wood, but they've been there for a loooooong time. Like, centuries. Hannah
Oct 31, 2015 VV rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I suspect that if I were still an oblivious teenager, I would absolutely love this book. But I’m not anymore. I’m a bit older, and a bit more aware of what makes a good book. As it is, it’s very difficult for me to be impressed.

I like the writing. I think it's gorgeous. It does have it's pitfalls, however. Take the constant epithets used to describe Hannah as an example. Here's a few: brown-garbed girl, flaxen-haired girl, gold-garbed girl, flower-haired girl. Yes, yes, yes, I get it. Can't we j
Erin Cataldi
Jul 26, 2012 Erin Cataldi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
I was in just the right kind of mood for this easy breezy fantasy novel. It's a feel good novel that begs to be read outdoors on a nice spring day.

The story follows Hannah, a young healer of sorts, who lives in the Tanglewood forest under the watchful eye of a conniving wizard. She has no idea how she came to be, what her name is, or why she is different from the village folk who come to her for salves, remedies, and healing. Flowers and vines grow in her hair and she uses them to help makes med
Jun 23, 2014 Danielle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Picked this up at a local used bookstore due to it being a Firebird fantasy and once again I was not disappointed!

This book had the feel of reading an old piece of folklore, just kinda how words were used and repeated. One thing that stuck out to me was that Pierce uses dozens of descriptions for the same character when talking about her. "the golden girl", "the cloaked girl", "the citrus clad girl", and "golden Hannah" can all be used on the same page. Usually I'm not picky about these kinds of
Ashlee Willis
This book! I am getting the feeling I shouldn't try to review it at all ... but that's the way I feel with all of my favorites.

I knew from the first chapter that the real "treasure" was not in the name of the book - but truly the book itself. The story is one of universal value, of self-discovery and acceptance, of love and power. Hannah (the main character) is meek and sheltered, with only animal companions. The reader has the privilege to watch as she comes into her own personal beauty and wi
Jul 24, 2011 Tori rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
2003- Hannah has for as long as she remembers, lived at the edge of Tanglewood, where the local villagers come to visit her for her healing. Strange flowers grow in her hair, and she must pluck them out before they bloom and give the tea made from them to a wizard that lives in the Tanglewood. Hannah is content with her life, until she meets a brave knight, Foxkith, whom she falls in love with and wants to prevent from entering the forest, fearing he will never return like all the others. As soo ...more
Maia B.
The writing is very good, and the plot progresses slowly at first but then picks up speed towards the middle. It's not quite fantasy, not quite historical fiction - impossible to choose one. They're so closely intermingled that they've become one another.

The only major problem, as I see it, in this otherwise very good book is that once Hannah, the main character, has learned the solution to her final problem, she begins to put the solution into action just as the book ENDS. The reader doesn't ac
Jan 02, 2014 BiblioBickie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th
Brown Hannah lives at the edge of the Tanglewood where she is sought out by the villagers for her healing abilities. Each month, she pulls the flowers that grow from her head and uses them to create a special brew for the wizard who lives deep in the Tanglewood and protects its mysterious treasure. Knights often come searching for the treasure, but they are never seen again. One day, Hannah falls in love with one of them and later witnesses his transformation into a fox. Hannah starts to see the ...more
TeenFiction Teton County Library
YA Pierce

I think this will appeal mostly to the younger set of YA's. (It could even be moved to J.) It is not as sophisticated as McKinley or Dickinson fantasy novels I have read but it has it's own flair.

Hannah is a young healer who lives alone but for her animal companions. A dark wizard commands from her a special draught that comes from her long hair budding with leaves and shoots. When Hannah rescues a Knight from imminent death, she begins to question and unravel the mystery of the Tanglew
This book is essentially beautifully written though it takes a few pages to get used to Pierce's writing style. I was wishing that I had ever-changing seasonal hair after her beautiful descriptions!

I enjoyed the book all the way up to the end when I feel that the main character was portrayed as unnecessarily dense- I almost felt embarrassed for her. ALSO it seems like the last chapter was chopped off on the editing block. I felt very unsatisfied since one of the main plot lines of the story doe
Crystal Carroll
Aug 12, 2012 Crystal Carroll rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Brown Hannah’s hair grows flowers that she must pluck for the wizard’s as she watches young heroes ride into the Tanglewood in search of the treasure.

The secret of this story isn’t really the nature of the treasure. That’s fairly obvious. What’s important in this story is the wonderful stretch into seasons.

Hannah begins the story unnaturally frozen in the brown season. Gray and chill. Forgetful. Isolated even from herself. It’s about stretching out into the world in that first Maiden’s journ
Hannah lives at the edge of a cursed forest, though she has never been afraid there. Her hair grows herbs and flowers, which she uses to heal the ailments of the local village folk. She also must prepare a drink for the magician who lives in the forest, once a month, from what is growing in her hair at the time. She doesn't remember a different life.

As Hannah gains experience, she realizes that something is very wrong with her one-sided association with the wizard, and as she sets out to do some
Brigid Keely
This is a decent enough story bogged down by also being predictable and over written. Now, the "predictable" might have to do with the age level of the book, but I've never found Jane Yolen or Robin McKinely to be predictable and I haven't found Pierce's other books to be predictable. In trying to capture the tone of the world/people she seems to have taken the easy way out of using "quaint" language as a crutch. Despite that, it's an engaging story that moves quickly and features a female prota ...more
May 31, 2010 Diane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: elementary-on-up
Pierce has much skill with description and imagination. This book is a charming tale, but the plot is disappointing and simplistic. Anyone can guess the resolutions from the second chapter on, and Pierce uses the very annoying plot device where the main character can't figure out what is very obvious to even the other characters. It makes it hard for me to be interested in or respect a character who is that dumb when they are supposed to not be. However, it is beautifully written, and if you lik ...more
Bree Mclaren
Jun 03, 2013 Bree Mclaren rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
The writing is beautiful and want so much to say it was a fantastic read. However there is some fundamental problems I have with it, mainly how stupid the main character is. She doesn't seem to have any sense of reasoning or logic at all to figure out who she is. Even being imprisoned she had to have had basic development of common sense of some sort to have figured this out. Having figured out what the treasure of the Tanglewood was, the book seemed to slow in pace. I would say its good for a s ...more
Apr 09, 2010 Jen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: youth, sf-fantasy
This is a book I heard was good so checked it out from the library. It sat on my shelf for a while because I just was not really interested. That just goes to show that sometimes what you think you are not interested in is really something quite wonderful. This book feels like a fairy tale retelling though it isn't. The book just feels familiar and comfortable which is totally to the credit of the author. I just loved this book.

I just realized Pearce also wrote The Woman Who Loved Reindeer. Whic
Meredith Ann Pierce crafts a beautifully written modern fairy tale starring an unlikely hero. While the first rule of fantasy writing is to leave off with the "antique language" (think thee's and thou's), Pierce somehow makes her own brand of writing work, weaving a tapestry that is multi-layered and fully realized. Where the book falls short are its "twists," which I wish had been as ingenious as the prose. Readers older than YA will likely figure out where the story is going before it reaches ...more
Dec 11, 2013 Jennifer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
At first when I unearthed this book from the depths of my bookshelf, I was skeptical. I usually don't like to read really short books because, in my experience, the characters tend to lack depth and the plot is undeveloped. I was pleasantly surprised by this book, I thought that both the plot and the characters were multi-faceted and intriguing. I only gave the book 3 stars because the ending was too abrupt for my taste, but overall I was quite pleased.
Megan M.
Nov 22, 2007 Megan M. rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: young adults
I really liked this book. It is fantasy. A girl is like a tree, with hair filled with flowers and magic herbs. This wizard guy is taking advantage of her and makes her pull her hair out to keep the wizard at health. (They brew a tea like thing with the hair) The wizard drinks it to live. One day Hannah runs away to find out who she really is. There is so much more to the story, but it was really good.
Nov 26, 2008 TheSaint rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, fantasy
Hannah is a perfectly self-sufficient, magically-gifted healer living in the Tanglewood that the villagers fear. She is content with her life until she discovers that the wizard who is her protector is caught up in a web of lies. While trying to save countless young men from death while searching for the wizard's Treasure at the Heart of the Tanglewood, Hannah discovers the secret of the treasure and of her own heritage.
Dec 25, 2015 Tracy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good clean fantasy, appropriate for all ages, from a consistently fascinating author. Although I think the story took too long to come to its conclusion, I did like it, and I especially appreciated the way all the ends are finally tied up. Some unique insights on humility, unity, treasure, and evil. And the ending hits just the right balance of satisfying my need for "closure" and leaving some to the imagination, a hard balance for an author to strike.
Somehow this book left me wondering if this was really written by the same author of the fabulous Darkangel triology! I was so excited to find this book in my local library, that I felt bad after reading it. The story starts promising, but cannot deliver a good or even interesting ending. What a bummer!
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Meredith Ann Pierce is a fantasy writer and librarian. Her books deal in fantasy worlds with mythic settings and yet overturn standard expectations, frequently featuring young women who first wish only to love and be loved, yet who must face hazard and danger to save their way of life, their world, and so on, usually without being respected for their efforts until the end of the story.
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