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Treasure at the Heart of the Tanglewood

3.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,347 Ratings  ·  60 Reviews
First she is Brown Hannah, a drab healer living in the enchanted Tanglewood. Then, when she challenges the magician who holds her captive, she becomes Green Hannah. Next, she is Golden Hannah traveling through the land, with talking animals and birds by her side. And, finally, Russet Hannah, when she makes the long journey back to where she first grew, and learns her true ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published April 14th 2003 by Firebird (first published May 21st 2001)
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To Collect: Fantasy
42nd out of 92 books — 3 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,347)
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Ronda
Feb 20, 2009 Ronda rated it really liked it
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
...more
Lynn
Oct 04, 2013 Lynn rated it it was amazing

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
...more
Corinne
Feb 05, 2016 Corinne rated it really liked it
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
...more
Rachel Brown
Jul 25, 2012 Rachel Brown rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, children-s
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
...more
Margaret
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
...more
Stephanie
Jan 03, 2009 Stephanie rated it really liked it
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
Vanh
Oct 31, 2015 Vanh rated it liked it
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
...more
Danielle
Jun 23, 2014 Danielle rated it really liked it
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
...more
Erin Cataldi
Jul 30, 2012 Erin Cataldi rated it really liked it
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
...more
Ashlee Willis
Aug 12, 2013 Ashlee Willis rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Tori
Jul 24, 2011 Tori rated it liked it
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
Tracy
Dec 25, 2015 Tracy rated it really liked it
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.
Maia B.
Feb 23, 2011 Maia B. rated it liked it
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
...more
Patrick
Sep 14, 2015 Patrick rated it liked it
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
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
...more
Linnae
Sep 17, 2013 Linnae rated it liked it
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
...more
Crystal Carroll
Aug 12, 2012 Crystal Carroll rated it really liked it
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
...more
Wildcrafted
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
...more
Pkelsay
Apr 29, 2016 Pkelsay rated it did not like it
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
...more
Brigid Keely
Sep 13, 2012 Brigid Keely rated it liked it
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
Jen
Apr 09, 2010 Jen rated it it was amazing
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
...more
The Lazy Reader
Nov 13, 2015 The Lazy Reader rated it it was amazing
One of my absolute favorite books of all time.
Emi Keiser
Jul 30, 2014 Emi Keiser rated it it was amazing
Amazing and with a solid twisted road to follow
Diane
May 31, 2010 Diane rated it liked it
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
Mar 02, 2014 Bree Mclaren rated it liked it
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
Kara
Aug 05, 2012 Kara rated it it was amazing
My favorite book of all time. I got this book 9 years ago! I picked it up again this morning off of my shelf and it brought me back to my late childhood. The story is well written, has wonderful characters, and the world and mythology of the book is amazingly well-thought and unique. I've felt for years that it was deserving of a sequel, and still feel that way today! No matter how many times I've read the book, I just can't part with Hannah's world.
Jennifer
Aug 06, 2015 Jennifer rated it it was ok
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.
TheSaint
Nov 26, 2008 TheSaint rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Megan M.
Nov 22, 2007 Megan M. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Linda Ash
Apr 12, 2011 Linda Ash rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who like Chalice, by Robin Mckinley
I read this book many years ago, yet there are things from it that I catch myself thinking about still. It's wonderfully original and is the kind of thing that sticks with you. I would recommend it to the kind of people who also love Chalice, by Robin McKinley.
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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.
More about Meredith Ann Pierce...

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