A striking middle-grade debut in the tradition of The Chronicles of Narnia and The Golden Compass
When a mysterious parcel arrives at her family’s new home, eleven-year-old Lin Rosenquist has a curious feeling she’s meant to discover what’s inside.
Much to Lin’s surprise, the ornate key contained in the parcel unlocks a spellbinding world called Sylver, hidden behind the cellar door. Sylver is an enchanting land of eternal winter, inhabited by animals that shared a special connection with children in the real world, either as beloved pets or tamed wild animals. In death, they are delivered to Sylver, where they take on a curiously human-like form and still watch over the children they cherish. While Lin is overjoyed to be reunited with her beloved pet, Rufus, she soon learns that the magic of the Petlings and Wilders is failing, and snow trolls want to claim Sylver for themselves. Lin must discover a way to stop them and save this enchanted world.
Full of charm, suspense, and heartfelt emotion, this memorable classic in the making will leave readers breathless.
Tone Almhjell grew up in Kristiansund and Trøndelag. Today she lives in Oslo with her husband and children. She has a master's degree in English literature from the University of Oslo, and wrote thesis on Lord of the Rings by Tolkien. She also has a Master of Science Fiction from the University of Liverpool.
Lin receives an unexpected package wrapped with brown paper and tied with sodden string. Inside she discovers a key that opens a door to the frost-covered land of Sylver, a magical realm where every dead animal that ever loved a child is alive again and has grown to the size of humans. Sylver is poised on the brink of disaster and Lin is tasked with finding the one person who can save the magical realm from being destroyed forever.
The Twistrose Key has an undeniable Narnian quality: a secret door between worlds; a magical snow-covered land; talking animals; a little girl adventuring in an over-sized fur coat. There's even mention of lampposts:
A lush pile of snow lay on every roof and turret and on top of the wrought-iron lampposts that shed a warm light onto the streets. Frost roses obscured the many-paned windows. Some of the houses had a carved sign of lacquered wood mounted on a rod beneath the gable.
There's a certain appeal that comes naturally with reading about animals wearing coats and breeches. Many of the animal characters in this book are playfully crafted. Ursa Minor is a bear who feels woeful about his tendency to break porcelain teapots. Teriko the parrot struggles to resist repeating the last word of whatever other characters say:
"Excellent," Figenskar said. "Tonight, lieutenant, you have truly earned your treat." "Treat!" Teriko screamed.
Sylver is an enchanting place, liable to stir the imagination of young readers, especially given the alluring names of its locations like Peppersnap Nook, Juniper Thicket, and Buttertop.
But for all its strengths, The Twistrose Key is flawed. The overall writing is pleasant, but the author is sometimes heavy handed with the use of adjectives.
Blood is mentioned with alarming regularity. In fact, the book is unexpectedly violent:
The third drawing showed how to use the helmet. It was strapped to the head of the boy, and the spikes were driven into his head. The boy was biting down on a piece of rubber. His eyeballs were white, yet he was sitting upright, writing on a piece of paper.
A few other words seem to appear in the book again and again. The word rime, for example. Creak - and all of its variant uses: creaked, creaking, creaks - is perhaps the most prevalent word used to excess. Everything in this book creaks: boots, leather, doors and trees - okay, fine - but also snow, a waterfall, and the moor.
The story feels rushed and exposition is sometimes delivered in amateur ways. The protagonist, Lin, fails to be a complex character. She feels hollow, at times; it's difficult to discern any kind of emotional depth from her. There's no heart behind her actions. This empty feeling may also be related to how dull the quest is to begin with. There's not much here to keep the pages turning beyond quaint writing that's reminiscent of The Chronicles of Narnia.
The Twistrose Key offers a Narnian-like adventure with whimsical writing and a cast of forgettable characters.
Lin Rosenquist reminds me of Dorothy who gets transported to Oz, except Lin ends in the enchanted city of Sylveros, home to Petlings, animals who were once the favorite pet of a child. Dorothy's pet was the dog, Toto, whereas Lin's pet is a vole, Rufus, who is now the size of a human and can talk like one. The magic of Sylveros is fed by the wild joy that children feel when the first snowfall happens. Now imagine a Norwegian Dorothy. She's in a blue and white wool sweater with mittens, hat and metal hooks for buttons. That's Lin. At least after she gets out of her pajamas. There's nothing like being transported to another country in your pajamas only to get hypothermia from a wild sleigh ride down a mountain. Uff-dah.
Every now and then, a Twistrose, or child from the real world, is magicked to Sylveros to protect the inhabitants from destruction. Lin has been summoned and must aid the two Winterfyrsts who create snow. If they don't make snow the children's wild joy of the first snowfall won't happen and Sylveros will die out. One of the Winterfyrsts is missing and the other has gone to try and get his ice mask. The ice mask allows him to live with humans. The villain is trying to stop them from bringing on winter so he can take over Sylveros.
This story had too many waffles stuffed into the plot. I got confused as to who was doing what and why. The world building was creative and rich in details, but I did get befuddled by all the made-up words that sounded too much alike such as wandergates, scargates, silver fang, Frostfang, thorndrips, and brain tappers, to name a few. It was fun at first but then I started forgetting what each meant. The prophecy confused me too. Actually, I am not really a fan of prophecies. They have become a cliche in fantasy stories for me.
Lin is grieving the loss of her pet and moving from the country to the city away from her best friend. In Sylveros, Lin grows up and must decide whether or not she will say goodbye to Rufus at the end. This is the overarching theme for Lin but once in a while gets lost as the plot progresses. In addition, Lin's pretend games that she made up with her best friend come to life in Syveros. When she ends up being hunted by trolls it is her troll-hunting game come to life. The imaginative world of childhood play becomes real and forces Lin to look at reality or grow up as her character develops throughout the story.
The secondary characters didn't come to life for me and I wanted more character traits. Rufus is a faithful friend to Lin but never rises above that role in a memorable way. Nor does he change significantly. I suppose he gains confidence in himself and his abilities. It seemed that the theme of loss could have been explored more in his relationship with Lin. It is some, but the two jump to acceptance a bit too quickly for me. Isvan and the mother are not described enough for them to come alive. The cathedral of glass was detailed and I could envision that but the mother wasn't really described when Lin finds her. I did think the pacing was a bit slow at the start but a strong ending made me forget it for the most part.
I so enjoyed all the references to Norwegian folklore and culture. The secret codes and playfulness between Rufus and Lin will appeal to young readers. The light codes that Lin used with her friend and later by the sled in Sylveros reminded me of the secret codes me and my best friend would make up. We had whistling codes and light codes. Lin also makes mistakes that are very believable and that make her authentic as a character. There's no yellow brick road in this tale but their are plenty of icy paths. Enjoy a sleigh ride through these pages.
This book is as clear, sparkling, and magically crisp as a walk outside on a midwinter's night. It's a quest tale, but so lovingly rendered and comprehensively constructed that I found myself wanting to wander around in the imagined world after the completely satisfying ending. I can't wait for Tone Almhjell's next journey back to Sylveros, if one is planned! Highly recommended for readers age 9-adult, human, wildling, and petling alike. Read it now, while it's cold outside. :)
4.5* Este libro, como bien dice Laini Taylor, es magia pura. Es tan bello y tan fantástico que me sorprende que sea autonconclusivo. Me encanta. ¡Un punto ( y dos y tres y cuatro...) para la señorita Almhjell!
Cover Blurb: Yes or No? Oh my gosh, yes. It's gorgeous! With the gold and the midnight blue and the little woodcut animal illustrations. While the synopsis caught my attention, this was, in all honesty, a faith buy totally based on the cover art.
Characters: Lin is adventurous, curious, intelligent, and therefore the ideal protagonist for a Middle Grade story. I would have questioned her absolute readiness to jump headlong into an adventure without preparation or question, but she's a kid. Somewhat to my surprise, I actually didn't attach all that much to Rufus. That isn't to say other Readers won't, because I think they will. It's just compared to other animal characters that I have encountered in books, he wasn't my favorite. He's loyal and brave, which I appreciated and I think other Readers really will, too. But out of the animal characters in The Twistrose Key, I did really like Teodor, the gruff, knowledgeable, and deep down kind fox. The Margrave was very spooky, but not nearly in the story enough. And Figenskar could so very easily be my cat when he dies and goes to live in Sylver; an evil, conniving feline.
The Romance: There isn't any!
Plot: Ever since her pet vole Rufus died, Lin has been devastated. He was her bestest companion, and they did everything together. But she's soon distracted from her grief when a mysterious package arrives at the house she and her parents have moved into. Inside the package is a rose-shaped key, which opens a strange portal in the all of the basement. When Lin is sucked through the portal, it's to find her beloved Rufus on the other side, grown to her size, able to talk, and walking an two legs like a human! Welcome to Sylver - the snow-covered land where animals loved by children come to live after they die. Lin has been called to Sylver to save it - and her world. Because Sylver is a place where children's dead pets go to live, it is kept alive by children's dreams and hopes and wishes, and the Wandergate must be kept open for these good feelings to keep Sylver alive. But Isvan, a boy with magical powers, has gone missing, and without him to conjure the Wandersnow that opens the gate, Sylver is lost. When the land of Sylver is in need, a Twistrose is summoned - a child destined to save Sylver. Lin is such a child, and she has until midnight to find Isvan so he can cast the Wandersnow. But enemies are lurking. Some do not want the Wandersnow to happen. Others want to use Lin's power as a Twistrose for nefarious means, and open the barrier that keeps Sylver separated from the land of Nightmares. I have to admit that the concept of Sylver - a place where dead pets went, grew to human size, wore human clothes, lived in human houses, ate human food, and basically lived human lives - was a little weird and slightly disturbing. But after a while, the whimsical, enchanting winter world swept me away. Reminiscent of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, The Golden Compass, and Redwall, this is the perfect kids' Christmas read. While it doesn't exactly take place during Christmas, the whole land of Sylver has a very festive feel, with hot chocolate and yummy goodies, snow and sledding and a winter-like festival. I just loved it! There were even moments where the story was genuinely grim. It wasn't overly dark, but it took some serious turns that had me worried about who would survive until the end. That being said, The Twistrose Key could have been more. I didn't get hugely attached to any of the animal characters, so I didn't get emotional when there was the potential of one of them dying. Sylver is a gorgeous and rich world that I delighted in exploring, but there lacked a bit of something in its presentation. The Margrave presented an ideal villain who was actually rather creepy, but he was hardly in the story. However, the whereabouts of Isvan kept me guessing, I didn't fully grasp why Figenskar wanted Lin, and I did momentarily doubt the loyalty of one of the characters.
Writing Style: Third person, past tense. I don't mean to be critical of the Author's style, because I did overall enjoy it. Appropriate for the intended age, whimsical, and also a tad dark when it needed to be, it fit the story very well. However, I would like to see what this book might have been like if Cornelia Funke had written it. The premise and the world itself fit her sort of genre so well, and I just know her particular style would have made this story just absolutely explode. Again, I am not trying to hold the Author next to an impossible measure; Tone Almhjell did a very good job. But I am curious . . .
Conclusion: This isn't a slow book by any means, even when we're just exploring Sylver. But when Lin and Rufus must venture into the land of the Nightmares, things really pick up. Plots come together, motivations are revealed, and the Reader must seriously consider for a moment whether or not Lin will actually succeed. But there were a few things that niggled at me. Namely, how short of a time the Margrave is in the story. I loved his back story, and he was a very interesting villain. Why couldn't we have seen more of him? And then there was the caravan sled, which sort of just appears, and it struck me a little . . . odd and a tiny bit random that a sled with a personality just suddenly pops up. Hm. Even so, The Twistrose Key was a really fun, fast Christmas read (even if I technically didn't read it during Christmas; I will next year).
Recommended Audience: Girl-and-boy read, nine-to-thirteen. This will be a favorite for fans of animal fiction, Cornelia Funke, and fantasy. A terrific Christmas gift idea!
4,5 stjerner. Det er lenge siden jeg har lest en så bra fantasyroman! Usedvanlig velskrevet, med et uhyre spennende og godt utviklet plott, en original verden og ikke minst karakterer det er umulig ikke å bli glad i! Jeg er i hvert fall helt solgt!
I agree with many other reviewers, that I would like this better when I first read Narnia and Lord of the Rings. There wasn't anything bad about this but I just am more for adult fiction nowadays. 3.5 ⭐
Get the tissues ready folks! If animals hold a soft spot in your heart, like they do mine, you will definitely need them from the middle grade fantasy book, The Twistrose Key by Tone Almhjell. The book is very very similar to the land of Naria, but I loved the premise behind it.
Lin Rosenquist is an eleven year old girl who just moved from her beloved Summerhill to Old Towne, where she has no friends and her favorite pet, Rufus, has died. When Lin is sent a key in a mysterious parcel, she follows it under her rental house and to the world of Slyver, where beloved pets go when they die, adopting humanistic qualities and keeping watch over the children they hold dear. When snow trolls and a mysterious creature only known as the Margrave threaten to destroy the land of Sylver, Lin and Rufus must discover a way to save Sylver before she is trapped there forever.
I really enjoyed this book! Like I said, it is very similar to Narnia, but the twist with the beloved pets really tugged at my heart strings. Combined with the fast moving plot and artful story telling, this book is one of my favorites and has definitely put me in the Christmas spirit!
Genre: Middle grade Fantasy Positives: Fast paced story, interesting world where beloved pets live Negatives: The story was too reminiscent of Narnia to stand entirely on it's own Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
(Review in English, because even though I read the book in Norwegian, it exists in English as well) This book is unique, awesome, suspenseful and dark - for being a children's novel. The author has made up a world where all our favourite, beloved pets go after death. It is into this world our mc ventures in true portal fantasy style. The world is almost falling apart, for many different reasons, and it is up to our mc to save them. I adore the way the book is written, the characters, the world and just the basic premise of it. In this world, the dreams and fears and thoughts of the children all affect it in different ways, which I also found really cool. I imagine this is a book most children could love, as long as they are not easily frightened, because it does get a little dark. I, for one, had a lot of fun reading this book. I even teared up a bit at the end. I'll definitely be reading Almhjell's companion novel set in the same world!
This was really cute. That’s it, really. If I wanted to, I could probably point out things that could be done better, but this was just a sweet middle-grade book about friendship, adventure, and magic.
I tried picking this up four years ago but didn’t finish it for some reason. I’m very glad that my book club has arranged a meeting with the author in about two weeks; otherwise I probably wouldn’t have read this for another four years.
With blood on her thorns she must creep through the wall. When the last hope is lost, a Twistrose is called.
There are books with young characters that are awkward, stilted, and suffocated...and then, there's The Twistrose Key. From page one, the prose is beautiful and lilting--an almost lullaby whispered across the mind of the reader. The story opens with Lindelin Rosenquist, alone next to a rosebush, missing her friend Rufus. As the novel progresses, Lin is granted entry to a world that children who've lost pets wish existed--a world where their beloved friends, as Petlings, live on, free and untroubled.
Except something lurks just outside the walls of this new world--a league of nightmares, hoping to crash through the wall and take over. The last Winterfyrst--a child of ice with magic to keep the world of Sylveros intact and whole--has disappeared days before the charm is meant to be rekindled. And someone--a Petling--is helping the nightmares--and something much more sinister--achieve chaos and the destruction of the world. Lin, as the Twistrose (a child called to this world in a time of great need) must face fears, disappointments, and heartaches; must fight with her own form of strength, lent by magic mirrors, to find the missing boy and bring peace back to Sylveros.
The awe and wonder I felt while reading this is reminiscent of that I felt as a child, reading Matilda or Harry Potter for the first time. At times whimsical and funny, this novel also has a darker, more desperate tone: What would you do to see a lost friend just once more? What would you give up to keep them safe, even away from you? And how far would you go to save them?
The characters are gorgeously written; their arcs are well-thought out and leave little room for doubt in readers' minds. With a few harrowing twists and many heart-stopping moments, this book takes readers on a journey they've never before imagined into a world where the souls of lost pets live on....and nightmares lurk just outside.
I highly recommend the read to anyone who loves Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Bridge to Terabithia, or Matilda!
La llave es la última apuesta de la editorial Océano Gran Travesía. Es una novela de fantasía juvenil tanto para niñxs como para jóvenes que cuenta una historia repleta de magia y, sobre todo, amor por los animales y las mascotas. Es una novela que me ha gustado muchísimo y que está cargada de valores. Si hay algo que me maravilla de Océano Gran Travesía es que es una editorial que publica libros que merecen ser leídos por la cantidad de valores que transmiten. La llave es una de esas novelas con valores que leemos y nos abren los ojos a otra realidad. Es una novela que se lanza de lleno a defender a los animales y en la que estos mismos cobran vida para contarnos parte de la historia. La llave es una novela muy bonita y mágica. Es fantasía para niñxs y gente joven. Es una novela fácil de leer pero cargada de magia e ideas fantásticas. Sin duda si lo hubiera leído con doce años me hubiera encantado (en mi época Narnia). Es además una novela tierna por la relación que tiene la protagonista con su mascota. La recomiendo muchísimo a jóvenes lectorxs porque creo que gustará muchísimo y la historia llegará mucho más a esa edad. Los personajes de la novela son bastante curiosos. Sobre todo porque casi todos los que hay son animales y está genial descubrir la manera en el que la autora nos hace llegar cómo son y nos los describen. Son personajes muy originales y diferentes. La edición de esta novela. Wow. La edición. Primero su portada maravillosa, su lomo increíble y su contraportada que aff (babeo). Y segundo no puedo dejar de nombrar las increíbles ilustraciones que coronan cada capítulo nuevo. Son preciosas y me encantó ir viéndolas una a una. La llave es una novela que me ha gustado mucho para cómo es. No es mi género ni creo que esté orientada para mi edad, pero es una novela que no puedo dejar de recomendad a la gente joven. Una novela con una edición increíble y que además merece muchísimo la pena leer si tienes entre diez y quince años. Que no os confunda mi puntuación, es la que es porque personalmente no creo que sea una novela indicada para mí, pero que es muy muy recomendable si cumples las características que he dicho.
This book started off with beautiful writing, and ended with beautiful writing. There were some places in the middle that I found a little confusing and slow, but there were a lot of ideas and clues to plant in this story and it was absolutely worth reading through.
It took a while for the story world to really build, but when it finally felt fully-formed, I found it pretty wonderful, and it made me hope for a sequel so I can return to the story world. I loved the concept of the Twistrose--a human child brought to the land of Sylver, the place where pets go when they die, in a time of need--but I never quite understood why Lin's identity was hidden for so long if Twistroses are celebrated there. I also found it really sad to think of pets going to a separate place after death, especially a place where they are not safe from harm.
But the characters did capture my heart--Lin, Rufus, and even Isvan who was really only talked about for most of the story.
I had a hard time getting through this book. Premise sounded promising: a girl travels to the magical realm where every dead pet that was loved by a child goes. It's up to her to save the prince and save their world. But I honestly couldn't follow the story. I felt lost half the time, the twists and turns were so convoluted, and every-other word is some term made up by the author, I often felt like I was reading a foreign language. Also, the writing style just didn't click with me. Not a bad story--it's imaginative and clean--maybe I'd like it better if I were 10? Or if I were a hard-core fantasy reader?
But oh, the cover of this book is beautiful! Maybe that's the problem...my expectations were too high based on its outward appearance?
I read this for my girls of nine and eleven, and am quite convinced that this is the best way to read it. The breathtaking suspense is better appreciated with listeners of that age, and there is less room for critical thoughts of how much comes from Narnia, how much from the Brothers Lionheart etc. And I found myself very much moved by the themes of friendship and separation by death or by growing up, again more so than I would have been on my own. It's not perfect, but writing a book with talking animals that never feels silly is a feat in itself.
Este pequeñito no bajó jamás de las 5 estrellas en mi "puntuador mental". Es uno de los libros más hermosos que tuve la suerte de leer. Y es de esos que invitan a ser disfrutados en familia, con grandes narraciones y puestas en escena, aunque sea dentro de una simple habitación.
Vi su portada en inglés hace mucho tiempo en Pinterest y al leer su sinopsis en Goodreads, no pude evitar enamorarme de la idea de Platelia: un lugar mágico al cual van a parar todos aquellos animales que alguna vez fueron amados por un niño una vez que han dejado este mundo.
Cualquiera que haya amado a un perro, gato, pájaro, zorro o whatever sabrá de lo que hablo. La idea de los girarrosa, los Hibernalis, las típicas cabañas de cuento donde sirven riquísimos platos, las misiones secretas, la amistad y el amor que traspasan las fronteras de la muerte, tienen su lugar principal en este libro.
Lin es la pequeñita de Rufus, un simpático ratoncito amante de la aventura. Lin es llamada desde el mundo de Platelia para cumplir su misión allí: debe encontrar a Isvan, un niño Hibernalis capaz de convocar la gran nevada que conecta el mundo tal y como lo conocemos con Platelia, a través de la inmensa felicidad que puede provocar la nieve en los niños que los mascotines habitantes aman.
Las ocurrencias de la autora son geniales y, más de una vez, se siente la influencia de varias historias que marcan la vida de cualquier lector (Harry Potter, las Crónicas de Narnia por nombrar a algunos).
Creo que no le ayudó mucho la traducción de todos los nombres que se mencionan, y en algunos casos vi errores pero eso no desmerece la historia para nada.
Lloré al terminar el libro porque era imposible no hacerlo, jajaja. Sabía que era una de esas lecturas de las buenas y estoy más que feliz que la editorial la haya traído al país.
Súper recomendado, y espero de verdad que todo el que lo lea sepa apreciar la belleza y la importancia de este mundo que ojalá exista en algún remoto lugar.
The Twistrose Key has been described as a cross between The Chronicles of Narnia and The Golden Compass, and it is every bit as lovely as those two books. Almhiell creates a wonderful world in Sylver, one that should really be read in the Winter time with a cup of your favorite hot beverage and your pet snuggling up next to you. Lucky for me, we had some additional snow over the weekend, so I certainly could identify with the setting. And the beautiful prose, " Lin had lived for eleven years where the fields smelled of freshly turned soil and the mountains hugged the stars between their peaks." There is something about getting wrapped up in a place like that. I really liked Lin's excitement of being reunited with Rufus and her eagerness to take on her task. You see, Lin must find Prince Ivan Winterfyrst, who has been missing for weeks, and she must find him "while the Wanderer still shines over the valley of Sylver." Ivan needs to perform his special magic to open the Wandergate between Sylver and Earth and bring forth the Wandersnow. It's also the only way that Lin can make her way back home. Which presents Lin with a huge puzzle to solve, where is the Prince and how can she find him? Of course there are also those out to prevent Lin from completing her task, which adds some nice mystery to the story because we are never completely sure of some of the secondary characters motivations and whether they are a traitor or not. However, I did find myself wishing that Ivan's character would have been explored a little more, he spent so much of the story missing that I really felt that he kinda deserves his own story. And the bad guy, The Margrave, who has control over a troll army that can destroy all of Sylver, well he is so elusive in the beginning that I really didn't get a feel for his nastiness. Yet, there is plenty of mystery, twists and beautiful writing that is very reminiscent of a children's fairy tale.
La llave es un libro de fantasía en el que una niña encontrará la puerta que la transportará a un mundo nuevo. El Valle de Plata, y más concretamente Platelia, es ese sitio al que no todos pueden acceder, pero que muchos, especialmente los que hemos tenido mascotas, desearíamos que realmente existiera. Un mundo en el que todas las mascotas conviven juntas; perros, gatos, conejos, caballos, incluso zorros, actuando como auténticos humanos. Hablan, se visten con ropa e incluso tienen una estatura propia de las personas, mientras velan en la distancia por sus dueños.
Hasta aquí va a parar Lin, la protagonista, para volver a reencontrarse con su topillo, Rufus, su fiel amigo hasta que murió unos meses antes. Pero Lin no descubre ese mundo sólamente para reencontrarse con su mascota; ella es la elegida y necesaria para encontrar a Isvan, el niño hibernalis, último de su familia. Él es el único que puede realizar una ceremonia importante para salvar a Platelia y a todos sus habitantes y que ella pueda volver a su casa. Para ello, contará con la ayuda de Rufus y de otros variopintos personajes, algunos de ellos bastante misteriosos y de los que no sabremos bien cuáles son sus verdaderas intenciones.
Con reminiscencias a cuentos clásicos infantiles como Las crónicas de Narnia o La historia interminable, La llave es un libro lleno de aventuras y de magia en el que también hay cabida para trolles, Pesadillas y misteriosas desapariciones de familias únicas y extraordinarias. Además, la ambientación es una maravilla, desarrollándose en un mundo plenamente invernal, de ahí su parecido a Narnia, lleno de nieve, frío, montañas y bosques encantados.
First of all, the production quality of the hardcover is phenomenal. This is a GORGEOUS book, and no pictures of it do it justice. It would be so great for a child who has recently lost a pet, or simply for a child who loves pets dearly.
I wish I liked this better than I did. The style didn't quite work for me. I can't put my finger on why, but as I'd be reading, the sentences didn't quite fit inside my head; they'd slide around and I'd have to read a paragraph twice to understand it. That wouldn't be a problem if it were on just a few occasions, but that happened for the entirety of the book, which made it difficult for me to read. It was frustrating, but I suspect it's a problem unique to me. I think it would be really interesting for other people, because the style is different.
I was also looking for a different sort of world than I found; this was whimsical and chilly, and perfect for a winter read, but it didn't have a solid, clearly explained underlying philosophy. The world was described in bits and starts, and it didn't end up feeling as cohesive as I wanted it to. Some readers like more whimsical worlds; they tend to frustrate me, unless they're Wonderland-like with self-consciously over-the-top nonsense.
I'm going to pass it to my brothers and see if they can get into it more than I did. I hope they do!
Es interesante encontrar a un autor que escribe con las premisas de la ficción comercial anglosajona pero con las bases literarias y de estilo de la literatura europea. Esta novela es un edificio de paredes sólidas e intrincados laberintos. Bajo un planteamiento aparentemente tópico —una chica que cruza la puerta a otro mundo desconocido—, somos conducidos por una trama de personajes complejos —curiosamente, mascotas—, escenas de acción y misterio, y un mundo de una naturaleza hermosa pero cruda y gélida. Sin duda, un verdadero hallazgo para un debut literario.
La temática que mejor define la novela juvenil es probablemente la fantasía, pero qué difícil es encontrar una novela mágica que no caiga en tópicos manidos o alcance un nivel similar al de los grandes clásicos del género. "La llave" es un ejemplo de que todavía se puede ahondar mucho más en la fantasía, conseguir apoyarse en los mismos resortes pero darle matices y tratamientos nuevos para que este género siga encandilando a los jóvenes lectores. Lin Ronsequist es una heroína única, así como la ambientación nórdica y el resto de personajes animales. Este es un libro que quedará como una lectura de referencia, un clásico sin posibilidad de pasar de moda. Un libro grande para los niños, y para los que queremos seguir siendo niños.
This has lovely potential for a book, but the storytelling just doesn't quite hit the mark. With tinges of "The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe," the author places her child character in an alternate world of talking animals and magic with a mission to complete. However, the world building seems to have become too much for the narrative to manage, making the story stall at points and hard to follow at others. There are some lovely ideas here, but I just could not get fully absorbed in the book.
¿Recordáis que al principio pensé que sería una novela llena de magia? No me equivocaba. Con tintes que recuerdan a La historia interminable, Narnia y algunas otras historias que también resplandecen por la magia que guardan en su interior, La Llave me ha trasportado a un mundo tan tierno que ojalá existiese de verdad, lleno de aventura y misterio junto a Lin, quien nos guiará a la preciosa ambientación y escenarios que Tone Almhjell ha creado.
This was an exceptionally sweet, fun, and engaging middle grade novel. It focuses on Sylveros (which is rendered in beautiful maps), where pets that had a strong bond with a child go after death, to live a second life. Lin is summoned to Sylveros to solve a mystery and help save the very world of the Petlings, and she is reunited with her recently departed pet, Rufus. It's fun, mysterious, sweet, interesting, and quite an enjoyable story.
In my experience, middle grade tends to work really well for me or not so much at all. Looks like this will be the latter. The opening chapters are disjointed and confusing. The narrative will go into a flashback and then return to the present without warning. If I hear that this one's good, I might add it back to my to-read list and get a library copy, hoping for some edits.
una historia con mucha magia. Que gustará a pequeños y grandes por todo el mundo de fantasía que nos muestra la autora. Donde no hay falta de detalles y parece que estás viviendo la aventura junto a sus protagonistas tan particulares como son una niña y su mascota, un topillo.