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Foxheart #2

Thornlight

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Centuries and centuries ago, the Vale was split in two in a war between witches. Ever since, an evil darkness has been climbing, climbing, climbing out of the Break, infecting everything it touches. The people of the Vale fight it with discs made of lightning—and with an ancient spell. Brier Skystone is the youngest, most talented lightning harvester the Vale’s ever seen. Her twin sister, Thorn, is a sensitive artist who’s braver than even she knows. And young Queen Celestyna Hightower is determined to be Mender of the Break, the last of her family to bear the weight of anchoring the spell—which is really more of a curse.

As the darkness keeps coming, these three girls will each undertake their own perilous journeys to try to save their home—and each quest reveals an electrifying surprise. Perhaps they’ve been fighting the wrong monster all along.

Fast-paced, memorable, and surprising, Thornlight is a perfect introduction to Claire Legrand’s work and will appeal to fans of Kelly Barnhill and Jessica Townsend.

464 pages, Hardcover

First published April 20, 2021

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About the author

Claire Legrand

25 books4,125 followers
Claire Legrand used to be a musician until she realized she couldn’t stop thinking about the stories in her head. Now she is a New York Times bestselling author of darkly magical books.

Her first novel is THE CAVENDISH HOME FOR BOYS AND GIRLS, one of the New York Public Library’s 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing in 2012. She is also the author of THE YEAR OF SHADOWS, a ghost story for middle grade readers; and WINTERSPELL, a young adult re-telling of The Nutcracker. SOME KIND OF HAPPINESS, her middle grade novel about mental illness, family secrets, and the power of storytelling, is a 2017 Edgar Award Nominee. Claire’s latest middle grade novel, FOXHEART, is a classic fantasy-adventure and a 2016 Junior Library Guild selection. The companion novel, THORNLIGHT, was a Kids' Indie Next Pick in 2021. She is one of the four authors behind THE CABINET OF CURIOSITIES, an anthology of dark middle grade short fiction that was a Junior Library Guild selection, a Bank Street Best Book, and among the New York Public Library’s 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing in 2014.

Her bestselling Empirium Trilogy consists of epic fantasy novels FURYBORN, KINGSBANE, and LIGHTBRINGER.

Her young adult horror novel SAWKILL GIRLS received five starred reviews. It was also a 2018 Bram Stoker Award finalist and a 2019 Lambda Literary Award finalist. Her latest novel, EXTASIA, is a young adult horror novel described as "The Handmaid's Tale meets The Craft" and was a Kids' Indie Next Pick.

Her adult debut, book 1 of THE MIDDLEMIST TRILOGY, releases in spring 2023.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 25 of 25 reviews
Profile Image for Travis.
698 reviews7 followers
April 27, 2021
Claire Legrand just has a way with words. Whether it is something light and fluffy like Thornlight or spooky, gritty like Sawkill Girls. Thornlight is a comapanion to Foxheart and while you do not have to read Foxheart first, as with all companions, it is a good idea to do so to get some of the references and context. Otherwise Thornlight is a self contained story on it's own.

I really had such a fun time with this story. It is not the greatest thing I have ever read but it was exactly what I needed at the time. Lately I have been reading some meh books and books that deal with more adult topics, so it was time to take a detour. Give my brain and mind something that was not so serious. Thornlight is a story about sisterhood and facing your fears and finding the strength with yourself. It is a very self empowering story told through the perspectives of three very different ladies. We have Thorn who is a girl that is living in her sister's shadow and trying to find her own place in the world. Brier a girl who is the greatest Harvester the Vale has ever known. Last we have Celestyna, the queen of the vale who is trying not to repeat the mistakes of her predecessor's. Each lady goes on a very different journey and each has a very distinct voice. There are also some loveable side characters like Noro, Mazby, and Zaf to name a few.

The world of Thornlight is not vast but it is rich with history and and you get to learn quite a bit about the Vale in Thornlight. Now, I will remain quite vague about the world, only because the plot of this story is very world driven. It is the driving force of the story from the very beginning.

Once again Thornlight was just what I needed at this time and I am very thankful for such a light hearted, yet empowering female driven story. Claire Legrand deserves so much more praise and I urge you to give her books a shot. They have been some of my favorites in just the past 2 years.
Profile Image for Carina Olsen.
778 reviews144 followers
September 23, 2020
I have been waiting years for this companion novel to Foxheart. And then, suddenly, it's here. And I got a chance to read it early. I could not resist. I am so glad that I did not. Because Thornlight was every kind of perfect. I loved it beyond words. Giving it five stars, of course. This story was simply way too incredible. Sigh.

As always, the writing was so perfect. I never have any trouble falling in love with Claire's writing. She's amazing and her books have all been so too. Claire also writes the very best characters. And stories. This book was simply way too good. And I enjoyed it very much. I wish it had been even longer; I kept wanting more.

This book is told from three point of views. All amazing and all needed. I never had issues with jumping from one to the other. And I loved reading from all of them. Sigh. I shall try my best to not post spoilers about this precious book. But I will be sharing some details. All good, all awesome. This book was long and so precious and I loved every moment of it. We get to know twins Thorn and Brier. And Queen Celestyna. There is so much to love about this. Like in Foxheart, there was magic. But not in the same way. Not many people in this place had magic. The witches were gone. There was a big chasm splitting their land in two. With darkness escaping and changing the land. With a monster trying to climb out of this place to kill them all. It was so awesome.

Thorn and Brier were twelve years old. And completely different. Brier was the hero of their town. Best at harvesting lightning to help them. She even has her own unicorn. He was great. Brier was amazing. And Thorn was not. She was the shadow of her sister. She swept trash from the streets. People did not notice her. She was quiet and shy and cried all the time. I loved her to pieces. And she and Brier were the best of friends. They loved each other the most. Their parents were even alive, haha. But away at the chasm.

Celestyna was sixteen years old, older than the twins. And she was the queen of this place. Her parents dead. Only her younger sister with her. She would do anything to keep the monster from breaking free. She would do anything to keep them all safe. And so she does. I loved this girl. But gosh. She was fully complicated. And I loved that even more. Her story was so sad too. And I cried a few times in this book. Mostly because of scenes with Celestyna. She was just amazing. And I loved her little sister. Adorable.

We get to read from all three point of views. And I loved that so very much. We also get another point of view. From Cub. And my gosh. He was amazing. I so loved his chapters. I loved getting to know him and learn about his past. There was so much to know. Sigh. I cannot fully describe this book. Just that I loved it so much. These characters went through so much. All broken at some point. All so strong and brave. I loved how they changed, got better, braver. Each had a journey to take. Reading about this was the best.

There is so much going on in this book. It is full of adventures. Dangers. Monsters. Curses. Witches. All of it beyond incredible. There is some type of special lightning that Brier harvests along with others each day. They use this lightning to try to keep the monster in the chasm from escaping and killing all of them. We learn so much about all of this. So many secrets. So much pain and death. I loved all of it so much. We get to know a bunch of characters, and I couldn't help but love all of them. Ha. They were awesome.

As this was a middle grade, there was no romance. But there were hints of romance to come. Between Thorn and Zaf. And it was the cutest thing. Their friendship was adorable and their almost romance was so cute. They would be perfect together. The friendships in this book were all written so well. Between the twins. Between Thorn and her cute animal Mazby. Between Brier and her unicorn Noro. Noro and Thorn too. They spent a lot of time together in this book. And it was so very awesome. I so adored this unicorn.

We also see Quicksilver again. And Sly Boots. And Ari too. They are not in this book a lot, just enough. A few years older, still fully adorable. It is not fully confirmed that Quicksilver and Sly Boots were a couple, but well. The hints were huge. And I still ship them the most, haha. So a couple it is. I just loved this small glimpse into what happened after Foxheart too. Thornlight is very much a companion novel, yet set in the same world, just a few short years later. Filled with magic and adventures. They're both incredible books.

Thornlight was even more perfect than I thought it would be. Completely incredible and heartbreaking. Such perfectly flawed characters. Such great friendships and relationships. Very well written magic and witches. This book had such a great plot. And I loved every moment of this book. It was simply perfection. Huge thank you to Greenwillow Books for my auto-approval on Edelweiss, so that I could read this book seven months before it comes out. I cannot wait to own all the finished copies. You must read this story.

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This review was first posted on my blog, Carina's Books, here: https://carinabooks.blogspot.com/2020...
Profile Image for Electroclan17.
478 reviews
April 18, 2021
I absolutely loved reading this. I'm glad I read the first book because I understood the backstories of characters that show up in this book. I had a lot of fun reading this [especially because it's the first arc I've ever read]. I do love the first book more.
Profile Image for Cindy :: leavemetomybooks ::.
878 reviews40 followers
April 14, 2021
“It is no small thing, to have a gentle heart."

Thornlight is a heart(warm/break)ing story about magic and sisters and witches and curses and emotions and mistakes and consequences and bravery, and it was excellent.

I went in knowing this book is billed as a stand-alone companion novel to Foxheart, but I was still a bit worried that I wouldn’t know what was what, but the world building and character development were both so well-done that it absolutely works on its own.

Bonus excellence:

* Complex girl characters: Briar + Thorn + Queen Celestyna + Zaf are all unique and multi-layered and I loved them (even when they were being terrible)

* Magical creatures: Noro the snarky unicorn (he reminded me of Swift Wind from She-Ra) wa the best + Mazby the baby grifflet sounded super adorable

Thornlight is the first book I’ve read by Claire Legrand and definitely won’t be the last.

Highly recommended for fantasy-loving middle grade kids - perfect for 10+.

** thanks to NetGalley & HarperCollins Children’s Books / Greenwillow Books for the review ARC.

Available: April 20, 2021
Profile Image for Britt.
533 reviews31 followers
May 6, 2021
Claire has beautifully expanded this world (and magic system) into something even more fantastical than I could have imagined. I adored every single one of the characters and cameos from the old - yes, Quicksilver, Sly Boots, and Ari are back! I cherished the hints at romance between Thorn and Zaf (wlw!), so completely, beautifully innocent and wondrous. But most of all, I loved the lessons in self esteem, courage, and empathy, as each fought their own unseen battles. Thornlight is a testament to the different kinds of strength we each possess, especially those that are often disregarded as weakness. This is a story that's equally heartwarming and heartbreaking (though the kind of heartbreak that pushes you to keep fighting), the sum of its parts undeniably magical. Oh, and did I mention the unicorns??? And Mazby the Grifflet?

On the blog: https://bibliobrittish.wordpress.com/...
Profile Image for Kat.
1,595 reviews26 followers
October 17, 2020
Okay. I must first be transparent. My child found the Foxheart book in my E-arc pile first. He loved it. I kept saying I was getting to it but he just went on and on about it. I broke down skipped over some books to read and I fell in love with it. When I saw Thornlight pop up, I knew I had to request it. I was not wrong. I am now a fangirl of everything Claire Legrand. If you haven't read this series you have to start now!!! Plus, read her other books, it will be well worth the time spent. Foxheart and Thornlight make me feel like a child again when magic and possibilities were endless. I love the characters and the heart of the stories. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review these novels!
Profile Image for Robin Pelletier.
833 reviews6 followers
October 9, 2021
I will admit that I didn't read the first novel in this series, but it wasn't detrimental to my enjoyment of this gem of a novel. It had some of my favorite characters: unicorns, griffins, witches, cursed royalty, twins who trade places, monsters, and weird weather patterns (not exactly a character, I know). The cover is gorgeous and the story within reflects its light.

Brier and Thorn Skystone are twins: Brier is beloved by all for her skill with capturing lightening and her beauty as she strides through town on the back of her proud and sassy unicorn. Thorn stays out of the spotlight and works as street sweeper. She collects trash she finds and turns it into beautiful art. Her loyal companion is a baby griffin. They couldn't be more different despite being twins. When Brier is injured, Thorn takes her place and embarks on a quest that will test her mind and her heart. Will she be enough to take on a centuries old curse? Is she the right twin for the task? Can witches and humans and monsters be friends? Read on to find out!

Cub is my favorite character and he's the perfect metaphor for life.

*Yes, I will be reading book 1 now***
Profile Image for Helen.
Author 6 books244 followers
May 6, 2021
This is another wonderful, thoughtful, deeply moving book billed for children but which should be read by all ages. Not just for the messages it contains, but also for the wonder it celebrates, the wonders of imagination, possibility, and acceptance. At the heart of this book is the damage we humans do when we single-mindedly focus on saving what is good for us, for our family, town, country, culture, and fail to see how this 'saving our own' may in fact be deeply harming another family, town, country, culture. This breeds war, drought, even extinctions, as the book so aptly shows us through the quests of sisters Thorn and Briar to save the Vale.

The characters will alternately charm and infuriate, the language will beguile, the plot will wrap the reader in its fancy, all the while whispering real-life connections to the subconscious. A book not to be missed, a book for all ages to stretch the imagination and stir the conscience.
Profile Image for Emily.
97 reviews
May 17, 2022
I love this. I picked it up randomly from hoopla not realizing it is kind of a sequel to another book (a standalone though, more of a companion novel). It's one of those books with so much heart and I was totally near tears, I'll admit it. The actual prose is really pretty too and I cannot recommend the audiobook enough because I really feel like it added something to the experience. I just want to hug everyone. I've always kind of avoided Claire Legrand because of the wild-sounding nutcracker retelling (I don't remember how this came to my attention but read some reviews for Winterspell, seriously) but I am so glad I wasn't paying attention because this book is exactly what I miss about middle grade. I don't think I'm gonna start reading her bibliography or anything but I really just might read Foxheart.

This probably would have been a 4 or 4.5 star but I'm adding an entire star for how much I love Cub.

Oh, also: maybe don't read the blurb?
Profile Image for Kerensa.
127 reviews
Shelved as 'dnf'
February 4, 2023
I decided to DNF at around 44%. It's not that it was egregiously bad in any way, it's just that I couldn't find it in me to bother to renew the audiobook from the library. This is a pretty slow paced book that bounces around between about four points of view, and at 44% it simultaneously felt like nothing was happening and that I already knew approximately what the ending would be. Maybe I don't actually know what the ending will be, but I was not interested in finding out, so I stopped. If I'd read this physically and therefore more quickly, perhaps I would have finished it, but as an audiobook it was just taking too long for too little investment. Also, the narrator has a very pretty voice but gave two of the male characters (a teenage boy and a unicorn) voices that were very similar and hard to tell apart.
Profile Image for Kat.
1,595 reviews26 followers
October 17, 2020
Okay. I must first be transparent. My child found the Foxheart book in my E-arc pile first. He loved it. I kept saying I was getting to it but he just went on and on about it. I broke down skipped over some books to read and I fell in love with it. When I saw Thornlight pop up, I knew I had to request it. I was not wrong. I am now a fangirl of everything Claire Legrand. If you haven't read this series you have to start now!!! Plus, read her other books, it will be well worth the time spent. Foxheart and Thornlight make me feel like a child again when magic and possibilities were endless. I love the characters and the heart of the stories. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review these novels!
Profile Image for Ana W.
79 reviews
March 6, 2021
This is a real treasure of a book! It is a beautifully written and engaging story. Thornlight is filled with adventure and unicorns and brave girls. However, I think it is marketed to a slightly younger audience than it should be. I began reading Thornlight to my 8 and 10 year-olds. My 10 year-old loves this fantasy adventure as much as I do, but it is too dark for my 8 year-old. I would guess that the right age range is from 10 to about 13. I teach middle school and I will be recommending this to my students who love adventure, fantasy and strong female characters. Thank you to NetGalley for an advance copy in return for an honest review.
Profile Image for Eileen Winfrey.
944 reviews5 followers
September 21, 2021
Thorn and her twin sister Brier are as different as sisters can be, except for the fact that they're identical twins. Brier, brave and extroverted, harvests lightening for the Vale. Thorn, meek and kind, is a street sweeper who makes are from the trash she finds. Their parents are off on at war fighting an unknowable and unseeable beast that threatens to climb out of the chasm and destroy the Vale with its darkness. It's a long and complicated story, but perfect for fans of the genre. I think it stands alone - I have not read the first one and followed the story just fine. Middle school book I think.
Profile Image for Carra.
165 reviews34 followers
January 24, 2022
A wonderful story about the love between siblings, about coming into your own person, and about courage and sacrificies, with a strong trio of MC's, and . We also got to meet some of our friends from Foxheart again. I was glad to see them doing just fine, despite everything that happened in their story.

This novel was very moving and sad, but also quite funny in some parts. Did not expect to cry as much as I did. But believe you me, .
Profile Image for Kathy Shimpock.
48 reviews2 followers
June 11, 2021
"Thornlight" is a pleasant fantasy that keeps the reader engaged throughout. It's the story of an unlikely female hero who rids a kingdom of a curse of its own making. The story is filled with witches, unicorns and monstrous creatures. Characters are well defined. The mystery that holds this story together unravels slowly to build suspense. It's a fun and enjoyable summer read..
Profile Image for Courtney.
1,515 reviews21 followers
July 12, 2021
This dark fantasy follows four points of view, two sisters, a misunderstood monster and a young queen. I enjoyed the delve into darkness and the exploration of what is right from each point of view. Seeing Quicksilver and Sly Boots was fun and bittersweet. The plot was paced in such a way as to keep my interest flowing evenly. I love Legrand's authorial voice!
Profile Image for Nicole.
281 reviews42 followers
July 25, 2021
A beautiful and wild adventure though a magic-starved land; a quest to save a kingdom and a whole population of witches; a story about sisters, learning themselves and each other, stepping out of their shadows and growing up. This book is lovely and has the classic vibe of an old adventure story from when I was a kid–talking unicorn and all!
32 reviews1 follower
July 22, 2022
Welcome to the Vale, a land where nothing is what it seems.
Something is happening to this land.
Something…wild.
Lightning, the only defense against the Gulgot, is beginning to rebel.
Storms are going away.
And the Gulgot is coming closer every day.
Three girls, one a queen, one an invisible twin, and one an visible twin, will have to save the kingdom.
Queen Celestyna is willing to do anything to save the kingdom. Even if dark magic is involved. Even if she might die. Even if it harms the one thing she is fighting for.
Thorn, a shy and quiet artist, always feels invisible compared to her sister, Brier. Brier is always seen, always heard, always more talented than her. But when Thorn is accidentally sent to the war front to gather more lightning, Brier must learn the truth.
Their kingdom might already be in the wrong hands.

With a dash of Lesbian love, adventure, a thrilling sense of danger , this was a great book!
Displaying 1 - 25 of 25 reviews

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