Kirstie Ellen's Reviews > The Thirteenth Tower

The Thirteenth Tower by Sara C. Snider
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really liked it
bookshelves: first-reads, fantasy
Recommended for: Anyone and Everyone

I received this book from the First Reads competitions, thank you Sara for the copy.

Now to business! The Thirteenth Tower is an incredible book; you are not prepared to enjoy it as much as you will. Upon receiving this book I sceptically observed it with mild interest before placing it on my bookshelf and sparing it a couple of curious glances . . . and when the time came for me to read it I was shocked with how much I loved it. *Eeek!* The book is set in a magically tainted world and we follow the struggle of a journey Emelyn takes after her town, Fallow, is afflicted by the magic of a “creature”. She is a serving girl and always wonders why exactly her parents left her on the door step of the mansion she serves in. Do they love me? Are they alive?? Why didn’t they WANT me?!? *Cries*. Ahem. So a magical music playing person comes along and hypnotises the town, and, now weirdly zombified, the people follow and begin crazed dancing and joyous laughing in the town centre. Except Emelyn isn’t affected . . . whaat? She wanders aimlessly around the town not understanding a thing that’s going on. A goblin grabs her arm and sneeringly drags her towards the raucous gathering (there’s some preetty kinky stuff going on) BUT! Corran, a mysterious heroic male with a stick, thwacks the little creature on the head and they run off with some Magisters (magic folk) to begin this journey. Whew.

So, do I still need to read the book after all that?
Yes. Yes you do. That happens in the first few chapters, the rest of the book is far more exciting. Emelyn has followed the Magisters after they promised to tell her about her parents (whom they claim to know). And her options were, a) stay with the crazy dancing people, or, b) follow in the hopes of answering your life’s questions. Simple choice, right? The journey they undertake is great. Snider has done a fabulous job of mixing fantasy with historical settings and going for a reasonably original setting. Corran is a strange character who insists he apprenticed with the Fallow carpenter . . .but the carpenter hasn’t taken any apprentices for 20 years! It’s not possible! (Corran is young here). Alas, they stop fretting and move on from the peculiarities of Corran’s life (but dear reader, do not forget this crucial point; something is definitely up with Corran). The book is, essentially, about Emelyn discovering herself and learning more about the world (you know, aside from plucking chickens and making beds). The plot line is wicked and there are some brilliantly brilliant creatures we meet along the way called Wylkins. Look out for those.

Is the whole magic theme overdone?
It’s not over done at all. Despite the increasing Magic Market of books this does not disappoint. There’s not wand-waving or dragons, or gargoyles that sing, or talking frogs (you get the picture). In fact, the magic is pretty tame. The Magisters themselves (aside from being slightly odd) are trained in “the Art”. And the other type of magic that crops up is more a manipulation of natural forces than any Harry Potter shenanigans.

So this book is pretty amazing and I highly recommend it to anyone. Note: perhaps not suitable to younger audiences (there are some strange “adult” themes). All in all, there’s not a lot to fault this book with. The ending is intense if a little strange but it’s definitely worth the read. It all ties together nicely and there’s some satisfying twists and turns in the plot and some curious but wonderful creatures. So, if you’re looking for a good, new read, I present to you, The Thirteenth Tower.

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Reading Progress

September 5, 2014 – Shelved
September 5, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
September 5, 2014 – Shelved as: first-reads
November 19, 2014 – Started Reading
November 21, 2014 –
page 137
November 22, 2014 –
page 185
November 23, 2014 – Finished Reading
May 16, 2015 – Shelved as: fantasy

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