Jewel and Thorn

Author: Richard Poole
Simon and Schuster
RRP 12.99

ISBN 0 689 87289 5
Available 07 February 2005

In a world shaped by the scattered remains of a giant civilisation live communities of six-inch tall human beings. Tiny in stature but big in dreams, two teenagers, Jewel and Thorn, are about to embark on an epic adventure...

Jewel and Thorn is a tale about two individuals whose very different lives are drawn together through two tragic events.

When Jewel's father is attacked and killed by mysterious assailants at a local fair, Jewel vows to avenge his murder. Befriended by Rainy Gill, a juggler, they set off in pursuit of his killers. On their journey, they find themselves in a notorious gambling den, where Jewel becomes embroiled in a grisly wager.

Returning with a stolen crystal from his coming of age ritual, Thorn discovers his younger sister has been abducted. Thorn sets out to trail her kidnappers through the heart of the mysterious Judy Wood. Many dangerous encounters lie ahead of him...

As Jewel and Thorn move towards a momentous meeting, sinister forces gather around them. And the ruby crystal stolen by Thorn begins to acquire a significance he couldn't possibly have imagined.

I must admit that I was very apprehensive about reviewing Jewel and Thorn. Just what the book buying public doesn't need, I thought, another Lord of the Rings/Terry Pratchet universe style clone. My worst fears seemed to be realised when I opened up the book to be greeted with a map of the lands this book is set in. Why is it that all book publishers tend to think that this style of book requires a crude map? Oh, and it's a trilogy! Why are these books always trilogies?

However, once I got into this book I found it to be very engaging. I was engrossed by Richard Poole's writing style. This novel will appeal to everyone from teenagers to adults.

Poole's first novel is a bit of a winner and I look forward to seeing this "trilogy" unfold in the future.

Ray Thompson

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