Book Reviews

Book Review: The Twisted Tree by Rachel Burge


The Twisted Tree Book CoverSynopsis

Martha can tell things about a person just by touching their clothes, as if their emotions and memories have been absorbed into the material. It started the day she fell from the tree at her grandma’s cabin and became blind in one eye.

Determined to understand her strange ability, Martha sets off to visit her grandmother, Mormor – only to discover Mormor is dead, a peculiar boy is in her cabin and a terrifying creature is on the loose.

Then the spinning wheel starts creaking, books move around and terror creeps in . . .

Thank you to Hot Key Books for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

“You write the story of you every day with your thoughts, words and deeds. You create yourself. You get to decide your story. No one else. You.” 

Ooh, this book was creepy and I liked it! After she fell from a tree, Martha gains the intriguing ability to read other people’s emotions by touching their clothes. Unfortunately, this is more of a curse than a blessing. Martha decides to visit her grandmother, Mormor, in Norway but little does she know what’s in store for her…

The Twisted Tree is perfectly described as part ghost story, part Nordic thriller. It’s a YA novel with Norse mythology, supernatural elements, and a little romance. All of these different elements worked well together to create a delightful reading experience. The book is brilliantly atmospheric and it is set in the cold landscape of an isolated Norwegian island. Speaking of Norway, I enjoyed the sprinkling of Norwegian words and phrases. I may have learnt a little Norwegian as a result. Takk Rachel Burge!

It was fascinating learning about Norse mythology, including Odin who is the All-Father. Without giving too much away, the unearthly creature which appears in this novel is very scary! There was a lot of suspense and this added to the sense of terror.

The Twisted Tree is also about learning to accept who you are. I warmed to Martha who feels like an outsider. She loses the sight in one of her eyes as well as her grandmother. Martha has to learn to adjust to her new life in more ways than one. She grows as a character and becomes stronger when she is faced with adversity. The other main character is Stig who I adored. He made a real impression on me and I now have a penchant for Norwegian goth guys who wear eyeliner. Martha and Stig share much in common and they have great romantic tension. Oh, and I have to mention Martha’s dog, the aptly named Gandalf. He is the most loyal dog ever.

I really hope there is going to be a sequel. This is because some questions are raised about Stig right at the end of the book and there are a few loose ends.


A gripping and spooky debut novel that got me out of a reading slump.

My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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