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The Chronicles of Hawthorn: A Magical Fantasy Adventure

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Yet another generic YA book about a young girl ostracized from society because she isn't like everyone else. Can I get another plot please?

The Chronicles of Hawthorn felt like a generic convulsion of the greatest fantasy novels trying, and failing, to be one great fantasy novel. From the lack of setting, to overly generic plot points and randomly thrown together names, there were many issues found within the book. For the purpose of this review, let's start with Setting first.



Perhaps after reading some of the best female writers of our time like P.C. Cast, Charlaine Harris and Rachel Mead, I expected a little too much from this book. There were so many generic words that sounded as if they were strung together from a random website generator that I wasn't sure which one was the title of the location of the book. All I am sure of is that it was supposed to be an island, and that there are other islands near by and that's questionable.


The setting felt as if the author had too many things trying to happen to focus on one idea and pinpoint them all down. Because of this what little names involved the setting either sounded computer generated or used the same letters, making them hard to keep up with. Traditionally, I would have preferred the author keep the setting simple, as opposed to the complex world they tried to build.


Apart from the name, we didn't get much information about setting. I feel like I have no defined idea what the houses looked liked or even really what the forest looked like and this created distance between myself and the book. I would've loved to see more detail. I wish the world building was just a tad bit stronger.


Lastly, Flynn herself was completely annoying. She spent most of the book complaining about how her mother didn't love her. By chapter two, I was bored and tired. For one, can we get another subject please? What about a book where the family stands with the MC against the town or something? Relational conflict doesn't always have to be about family.


Of course, by the end of the book, Flynn masters the elements she needs to not only save the day, but gain approval. This gave me serious concerns about the message that the book was sending to young adults. I wouldn't want my child reading a book that tells her to conform to society for approval, or that who she is isn't less than good.


Overall, there were a lot of different concerns with this book and because of that, I have to give a 1 out of 5 stars. There's just not enough clarity or voice overall to make this book stand out or make the message strong and personal.

Reviewed by

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The Shadow Stirs

About the author

RUE is a multiple award-winning fiction author and in her spare time, she makes films. Her respect oral traditions and the seasonal magick of nature inevitably brought her work to the world of fantasy. The story of Flynn Hawthorn has been part of her heart and imagination for nearly a decade. view profile

Published on April 04, 2017

200000 words

Genre: Epic Fantasy

Reviewed by