Short Take: Thorn Jack – Katherine Harbour

This is a recasting of the Scottish “Tam Lin” tale. In PW’s review below you’ll find many of the elements that makes today’s dark fantasies like The Night Circus (and every third YA book) work so well. They draw on family, class and romantic tensions that have resonated through the centuries. I’ve had a lot of grassroots curiosity from booksellers on this one and PW listed it as a “Book to Grab” at BEA. Trivia: the author is herself a bookseller.

Debut author Harbour finds some new ground in this twisty, contemporary reworking of the oft-retold Scottish ballad ‘Tam Lin’. Serafina ‘Finn’ Sullivan, haunted by her sister’s recent suicide, is just starting college in bohemian, old-moneyed Fair Hollow, N.Y., when her lakeside encounter with the enigmatic Jack Fata attracts the enmity of his powerful family, particularly the ageless, calculating Reiko Fata. Finn’s awkward and ghost-ridden but growing romance with Jack soon proves inseparable from the machinations of the ‘children of nothing and night,’ especially after she enlists Jack’s help to save classmate Nathan Clare…[F]antasy fans will find much to savor in Harbour’s delicate, myth-conscious prose. Loose ends suggest a sequel.”
Publishers Weekly

Thorn Jack: A Night and Nothing Novel (9780062286727) by Katherine Harbour. $$ 25.99 hardcover. 6/24/14 on sale.

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