Helen Lowe is an up-and-coming fantasy writer from New Zealand whose debut adult tretrology, Wall Of Night, we'll be publishing; the first book is on the schedule for January 2010. We know that's pretty far away, but, in the meantime, Helen's debut young adult novel, THORNSPELL, a retelling of Sleeping Beauty (being published by Knopf, not us), hits stores in September.
The first review for THORNSPELL is in, from Kirkus Reviews, and it's excellent:
"A quiet hero anchors this nicely crafted blend of fairy tale and dreamscape. Prince Sigismund lives in the West Castle; the King placed him there for safety before riding off to quell rebellions. Bordering the castle is a thick wood that a 100-year-old interdiction prohibits entering. One day a strange woman approaches the castle gate and offers Sigismund a gleaming ring. His head buzzes, he falls down in a fever and dreams plague him. The ring-bearing Margravine had placed a death spell on a princess in the wood; the Faie who tweaked the spell’s result into a 100-year sleep hides in Sigismund’s lilac garden. An enigmatic, amber-eyed man named Balisan trains Sigismund for years in meditation, swordsmanship and walking consciously in dreams. A scrubby girl bound in thorns repeatedly helps Sigismund escape the Margravine as he finds his path among faie, human and dream realms to the princess he must awaken. A narrative that begins as an exploration of fairy-tale archetypes thus moves into a very human and nevertheless magical drama. Thoughtful and understated."
And fellow New Zealand writer Tim Jones mentions Helen and THORNSPELL on his blog. Stay tuned for more news on Helen, THORNSPELL, and, eventually, WALL OF NIGHT!