Vindeltorn (the Twistrose Key) by Tone Almhjell


The book

Vindeltorn is about Lin, who has moved with her mom and dad from their big farm in the countryside to an apartment in the city. She really misses her best friend, and her pet mouse, Rufus, who died when they moved to the city. One day she gets a key and finds a door in her basement which leads her to Sylver. This is a world where all animals who were once loved by a child goes when they die. So Lin is reunited with Rufus, who is now about six foot tall and can talk. Since she’s a child sent to a fantasy land she gets a quest and has to find the prince of Sylver, and return him by nightfall, or she can never go home and Sylver will be thrown into chaos. And all that jazz


So this is a middle grade novel and it is very sweet and lovely. It’s also very Norwegian and wintery and beautiful. It was also released first in English, which is quite interesting. Anyway.

I thought it was fun, I thought Lin was clever and fierce and strong. She was afraid, but she never let that stop her, which I loved about her. She was sort of relentless, in the best kind of way. She also had a tendency to not take her predicament seriously. Like a lot of kids in fantasy lands she seems to think that she can’t be hurt there, which is silly.

I think that the idea of animals who were loved by children going to a land where they live and thrive and have fun was absolutely lovely. I thought it was so incredible. It was a great nod to Narnia, eternal winter, a fairyland and talking animals. There is also an absolutely heart breaking moment that reminded me of Susan and her relationship to Narnia. I thought it was beautiful, and I don’t want to say what it is, but it has to do with the fact that kids do grow up.

I think it probably works really well as a kid’s book. A lot of kid’s books work for adults as well, but I don’t know that this one did. There were some issues with world building. Like they meet trolls when they’re out on their missions, and Lin says she knows what kills these trolls, and what kills those trolls, and there is no reference to how she has this knowledge. I think there should have been more world building. I also think the timeline was a bit messy. I didn’t entirely know where they were or how much time had passed, and where they were.


I still think this was a completely fine middle grade fantasy book. I thought it was fun, and I thought Lin was great, and I thought it was a beautiful concept. And I thought it handled the way children love their pets and how serious that love is.


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