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Tinder – Sally Gardner & Illustrated by David Roberts

“Once in a time of war, when I was a soldier in the Imperial Army, I saw Death walking. He wore upon his skull a withered crown of white bone twisted with green hawthorn. His skeleton was shrouded with a tattered clock of gold and in his wake stood the ghosts of my comrades newly plucked. half-lived, from life. Many I knew by name.”


When Otto defies death on the battlefield and is separated from the amry he was forced into he thinks his dangers are over. However lost in the forests of land unknown he can sense the presence of a beast others seem not to be able to, and it is killing people. Unsure of why he has survived the beast he is determined to help a young lad on his travels. The lad soon turns out to be a beautiful young maiden named Safire though, trying to run from the curses that are surrounding her. Otto falls in love but when the pair are separated he is sure he has lost her forever. Perhaps there is more to their tragic love story though as the world that entwines Otto soon becomes full of dark magic and mystery. 

***

Wow, what a beautiful, amazing story. I honestly couldn’t put Tinder down and with every page I was pulled further into the dark world of mystery and magic.

The most magical part of Tinder was not the story, even though it was full of it. No, for me the magic sat in the writing style, the oldy-worldy feel of the words and the way the narration flowed was beautiful and was the main reason why I was sucked into the book so hard. It felt like a fairy tale that you would tell children with a few older themes running through it and it was so unlike anything that I have read before but that is not a bad thing. I adored the whole feel of the book and I wanted more once it was over.

The story is based on The Tinderbox by Hans Christian Andersen but as I have not read that story I cannot compare them and nor would I want to if I had. Sally Gardner takes her reader on an adventure full of witches and werewolves and with every page there appears something new. When you think the story is going in one direction another path is thrown down and I loved the addition of almost dreamlike sequences at the end of some of the chapters.

My copy of the book was a proof and unfortunately that means I didn’t get the full effect of the fabulous illustrations from David Roberts, but from what I did get they are going to be beautiful and I may even have to replace this copy with a finished one just for them. They captured the feeling of the book perfectly and I loved how dark yet mesmerizing they appeared to be.

I would recommend Tinder to everyone, but perhaps it is more for the older crowd as it is a little graphic in places and talks very openly about sex and murder so it isn’t to be mistaken for a fairytale to be told to young children! the proof was short at 160 pages but I believe the finished copy will be longer as it will have more of those beautiful illustrations in it, yet it will still be a quick, yet memorable read.

Tinder was published on November 7th by Indigo. My copy was sent to me from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

For more info please visit:
Amazon | Hive | Goodreads | Author Website