Lotus and Thorn

Lotus and Thorn

by Sara Wilson Etienne


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399256691
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 06/07/2016
Pages: 464
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.70(d)
Age Range: 14 Years

About the Author

Sara Wilson Etienne went to college in Maine to become a marine biologist. But when research on leatherback turtles transformed itself into a novel, she realized that she loved fantasy more than fact. She now lives in Seattle, WA with her husband and two dogs. Unworthy is her second novel.

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Lotus and Thorn 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
Leica and her sisters, Lotus and Tashcen, are descendants of colonists who settled on the planet Gabriel five hundred years ago. Now, in 2590, Leica and the other Citizens of Pleiades scavenge the ruins of their original colony for technology to trade to the Curadores in exchange for supplies and god's eventual forgiveness. Leica knows what it is to live in Gabriel's barren deserts fearing the next occurrence of the Red Death and knowing the other Citizens revile her six-fingered hands as a Corruption--a sign that their god has still not forgiven the Citizens enough to return them to Earth. After being exiled nearly two years for possessing contraband technology, she also knows the fear and privation of being alone in the desert surrounding Pleiades. When Leica finds a shuttle out in the Tierra Muerta it provides a link to Earth. It also leads Leica back to her sister, Lotus, and a fledgling settlement trying to separate itself from both Pleiades and the Curadores who reside in a secure dome habitat. With the dome malfunctioning and food in Pleiades becoming scarce, Leica will have to work quickly to find the truth about increasing Red Death outbreaks and uncover the long buried secrets behind why Earth abandoned Gabriel so many years ago in Lotus and Thorn (2016) by Sara Wilson Etienne. This convoluted science fiction novel is a loose retelling of the Grimm fairy tale "Fitcher's Bird"--a story that also shares some common tropes with the tale of Bluebeard. Lotus and Thorn is broken into three parts, each of which is preceded by an excerpt from a version of Fitcher's Bird that the author wrote to accompany the novel. Elements from Korean and Mexican culture are fused into this futuristic story to create a diverse world, albeit one that often lacks strong internal logic.While these choices make for a diverse setting the method behind these cultures, of any, being the two to have lasting influence centuries in the future is decidedly unclear. A meandering plot filled with too many twists and not enough character development make for a slow read. Lotus and Thorn will have the most appeal for committed science fiction fans and readers looking for a new fairy tale retelling in the style of Cinder or Stitching Snow. Possible Pairings: Incarceron by Catherine Fisher, Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay, Stitching Snow by R. C. Lewis, Cinder by Marissa Meyer, Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi, A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan *A more condensed version of this review appeared in an issue of School Library Journal from which it can be seen in various places online
Alyssa75 More than 1 year ago
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Lotus and Thorn by Sara Wilson Etienne Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers Publication Date: June 7, 2016 Rating: 4 stars Source: ARC sent by the publisher Summary (from Goodreads): Ravaged by a plague known as Red Death, the planet Gabriel, a former colony of Earth, is a barren wasteland. Since being abandoned by Earth 500 years ago, resources are scarce and life is cheap. To stay alive, the survivors, the Citizens, scavenge the remains of a now dead city, trading for food with the resource-rich Curadores, the only other survivors on Gabriel. Every old computer, every piece of wire, every scrap of metal counts. To steal is the ultimate sin. So when tough-as-nails seventeen-year-old Leica is caught doing just that, she's exiled and left to the mercy of Gabriel's unforgiving desert for the rest of her life. While in exile, Leica discovers a mysterious shuttle, which may not only lead her home, but even more impossible—reestablish contact with Earth. Then Red Death rears its head again, killing her entire work crew, leaving Leica all alone until a handsome Curador offers her refuge in the Dome—the only place on Gabriel untouched by Red Death, where a decadent and sultry life awaits. But there's a catch: Leica can only enter the Dome as his concubine—his Kisaeng. When a rogue group of Citizens see their chance for revolution in Leica's good fortune, she finds herself unraveling a deadly mystery with chilling answers to the true origin of Red Death and the reason Earth really abandoned them so long ago. A richly imagined fantasy in the vein of Tamora Pierce, Lotus and Thorn, is a magnificent, epic adventure. What I Liked: I'd heard of this book before there was a summary or cover, and so I didn't know anything about it (its title was originally Unworthy). When I requested the book, there still wasn't a cover, but there was a summary. I remember thinking, epic fantasy? Count me in! And then the cover was released and, well, it is gorgeous. I didn't know much about the book and didn't know what to expect, but I really enjoyed this book! Once I started, those 464 pages flew by. The prologue tells the (short) story of how Leica is exiled from her home. Stealing is a sin, and while Leica wasn't exactly stealing, she was caught with something worth stealing. Nearly two years later, just shy of eighteen, Leica's crew in the treacherous desert is completely lost to Red Death. Leica bumps into another group of exiles, called the Indignos, as well as a Curador. The Curadors trade food and supplies for electronics, which the Citizens gather. This Curador, Edison, wants to help Leica, and he takes her back to the Dome, where food is bountiful and life is good. Leica can only enter the Dome if she is his Kisaeng, or concubine. Leica agrees to go, because she wants to spy on life at the Dome and see what they are hiding from the Citizens. As it would turn out, the Curadors are hiding quite a bit. The world-building of this book is so well-written, in my opinion. I know this book is billed as a fantasy novel, but it seems more of a post-apocalyptic type to me. This world is Gabriel, a former colony of Earth. There has been no contact with Earth in hundreds of years. Leica's home is more of a community of Citizens, lead by the Abuelos. Read the rest of my review on my blog, The Eater of Books! - eaterofbooks DOT blogspot DOT com :)
Reddjena More than 1 year ago
ARRRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!! Why do I keep finding awesome science fiction novels with HUGE twists at the end?!?!?! At least this time, I loved it all the way to the end, even if it did end on a huge cliffhanger. So, when I first picked up this book, I wasn't completely sold on the synopsis; however, I was interested and then I saw the clincher, "perfect for fans of Tamora Pierce and Sarah Maas." My curiosity grew to the point that I needed to know if there was truth in that statement. And there was :) The writing style was addictive and easy to read, and the main character, Leica, had a lot of depth and characterization. The world building was paced well--until the major twist at the end. I just felt like there weren't enough clues built into the text that would lead the reader there without it being spelled out, which does match how the main character felt but isn't necessarily how the reader wants to feel. One of my favorite personality traits for a leading lady is cunning and cleverness. Leica had lots of this and it showed in her actions and internal monologue. *I especially have a soft spot for well-written, well-utilized courtesans (i.e. kisaengs).* I also really enjoyed how the author wrote Leica's (and the other ladies') strength in a realistic way that conveyed the various forms of strength--resilience, physical, emotional, endurance--pretty much any form you can think of. The ladies have positives and negatives like real people instead of being written as the most powerful beings with no flaws. The male characters were given the same treatment and fit the narrative without overshadowing it. And last but not least, I want to talk about the format a little bit. This novel was broken into three parts with parts one and two starting with a section of the same fairytale, which echoed the plot arc for that part. Part three's was interwoven into the main story, and I liked the effect. The genre is hard to pin down but I would probably categorize it as a dystopian science fiction with a good dose of fantasy elements and a dash of adventure. This story is definitely for anyone who likes Tamora Pierce, Sarah Maas, Cassandra Clare, Suzanne Collins... I guess what I'm trying to say is, if you like a good story with compelling characters, go pick up this book. It's out right now!! Reviewed from an uncorrected proof.