Book Review: By Ash, Oak and Thorn by Melissa Harrison

“Three tiny, ancient beings – Moss, Burnet and Cumulus, once revered as Guardians of the Wild World – wake from winter hibernation in their beloved ash tree home.

When it is destroyed, they set off on an adventure to find more of their kind, a journey which takes them first into the deep countryside and then the heart of a city.

Helped along the way by birds and animals, the trio search for a way to survive and thrive in a precious yet disappearing world.”

By Ash, Oak and Thorn made me want to frolic through nature with its magical writing and whimsical world.

This was a charming and delightful read from the start until the end. It is the type of book that makes you want to cosy up with a cup of tea, grab and blanket and read for hours.

By Ash, Oak and Thorn made me feel so nostalgic for my childhood where I would spend my time outside looking at bugs and trying to find the ‘perfect pet snail’. I found myself laughing out loud and wishing I could adventure with the Hidden Folk myself.

One of the not-so-great parts about this book was the social and ecological discourse. I don’t necessarily think that it was done badly but it began feeling repetitive. Maybe it was because I’m a 25-year-old who was reading a book targeted at 10-year-olds but it felt like instead of following the story of an adventure, we were being taught a life lesson on every page.

If I were to put aside the life lessons and constant talking about feelings then I really do think this would have been a five star book for me because I loved every other part of the story.

I’d definitely recommend this book to all children. It encourages kids to think about nature and their impact on the world. It might even inspire their imagination and encourage them to explore the wild world for themselves. I’d recommend this book for adults too as long as you don’t mind the children’s life lessons.

I still plan on reading the other book in this duology and I’m excited to follow the Hidden Folk on more adventures.

My rating: ★★★☆☆

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Have you read By Ash, Oak and Thorn? If you did, what did you think? Do you have any book recommendations for me that sound similar?

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