The Twisted Ones – T. Kingfisher
The Twisted Ones kept me company on a series of flights to and from Florida at the beginning of the year. In audio format it stayed with me on the long drive out to the Middle of Nowhere, VA, where we lived for a time. I do not recommend such a trip unless you enjoy staying in your car in the driveway, unable to get out because you 1) need to know what happens next, and 2) because you’re not entirely sure if something moved in the tree by the back window.
In short, the story begins when Mouse is asked to clear out her grandmother’s house in North Carolina, after the old woman’s death. The house is a mess of mountains of newspaper, stacks of unidentifiable junk, and dolls. So many dolls.
Then Mouse finds a story, a stone, and a tunnel in the woods behind the house, leading to a hill that doesn’t exist. That shouldn’t exist. Next thing she knows, the litany of the twisted ones follows her home and into her nightmares.
Now Mouse needs to get to the bottom of the story buried under a hoarder’s monument to a lonely life. Or lose herself to the twisted ones.
T. Kingfisher is the alter ego of Ursula Vernon, author of the Clocktaur War books, Swordheart, the Dragonbreath books (as Vernon), among many others.
The Twisted Ones is an intimate tale of folkloric horror, and one of the only books that has managed to give me jump scare in writing. Kingfisher is a master of bringing Mouse and eccentric neighbors to life. Her descriptions are vivid, visceral, and utterly disturbing.
To be perfectly honest, I can’t think of a single thing to gripe about with this title. The revelations at the climax of the tale come hard and fast, at a breathless and heart-pounding pace.
The story has successfully pushed me to dig deeper and start hungrily researching the history and folklore that runs thick and rich throughout the American South.
Anybody looking for a real that’ll make it difficult to turn off the lights and yet won’t let you stop turning pages will not be disappointed.
I can’t recommend The Twisted Ones enough.
Hopefully you enjoy it as much as I did.