A Hunger of Thorns

Judges Comments

This darkly atmospheric book draws the reader into a metaphorical exploration of the challenges of living in a highly industrialised world, told through the lens of an interrogation of female power and persecution in the historical and contemporary context. While utilising a magical realism setting to present highly contemporary themes, the clearly drawn characters allow the reader a deep understanding of the psyche of young people, and the novel is firmly grounded in family and peer group dynamics. Though building on the recognisable young adult trope of the “strong female protagonist”, Wilkinson has cleverly subverted this tradition through world-building and interesting characterisation, making this immersive story a powerful and original novel for the upper end of the readership.

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