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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Circles of the mind
Crown of Acorns, Catherine Fisher's latest, has three separate strands, taking place in three time zones. In prehistory, Bladud the leprous king is cured by the sacred spring of Sulis, but the circles he gratefully builds to her honour come to imprison him. In the 18th century, Zachariah Stoke works as apprentice to Jonathan Forrest, who dreams of building a perfect...
Published on 29 April 2010 by Sheenagh Pugh

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3.0 out of 5 stars Different
Not as compelling a read as the other Catherine Fisher books I have read. I admit I missed some of the chapters out as did feel that they did not add to the story
Published 14 months ago by Hilmw


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Circles of the mind, 29 April 2010
By 
Sheenagh Pugh "Sheenagh Pugh" (Shetland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Crown of Acorns (Paperback)
Crown of Acorns, Catherine Fisher's latest, has three separate strands, taking place in three time zones. In prehistory, Bladud the leprous king is cured by the sacred spring of Sulis, but the circles he gratefully builds to her honour come to imprison him. In the 18th century, Zachariah Stoke works as apprentice to Jonathan Forrest, who dreams of building a perfect circle of houses. And in the present day, a girl of 17, calling herself Sulis, arrives in Bath, with a false identity provided for her by social services and a habit of looking over her shoulder for a man who may or may not be there.

It will be clear already that what links the three strands, apart from images and themes, is a location, the city of Bath. To the young Sulis, it is her "ideal city", bewitching her both with its golden stone and its unimaginably long history, and it works much the same magic on the reader. So does the grand obsession of Forrest, a slightly fictionalised version of John Wood, architect of the King's Circus in Bath, a visionary artist plagued by mole-eyed money men. Meanwhile in the best Fisher tradition we have not one but two refreshingly chippy, unorthodox young protagonists in Sulis and Zac, (not to mention their two equally chippy foils, Josh and Sylvia).

Like the perfect circle of houses, the themes and images in this book constantly mirror each other, but though what goes around comes around, it is subtly changed; history does not simply repeat itself in a new time but rather reinvents itself constantly, as no two acorns produce identical oak trees.

If having two teenage protagonists - albeit pretty late teens - makes a book "young adult" rather than adult, I suppose that's what this is, despite the fact that the portrayal of 18th-century Bath's gambling hells, and the girl who used to work in one, is as grim and gritty as you'd expect. But the adult/young adult boundary is meaningless when the book is good enough - does anyone stop reading Treasure Island when they grow up, just because Jim is young? - and this is the most enjoyable novel I've reviewed for a while (S. Pugh. aged 59 and a quarter).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent, satisfying read!, 28 Jun 2011
This review is from: Crown of Acorns (Paperback)
I only bother to review books I have really enjoyed, and this one ticked all my boxes!

Three separate stories are woven together. Images and ideas tumble from one strand to another, linking the tales and characters and providing a continuous timeline from ancient times to the modern day.

The modern girl chooses the name Sulis for the new identity she adopts when she moves to yet more foster parents, and thus she is caught up in the story of the city she will now call home. The city has a colourful past and we are fortunate enough to witness significant periods in that history, by learning about Bladud (legendary king, said to have founded the city of Bath) and John Forrest (fictional character based on John Wood, architect of the real Kings Circle in Bath). Each strand of the book is fascinating, but I was always pleased to get back to the 1700s to find out what that silly young man, Zac, was getting up to!

It became almost a game to spot the images that appear in two or more stories - pigs, acorns, the numbers three and thirty, the jackdaws and, of course, circles.

Thank you Ms Fisher for a book that is not a vampire/werewolf/fallen angel /high school romance! As a school librarian I am always reluctant to put an age guide to books so I will just say that this is an enjoyable and intelligent read for anyone who has developed the reading stamina to tackle it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent book from Catherine Fisher, 21 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Crown of Acorns (Paperback)
Whilst not my favourite from this brilliant writer, it was still another that I could not put down until I had finished it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Different, 16 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Crown of Acorns (Kindle Edition)
Not as compelling a read as the other Catherine Fisher books I have read. I admit I missed some of the chapters out as did feel that they did not add to the story
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Crown of Acorns
Crown of Acorns by Catherine Fisher (Paperback - 6 May 2010)
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