Book Reviews

A Pocketful of Crows by Joanne M. Harris // Book Review


I am as brown as brown can be,
And my eyes as black as sloe;
I am as brisk as brisk can be,
And wild as forest doe.

(The Child Ballads, 295)

So begins a beautiful tale of love, loss and revenge. Following the seasons, A Pocketful of Crows balances youth and age, wisdom and passion and draws on nature and folklore to weave a stunning modern mythology around a nameless wild girl.

Only love could draw her into the world of named, tamed things. And it seems only revenge will be powerful enough to let her escape.

Beautifully illustrated by Bonnie Helen Hawkins, this is a stunning and original modern fairytale.



Drawing inspiration from The Child Ballads, this is a lyrical, haunting story of a fae girl and the unfeeling Prince she falls in love with, I really enjoyed the writing style and the vivid descriptions of her world of the forest and it’s animals, with the adjacent Folk she sees as cruel, selfish creatures.

The main character has no name, which is what she prefers – a name implies ownership, and she belongs to no-one. She makes the mistake of falling in love with the Prince, who quickly grows bored of her, and casts her out when his Uncle disapproves. Vowing revenge, she seeks the help of the Hawthorn spirit of the forest.

This is a dark story, and I liked that the girl did not regret her choices of revenge later, or take pity on the Prince. I did however, find the ending a little confusing, and it could have done with a couple more chapters to flesh out the explanation better.


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