The Twisted Ones (Paperback)
On Our Shelves Now
Winner of the RUSA Award for Best Horror
When a young woman clears out her deceased grandmother’s home in rural North Carolina, she finds long-hidden secrets about a strange colony of beings in the woods in this chilling novel that reads like The Blair Witch Project meets The Andy Griffith Show.
When Mouse’s dad asks her to clean out her dead grandmother's house, she says yes. After all, how bad could it be?
Answer: pretty bad. Grandma was a hoarder, and her house is stuffed with useless rubbish. That would be horrific enough, but there’s more—Mouse stumbles across her step-grandfather’s journal, which at first seems to be filled with nonsensical rants…until Mouse encounters some of the terrifying things he described for herself.
Alone in the woods with her dog, Mouse finds herself face to face with a series of impossible terrors—because sometimes the things that go bump in the night are real, and they’re looking for you. And if she doesn’t face them head on, she might not survive to tell the tale.
From Hugo Award–winning author Ursula Vernon, writing as T. Kingfisher, The Twisted Ones is a gripping, terrifying tale bound to keep you up all night—from both fear and anticipation of what happens next.
About the Author
T. Kingfisher, also known as Ursula Vernon, is the author and illustrator of many projects, including the webcomic “Digger,” which won the Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story and the Mythopoeic Award. Her novelette “The Tomato Thief” won the Hugo Award for Best Novelette, and her short story “Jackalope Wives” won the Nebula Award for Best Story. She is also the author of the bestselling Dragonbreath, and the Hamster Princess series of books for children. Find her online at RedWombatStudio.com.
A Library Journal Best Horror Book of 2019
“Reads so fast and so effortless that you don’t realize how in thrall you are to it. It’s the sensation of being a little kid who stayed out too long past dinner and sure, you were having fun, but now it’s a moonless night and the forest is dark and you are hopelessly lost. This is righteous, folkloric horror, and the devil is waiting in between these pages.”
— Chuck Wendig, NYT bestselling author of Blackbirds and Wanderers
"Innovative, unexpected, and absolutely chilling, T. Kingfisher isn't just breaking into the horror scene, she's breaking it down. With a hammer."
— Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author Mira Grant
"A deliciously horrifying read. I adored it. In turns deeply human and uncanny, The Twisted Ones reads like the world's most terrifying episode of Hoarders. Don't sleep on it. In fact, be prepared to never sleep again."
— Nebula Award-winning author Alyssa Wong
"The Twisted Ones is a weird, shimmering story told with sharpness and grace - somehow both wild fairy tale and quiet, personal horror in equal measure. It's a strange and lovely balance, expertly crafted for daytime laughter or nighttime trembles."
— Cherie Priest, author of The Family Plot and Maplecroft.
"By turns warm, witty, and frightening, with a charming protagonist, a diverse and vibrant supporting cast, and -- best of all -- a noble, dimwitted dog. Fair warning: there is a razor in the center of this confection, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I won't be forgetting grandmother's house anytime soon."
— Nathan Ballingrud, author of Wounds and North American Lake Monsters
"A dark fairy tale adventure for contemporary readers. Mouse is a great character and the journey is enchanting in the best way – full of terror and humor and friendship.”
— Jeffrey Ford, author of Ahab's Return and A Natural History of Hell
"...has [Peter S.] Beagle’s knack for creating colorful, instantly memorable characters, and inhuman creatures capable of inspiring awe and wonder."
— NPR Books, on THE SEVENTH BRIDE
“She knows her genre and audience well enough to perfectly walk the line between comfortingly familiar and delightfully fresh and subversive.”
— SF Bluestocking, on THE SEVENTH BRIDE
"The writing. It is superb. Ursula Vernon/T. Kingfisher, where have you been all my life?"
— The Book Smugglers at Kirkus Reviews, on BRYONY & ROSES
"Righteous, folkloric horror. The devil is waiting in between these pages."
— Chuck Wendig, New York Times Bestselling author
"This occult thriller with heart boasts genuine scares."
— Publishers Weekly
Laden with cosmic fright, The Twisted Ones connects the foreboding of ancient folklore with the horrors of modern life. But it does so with a sharp, witty voice and a compelling first-person protagonist who finds herself precariously straddling worlds she never knew existed.
— Jason Heller
My favourite thing about the novel…is the unpredictability of how the story progresses, the subversion of the most common horror tropes. Fear not, we know from early on, given the framing narrative, that the dog survives.
— The Book Smugglers
"A fresh spin on traditional [southern] gothic elements.”
— Chicago Review of Books