Even if you are not an avid reader, I am sure you have come across a book or two with a brilliant plot twist. Now, when I say plot twist, I don’t mean a surprise. For example, I have found while reading Sherlock Holmes, that many of those short stories have a surprise ending, something that the reader didn’t see coming. But that’s not what I mean. I am talking about a complete one-eighty. One minute, the story is going in this direction, you have figured out the hidden secrets, and you think you know what’s about to happen, and then BOOM! Plot twist.
I began thinking about plot twists while I was listening to The Scarlet Pimpernel. Baroness Orczy has a beautiful way of writing that just draws you into her story. The exploits and narrow escapes of the hero are not the main focus for the first half of the book. The Scarlet Pimpernel’s exploits are just a backdrop, like a fairytale in Lady Marguerite Blakeney’s life. Then, Plot Twist! She learns that he is not some distant, courageous man; he is much closer to her than she ever dared dream.
Then I thought about another book I recently read that had a plot twist: Speaking in Bones, by Dr Kathy Reichs. Forensic scientist Dr Temperance Brennan is approached with evidence that opens an old missing persons case. As Brennan investigates, she discovers that bones collected at several different crime scenes may belong to the same person. The good doctor and the reader believe they know who the bones belong to until new evidence comes to light. Plot Twist! Suddenly, those assumed to be dead may still be alive, and those thought to be missing may no longer be alive. The second half of that book was really quite fascinating!
Although I mentioned that most of the Sherlock Holmes short stories have surprises but not plot twists, there is one in particular that has a conclusion even the great detective never foresaw. In the adventure of “Charles Augustus Milverton”, Holmes challenges a ruthless blackmailer for the sake of a lady’s reputation. The blackmailer, Milverton, stubbornly refuses to give up the compromising letters in his possession, so Holmes and Watson take matters into their own hands. They enter Milverton’s house by night, and then Plot Twist! I can’t say more without giving away the story. But I assure you, it was totally unexpected.
I have not yet written about The False Prince and the five books that make up the Ascendance Series by Jennifer Nielsen, but I plan to make a post about these books as soon as I reread them. However, for this post, I couldn’t leave out The False Prince. Wow, what a plot twist in that book! About halfway through, I began to suspect, but the way it came about is just a testament to the brilliance of the author. I have told many people: The False Prince is even better the second (or third or fourth) time around because you know the ending. This is also another great audiobook, and it’s on Spotify performed by Charlie McWade. Briefly, after the death of the King, Queen, and Crown Prince Darius, a regent named Conner devises a plan to pass an orphan boy as the long lost Prince Jaron. The whole country had mourned the death of Prince Jaron two years previous. Conner “adopts”, buys, or kidnaps (however you want to term it) three orphans who resemble the lost prince and takes them to his home. He trains them extensively in history, sword fighting, horseback riding, manners, and anything else a prince should know. The book follows the orphan Sage as he tries as hard as he can to annoy Conner while learning how to be a prince. A false prince. Will Conner’s treasonous plan succeed? Plot Twist!
The last plot twist I will share with you today is in the Divergent trilogy. You have to read all three books to get there. But then there are two major Plot Twists in the third book. That’s all I’m going to say here because I plan to read Divergent again very soon, and so I’ll also be writing about it soon.
I hope you have decided by now that you will read one (or all) of these great books. They are fun, fascinating, and sometimes suspenseful. I highly recommend them all.