Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay
Genres/Themes: Fantasy, Young Adult, Fairy Tale Retelling (kinda), Adventure
This is a pretty epic book. After reading 2 for Stacey Jay’s books, I think I’m becoming a huge fan.
I did mark this as a Fairy Tale Retelling, but it isn’t really. Here Aurora is actually the daughter of Sleeping Beauty but, it wasn’t a happily ever after.
With the world going to hell, Aurora is blessed with amazing strength and fighting skills, as well as a curse, to never be able to kiss the one she loves without consequence, they become unable to deny her and lose their free will. These gifts are supposed to keep her safe from anyone meant to harm her… physically or emotionally.
Disguised as a boy, although unintentional, Aurora (Ror) and Prince Niklaas, join together to save her brother, Jor, from the wicked ogre queen who is in control of Ror’s kingdom. Niklaas doesn’t realize the end game here just helping Ror, who he thinks is Jor, get where she needs to so in exchange Ror, will tell him where Aurora is. Niklaas needs to marry a princess and Aurora is his last shot.
Saving Jor as well as Ror’s Kingdom (Queendom?) will not be easy. Blood, sweat, and tears will be spilt along the way but, they have to hope they can survive until the end.
I found Ror to be a great character. She isn’t just strong and stubborn, she’s funny and a smartass. She has flaws and doesn’t always think. She isn’t Superwoman but, a human with good and bad parts of her personality.
Niklaas was charming and cute. He was believable. I really felt for him and his worry over his curse.
The story progressed smoothly, in my opinion and never slow. The story scoops you up and doesn’t let go until the very end. Although, I was confused by the beginning “In the past” section, mostly because I didn’t understand who was related to who and what it would matter. Reading it later, I understood a lot more.
In the book there are many times Aurora doesn’t do the right thing or is told one thing but, accidentally does the other. In most cases, I don’t care about ‘what ifs…’ but this time I really want to know. Spoiler in white: She is told to believe in her gifts in this case mercy but, she fights it. We get a happy ending and Niklaas is saved. But what if she had been merciful? Would her brother have died and Niklaas turned into a swan??? I wish I knew the other options… I’m just so curious because I don’t see how those warnings could have helped.
So, pretty awesome book. I’ll probably read more by this author. I’m not sure why the summary says Game of Thrones meets Grimm’s fairy tales… but oh well. Good stuff here!!