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Delacorte Press, 400 pages
Published: December 9, 2014
AT A GLANCE
A faery blessed (cursed) princess is disguised as a boy to save her brother
and kingdom with the help of a witch cursed prince. YES.
I can’t remember the last time I read a standalone fantasy. After reading series after series, it was nice to know the story would start and end in one book.
Stacy Jay writes a captivating fantasy about Sleeping Beauty’s daughter, Aurora. The story begins with a confusing prologue that sets the backstory. I have to admit I was about to put off this book mid-prologue, but Jen from Books and Other Happily Ever Afters convinced me to continue. I owe Jen for the push because I ended up finishing Princess of Thorns in one sitting.
Princess of Thorns tells the story of the two siblings fighting to take back their home and free their people from the evil who stole their throne ten years ago. Aurora is a headstrong, independent Princess who doesn’t take no for an answer. Growing up in the harsh reality without her mother, Aurora has been molded into princess who isn’t afraid of getting in the ring to fight --figuratively and literally. On a mission to save her brother and reclaim her throne, Aurora finds an unlikely ally in Prince Niklaas by deceiving him to believe she’s the lost Prince.
Where Aurora is ice cold and cautious, Niklaas is all warmth and charm. Niklaas, believing the princess is the prince, protects Aurora like a brother. He is caring but also cunning as his own agenda isn’t as selfless as it seems. Praise goes to Stacey Jay for the effortless relationship between Aurora and Niklaas. Their friendship evolved naturally and believably from cold strangers to “brothers”. The shift from Prince to Princess was also natural, and I love the transition in Niklaas’ attitude towards Aurora throughout the story.
I would think by now I’d be weary of series, but I actually wouldn’t mind reading Princess of Thorns as a series. This book is highly entertaining, but I felt the story was rushed with a lack of backstory that made the world difficult to grasp. I want to know more about the ogres, witches, faeries, and royalty introduced in the story. Although a standalone limits the opportunity to further the world building, I am still pleased with how the book ended. Jay succeeds in tying loose ends in a satisfying conclusion. I definitely recommend Princess of Thorns to my series-weary friends who are looking for an engrossing fantasy with charming characters.
Overall: 4 out of 5
I'm keeping my goal for 2015 of writing a review before starting a new book. Lets hope I can keep this habit going! How are YOU handling the new year? What are your thoughts on 'PRINCESS OF THORNS"?