Title: Princess of Thorns
Author: Stacey Jay
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Delacorte Press (December 9th)
Source: Review copy from publisher
Game of Thrones meets the Grimm’s fairy tales in this twisted, fast-paced romantic fantasy-adventure about Sleeping Beauty’s daughter, a warrior princess who must fight to reclaim her throne.
Though she looks like a mere mortal, Princess Aurora is a fairy blessed with enhanced strength, bravery, and mercy yet cursed to destroy the free will of any male who kisses her. Disguised as a boy, she enlists the help of the handsome but also cursed Prince Niklaas to fight legions of evil and free her brother from the ogre queen who stole Aurora’s throne ten years ago.
Will Aurora triumph over evil and reach her brother before it’s too late? Can Aurora and Niklaas break the curses that will otherwise forever keep them from finding their one true love?
When Aurora was seven years old, by orders of the ogre queen, her father was killed and she was incarcerated next to her mother and her little brother, Jor. Aurora’s mother killed herself to pass her fairy gifts to Aurora. The gifts she gave her were “enhanced strength, a brave spirit, a merciful mind, and a heart no man she love will dare defy". These gifts help Aurora and Jor escape from prison and find their way to the Fairy grounds where they grew up protected along the fairies. Until the day Jor is capture by the ogre queen.
Aurora knows she needs to rescue Jor before is too late and for that she needs an army. On her search for help she comes upon Prince Niklaas who has been searching for Aurora, but Niklaas doesn’t know she’s Aurora, he thinks she is Jor because she’s dressed as a boy and calls herself Ror. Niklaas offers Ror his help in exchange for a meeting with Aurora, offer she accepts and together they embark in an adventure against time.
I really liked Aurora. I liked how she grew up throughout the pages. I also liked that she wasn’t perfect and made mistakes. It was the same case with Niklaas. Thanks to his father he is suffering from a curse, he will turn into a swan on his 18th birthday which is only weeks away. The only way to break the curse is to marry an heiress from a different kingdom than his father’s, that’s why he needs Aurora.
As Niklaas thinks Aurora is a boy there is not insta-attraction (yay!). When they meet they actually don’t like each other much, but with time and hardships shared they start to develop a friendship and camaraderie. The only problem is they both are keeping secrets from the other.
The more time they spend together the closest they get to the other, but when the truths come to the light not everything is rosy between them and I liked that, because it made their romance believable.
Stacey Jay does an excellent job with the character development and with the romance. My problem was with the world building, there is almost no world building at all, just the very basics. This book could have been awesome with a more developed world building and the sad part is that the roots where there, Jay just needed to work on it a bit more.
I think I liked Princess of Thorns because I started reading it without expectations and because I didn’t pay much attention to the blurb; so I ask you to do the same, read this book with an open mind and with no expectations. Princess of Thorns is a fun and enjoyable read, but it’s not Game of Thrones’ epic.
Princess of Thorns was my first book by Stacey Jay, but I’m sure it won’t be my last.
My Verdict: 4 Paws
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