Book Review: Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay

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?

Review

SPOILER-FREE

Whoo, I'm so sorry for the delay in my book review. I've always intended on reading it but time and motivation wouldn't allow it but now I was able to dive in and here's my review now!

I enjoyed the book and stayed up till 1 in the morning to finish it but I had higher expectations than what it delivered. If you're expecting a Sleeping Beauty retelling you might want to pass as this is about her offspring and it's more of a mashup of fairy tales than a retelling. I don't mind it and enjoyed the originality of the story but I wanted to warn you if that's why you picked up this book.

I enjoyed the feminist ideas that the author was trying to get across but I feel like it fell short especially when Aurora, the main character, is first described as having no figure then later, bam, she's curvy...You can't really hide that well if you've got curves in my opinion. She went from tomboy to girly which is fine but I got the feeling at first she wanted to be a tomboy but then she had thoughts of wanting to wear a dress and being girly which is also fine but I got confused on who she really wanted to be.

I didn't mind Aurora, she was was strong, clever, and enjoyable for me to read but I didn't care for her insta-love with Niklaas. While I like Niklaas now, it took me some time to warm up to him. Aurora warmed up to him quicker than I did considering they were together for only 3 weeks total and she fell for him in like 4 or 5 days. Yeah, not extremely believable for me.

I didn't care for Niklaasas much at first because I found him very superficial, especially what he thought of Aurora during her various phases. I was thrilled that Aurora didn't fall for him at first but then was disappointed when she did. Their romance was ok, it was a lot of back and forth which is fine but wasn't really for me. I'd rather they be honest and upfront later instead of being afraid. I understand why he was the way he was but I'd like a little more history as how and why he turned out decent when not raised by his mother.

The plot was quick enough that I was never bored but I feel like the details were lacking in some parts. Things were pointed out which I thought would be important but were never clarified or completed. Especially at the end with Niklaas and his problems. The writing was fine but I noticed some issues as I was reading which I had to reread to clarify but it may be due to my copy being an ARC.

The climax and conclusion were lackluster for me. I can't say I loved how either had been executed but they did satisfy the story but not enough for me. I have mixed feeling about how Aurora and Ekeeta, the Queen, faced each other. It was interesting but I feel like things weren't explained enough for me how things ended up that way. The conclusion was as I expected but I feel like it didn't satisfy all my questions which was frustrating for me as a reader. I suppose the author left some things open so that she could continue the story if needed but reading it as a standalone I feel the author could have tied up some loose ends.

A lot of characters I feel weren't used to their potential like Jor, her brother, or Thyne, her fairy brother, when they were finally shown. I think they could have had more impact than what roles they were given. I really enjoyed the later half when some important things were revealed.

Overall, it's a decent story if you're not expecting a Sleeping Beauty retelling. I liked the originality of the story but I feel more editing of the story and execution could have been stepped up to make it better. So it was only ok for me, I enjoyed it for a fun and light read but nothing more than that. I recommend it if you enjoy stories where the girl is hiding as a boy, a confident beautiful-and-he-knows-it love interest, and girls with magical gifts.


3.3 out of 5 for me!



(An ARC was provided through NetGalley for an honest review. I was not compensated in any other way.)

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