Thorn was provided to me thanks to NetGalley for an honest review. I have a ton of books on my TBR list and have been requesting only ones I really want to read from them right now until I get somewhat caught up but this cover caught my eye. It was so simple and beautiful that I had to know more. The concept was compelling and I wanted it. I want to know more and I was NOT disappointed. Thorn came out May 30th and is available for your reading pleasure.
The story follows that of Princess Alyrra who has never been one to bask in the power of her position because her family are cruel and she would rather spend her time helping out in their small kingdom rather than playing political intrigue. She is then betrothed to the Prince of a powerful kingdom, an engagement that makes no sense to her and leaves her without much hope for things to improve. During the journey to meet her husband to be Alyrra is betrayed and during the magical attack her identity is swapped with that of another. This would terrify most but this attack gives Alyrra the first choice she’s ever had: start a new life for herself or fight for her name/body and a Prince/Kingdom she’s never met. Arriving at her destination in a different position than she ever could have expected Alyrra finds that Prince Kestrin is not what she pictures. Alyrra but decide if standing up and fighting for her place, save Kestrin, is worth her life.
Intriguing right? The story moved along pretty quickly for me and from the start I felt for Alyrra. Her family sucks frankly. I wanted to step into the book and beat some sense into this crazy family. But it’s not all bad she does have people she cares for and care for her and that helped solidify my affection for the princess. The betrothal is a chance at the unknown and not really a choice. Getting to know the different characters through Alyrra’s prospective was great. Seeing how people reacted to her as a Princess and then as someone much lower and how status really does change attitudes.
The cast of characters grows with both enemies and friends making a diverse cast. Even the villain of the story had depth and dimension to her. The way that magic fills the story but still has a completely normal and un-magical aspect as well. It’s fantastical but also enough is given to make it believable. Even the most unbelievable, the talking horse! One of my favorite things in the story was that it made sense and actions had consequences. Like you get hurt one day the next you are sore/hurt and it effects things you do. Sometimes I find in books someone is injured or something happens and then next it’s like it never happened and coming from someone who has injured themselves on a regular basis it hurts and it colors my work/attitude/everything. Also as she becomes a goose girl and has to tend to those evil demon spawn I was immediately in fear of her life, but that may just be me being deathly afraid of chicken, geese, and other feathered creatures. Just saying that would have made my decision in her spot instantly!
The way that Alyrra adapts to a completely different life and circumstance and makes the best of it just makes you love her all the more. The people she befriends, the deals she makes, and choices she makes just left me wanting to follow along. I was able to see much of myself in her and she is someone you can respect. It also touches on the divide between the royal and rich and those of much lesser means and what that means for them. Seeing Alyrra have a firsthand experience from princess to goose girl is pretty drastic for sure. She handled it, just like the poor have to handle things for themselves.
Everything in the story just flowed and made sense. Including the conclusion, which I won’t spoil, but I liked how it wrapped up. There is a good twist there and the refreshing ending. Since reading it I have discovered it is a retelling of a fairy tale “Goose Girl” which I had never heard of before but now might check out. I really enjoyed Thorn by Intisar Khanani and rate it 5 Stars. It is already out so if this sounds up your alley, the good book alley, then give it a read. Until next time…read on!
Rating: 5 Stars