Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Fairytale Retelling, Romance Publication.Date December 9th 2014 Pages: 400 Published By: Delacorte Press Author Stacey Jay Princess of Thorns on Goodreads My review copy: Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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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?
I am only a child, too innocent to realize that there is no salvation without sacrifice, no light without darkness, no triumph that doesn't carry the seeds of its own destruction bouncing in its pocket.
Human men can’t be trusted, not even fathers.
My curse means that I will never know romantic love. Not all human men are wicked, and there are so many kind, handsome Fey boys I daydreamed about when I was younger, but I will never know what it is like to love one of them. I will never know what passion feels like. I will always be alone.
I am a prisoner in a cell of my mother’s good intentions and I will never, ever escape.
I will never be anyone’s girl but my own.
Once upon a time there lived a
prince and a princess
with no happy ever after....
Think something along the lines of Defy meets Sleeping Beauty, but more complex and exciting, intricate and funny, sexy and meaningful. Princess of Thorns has everything you could possibly want from a fantasy novel or fairy tale retelling. There are wicked dangers, curses and prophecies, evil kings and villains with surprisingly "humanizing" qualities, unexpected allies and forbidden love stories. The twist on Sleeping Beauty fairy tale was so amazing, I was positively blown away. I will be recommending this book to everyone. No one should miss it.
I still can't decide which part of Princess of Thorns is my favorite. I loved everything from the really awesome, genuine and charismatic characters, the spellbinding writing style, the truly intricate and intelligent plot line to all the heart pounding emotions this book evoked in me. There's nothing I could nag about here, nothing to improve or tweak. This book is pretty much perfect in every aspect and I almost feel bad for other retellings that now have to compete with this one, for they will always fall short in comparison.
Stacey Jay did a fantastic job, she went above and beyond simply re-telling a fairy tale. She changed it, added a whole lot of new plot threads - some small and barely noticeable, others just as big and important as Aurora's story - and she made something completely new and unique.
If I had to choose what I loved the most about Princess of Thorns, I'd probably say: the relationships and chemistry between the characters (both positive and negative). And not only between Aurora and Niklaas, but between Aurora and her brother (we don't get to experience this first hand until the very end of the book, but we know how Aurora feels about her brother from the beginning), Aurora and her mother, Aurora and the Ogre Queen, the Ogre Queen and her brother, and so on... They all felt very real and convincing. Not fairy-tale like at all, not stereotypical or embellished or one-dimensional. The characters felt very real, too, their reactions and behavior and feelings - genuine and very human. I particularly loved the relationship between Aurora and Niklaas - it's the most believable love story I ever came across in a fairy tale or a fairy tale retelling. I totally bought it. I was rooting for these two with all my heart.
Part of this love story's charm is definitely the fact that, for a long time, Niklaas believes Ror to be a 12 year old boy (Aurora's brother), which creates a whole lot of hilarious situations and misunderstandings. Niklaas doesn't hold back around Ror, he shows his true self. He's no charming, perfectly behaved prince, after all he isn't trying to woo a lady, he is 100% himself and it's just.. awesome. Example? Here's what Niklaas thinks about Ror shortly after their first encounter: "Flaming son of a demon. Arrogant, briar-born slog. Stuffed and trussed, barely teat-weaned, fuzz-faced baby man!" And here's what he thinks about the whole marrying-a-princess-to-save-his-life ordeal: "It wouldn’t matter if she were the ugliest lump of troll dung ever birthed—it would be worth wedding a dog with an ass at both ends to live to see my nineteenth birthday—but I can’t deny I’d enjoy a pretty wife more than a homely one." You just don't get this kind of brutal honesty in fairy tales. I loved it!
Filled with themes of love, redemption, forgiveness, bravery, destiny and finding yourself, Princess Of Thorns is simply wonderful. It's an unputdownable page-turner that will fill your heart with warmth. Most importantly, it's a fairy tale in which the princess doesn't need saving. She's no weak and helpless little girl who needs protection and a prince to make her existence whole. She's tough and fully capable of saving herself, and the YA world needs more heroines like her.
I highly recommend this book to fans of fantasy and fairy tale retellings.