Thorn Review: Pros and Cons of Giving Up Your Royal Title

November 9, 2020 by Bec | 3 stars, Books, Reviews

Thorn Review: Pros and Cons of Giving Up Your Royal TitleThorn by Intisar Khanani
Series: Dauntless Path #1
Published by Hot Key Books on March 24th, 2020
Source: Purchased
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy & Magic, Fairy Tales & Folklore
Amazon | Book Depository | Publisher | Angus & Robertson | Booktopia | Barnes & Noble
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A princess with two futures. A destiny all her own.

Between her cruel family and the contempt she faces at court, Princess Alyrra has always longed to escape the confines of her royal life. But when she’s betrothed to the powerful prince Kestrin, Alyrra embarks on a journey to his land with little hope for a better future.

When a mysterious and terrifying sorceress robs Alyrra of both her identity and her role as princess, Alyrra seizes the opportunity to start a new life for herself as a goose girl.

But Alyrra soon finds that Kestrin is not what she expected. The more Alyrra learns of this new kingdom, the pain and suffering its people endure, as well as the danger facing Kestrin from the sorceress herself, the more she knows she can’t remain the goose girl forever.

With the fate of the kingdom at stake, Alyrra is caught between two worlds and ultimately must decide who she is, and what she stands for.

The Good Things

  • A YA fantasy retelling of The Goose Girl, and a reread for me! 
  • The plot had quite a few darker and brutal moments that I’d completely forgotten about (specifically the snatchers, Thorn’s brother, and the thieves).
  • Written in present tense first person POV, so it was really easy to get into. Also easy to pick back up again after a break.
  • Intriguing fantasy world with fantastic characters and some mysterious magic.
  • The characters are the best part of the novel. Also, it has a talking horse!
  • There wasn’t any romance! The focus was always on Thorn’s personal growth, her friendships, and her responsibilities, not the romantic relationships.
  • I’m so glad there is a sequel now (well, there will be next year) to explore the world and characters more!

The Not-So-Good Things

  • I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as I did the first time around (I rated it 4 stars in 2016).
  • It was really easy to put down and leave for weeks… Which probably has more to do with my mood than the book.
  • The pacing could drag at times, especially around the halfway point.
  • Sometimes it felt like plot points kind of happened out of nowhere…
  • I’m left with so many questions! Mostly about the world (especially the Circle of Mages, the thieves and Red Hawk, the fae, and the snatchers). There was so much left unaddressed. But there is a sequel now so maybe we’ll get some answers!
  • Kestrin was barely in it, especially in the first half. I wanted to get to know him better.
  • There are two deaths that hurt a lot. And while they did further the story and character development, I still wish they didn’t happen. They hurt my emotions.

 

Thorn is a pretty good retelling with some really interesting fantasy elements that I’d completely forgotten about, however it also left a lot of plot questions unanswered (which I’m really hoping will be addressed in the sequel).

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Trigger warnings: domestic violence, murder, rape, kidnapping

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Bec is an Aussie blogger and reader who loves all types of novels. Fantasy, sci fi, and historical are my usual go-to genres. If I’m not binge reading, I’m usually gaming, trying to take decent photos for bookstagram, or freaking out about silly things.

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