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Review: Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay

Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay 
Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Ebook, Hardcover, Audio (402 pages, DELACORTE)
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?

Author Site: website

A Feminist Fantasy Lover's Cuppa (5 stars)

For the love of fiction please ignore the publisher's awful suggestion that PRINCESS OF THORNS is a Game of Thrones meets Sleeping Beauty mish-mash. I've been a fan of Jay since her debut so it had no effect on my desire to read it but I think those who are mislead into reading it based on that might not find what they're looking for. Keeping that in mind there are certainly tiny things about POT that play with elements of fairy tales so if you enjoy them I would highly recommend giving it a shot.

Princess Aurora spends the first half of the book meeting and traveling with Niklaas, whom I found to be quite amusingly smug and even a bit boorish. His insistence that no girl could do the things that boys do like fighting make for an interesting reflection of reality. Hands down my favorite part of POT was the feminist element. It's both timely and enjoyable as Aurora proves Niklaas wrong over and again. As the reader we know she's doing so but it isn't until much later he has to face his own misogyny and how it affected his perceptions of Aurora. For once a hero in a romantic story had to own up to being wrong about what a girl could do.

As a couple it's lovely to see their friendship develop first and to see them work through the complexities of what comes after the big reveal. If you love a teensy bit of angst influenced by curse circumstances you will feel the hard won pleasure as they fight for their relationship.

The world building of POT does have some holes but like any high fantasy story I think Jay would have been hard pressed to find ways to answer every question without boring info dumps. I very much wanted to know more about the ogres and especially what compelled Ekeeta's actions throughout. If you love villains that are complex and surprising I think you will really enjoy her. While the pacing of the first half of the book might feel a bit slow as Aurora and Niklaas travel, the second half was impossible to put down!

If you enjoyed Jay's OF BEAST AND BEAUTY or other high fantasy young adult titles I very much recommend you pick up a copy and devour it.

If you found this review helpful would you please rate it on Amazon?

Notes: ARC received via author. I am also currently working as the author's personal assistant. All opinions stated here are my own and not influenced by my professional relationship with the author.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

That would be me!! I love this kind of stories. I have to check this out, let's just hope is a good narrator :)


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