Princess of Thorns continues the story of Sleeping Beauty and answers an age-old question – What happens next?
Book Review: Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay
Title & Author: Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay
Genre: Young Adult – High Fantasy, Retelling
Release Date: December 9, 2014
How I Got the Book: ARC via the Publisher
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?”
Princess of Thorns continues where the Sleeping Beauty story leaves off – except the real story is a bit rougher around the edges. See, the actual Sleeping Beauty’s life doesn’t turn out according to the fairy tales, and she is forced to protect her children from creepy troll prophecies.
The story focuses on Princess Aurora, the daughter of Sleeping Beauty, who’s on the run from danger. She’s a fierce fighter, blessed with supernatural skillz thanks to some helpful/crazy fairies, and the girl knows how to handle herself.
It’s funny because I love books where the main characters spend most of their time together traveling, etc. In Princess of Thorns that does happen, but there’s not the gradual build-up of tension that makes for an epic romance. Because Aurora happens to be in disguise as a boy the whole time.
So everything’s painfully one-sided for a loooong time. Which made things super awkward and forced (in my opinion) later on. It was very refreshing, though, that the story incorporated some hidden identity elements.
All that considered, I thought the whole backstory and new twist on this classic fairy tale was really well done. The fairy gifts and troll queens and unpredictability made this a really fun read overall.
Princess of Thorns is also a standalone fantasy! As you guys probably know by now, that’s a rarity. And, of course, just to be contrary it seems I wanted there to be another book anyway. (Sigh). You just can’t win.
One last thing – I don’t normally comment on covers, but I have to say that this one is terrible. Why is she leaning forward like that? I’m sure it’s super uncomfortable. Whyyyy?
This book wasn’t too earth-shattering for me. I enjoyed the twist and extension of the Sleeping Beauty story, and I thought what was added was truly a great continuation of the classic fairy tale. If you’re ok with a somewhat forced and awkward romance and are looking for a standalone fantasy book, give Princess of Thorns a try.