author, book, book reviews, books, characters, Fairies, Fairy tale retelling, fantasy, fiction, literature, novel, plot, Princess of Thorns, Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay, read, reader, review, Stacey Jay, stories, story, write, writer, writing, YA, young adult
Point of View: First (Aurora, Niklaas, Ekeeta)
Released: Dec 9, 2014
Predictability: 4 out of 5 (Where 1 is George RR Martin (If the characters make a plan or think about the future I know it isn’t going to go that way.) And 5 is Cinder (where I guessed what was going to happen long before it did, but it was still a great book.)
My Rating: 7/10 Stars
Briar Rose wishes something very different for her daughter Aurora than the beauty and grace she was given, but strength and courage. To reclaim their castle from the ogres she will need it. Raised by the fey Aurora trained her whole life to become a warrior.
Niklaas is the Eleventh son of the immortal king. The king had all of his sons cursed by a witch so that they turn into swans on their eighteenth birthday. But Niklaas has found a loophole, he only has to find the princess Aurora and get her to marry him. He has only three weeks left, but he’s a good looking guy and has no doubt he can convince Aurora to marry him, all he has to do is meet her. Unfortunately his magical charm led him to her ‘brother’ instead.
Aurora’s brother has been captured by the ogre queen and she needs an army to rescue him. When she’s saved by a prince who believes she’s her brother she tells him she will only introduce him to her ‘sister’ if he aids her in getting an army.
Princess of Thorns starts with back story and prophecy, (I was totally confused and had to read it twice) but it made sense later on. This is actually the only part of the story that is related to a fairy tale.
For most of the book the main characters are traveling (I knew this ahead of time and I think it helped me to enjoy it.) but I was never bored. There was enough happening and enough action to keep it interesting.
The world building was solid, if simple. I particularly liked what we saw of the fairy’s culture and the ogres who could suck out human souls. The ogre queen narrated sometimes too and she refereed to herself as we and our, which was a nice touch.
Aurora (Ror) is a unique heroine in that she isn’t described as being beautiful, but rather plain and she can easily pass for a boy. (Okay later she might be described as pretty but I think that’s just because he was falling for her) The mistaken identity was fun and it was handled well. I was afraid that the author would let me down in how he found out she was a girl, but it was perfect! (I may have giggled)
The personalities of the two main characters are fairly standard fantasy. She’s the stubborn rash princess who kicks butt and he’s the arrogant beautiful womanizer, but there’s more to them than that and the author manages to make them likable. (If occasionally annoying) They both have problems of their own and they don’t change once they start falling for each other. (It’s good they didn’t suddenly start being nice to each other, because that would be just weird)
Their relationship was the best part of the book. I loved their banter! Though sometimes they bickered a bit too much. We’d be told about how they’d been getting along for four days and then get to hear their entire argument. But they’re both strong stubborn characters, so it was inevitable that they were going to butt heads.
Though the entire book takes place over the course of three weeks the romance doesn’t feel rushed. If anything it seems like too many obstacles were placed in their path. (I may have mentally shouted at the characters. A bit.)
The Bad: (The part in which I may rant and start a discussion on endings)
The ending. (I’m not saying whether it was happy or not and I’m not talking about loose strings.) The ending was too convenient, too fast, too neat and it was the worst part of the book.
I can’t explain without spoilers so I’m going to give a false example. (Clears throat) The heroes are falling off a mountain that they’ve spent most of the story climbing only to be saved at the last instant by a bird that was barely mentioned before. Where did that come from? Why did they bother climbing the mountain if the bird was there all along? That doesn’t make sense! It was too easy! That was what I was feeling at the end of this book.
Maybe it needed to be a duology instead of a standalone or have another viewpoint, because it felt like the author cheated. I think that the characters should have to do something to earn their ending. It felt handed to them.
Don’t get me wrong it was still a good book, at times a great book, but that’s why I was upset at the ending. I expected more.
Would I recommend this book? Yes. Will I read more by this author? Probably.
How do you feel about endings, do you like to be blindsided or to see it coming? Do you agree with me that there has to be some sort of foresight or something the main characters did to earn the ending?