Friday, February 13, 2015

Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay {review}

Princess of Thorns 
by Stacey Jay
♦publisher: Delacorte Press
♦release date: December 9, 2014
♦hardcover, 400 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦source: from publisher for honest review
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?

Review: If you’re going into this expecting a Sleeping Beauty retelling, stop right there! :D   This is more of a spin-off of Sleeping Beauty with The Wild Swans mixed in. Sleeping Beauty, to protect her daughter from the pitfalls of her own life, gifts her daughter Aurora with incredible strength and fighting skills, bravery, and mercy---she’s not able to intentionally kill anyone, no matter the reason.  Lastly, any man she kisses will never stray.  While her intent might have been good, that last gift turns out to be quite a curse as the men completely lose their mind and free will to serve her.  

When Aurora was 7, Sleeping Beauty was killed but she planned her children’s escape, and now at 17, Aurora’s mission is to take back her throne.  Her fierce demeanor is apparent the second she takes control of her own rescue. She is devoted to her brother and determined to free him at all costs. We also see how damaged she is when it comes to love, her curse cost her a dear friend among the faeries who raised her. We also get to see how flawed she is when she uses her curse against someone and justifies it as some sort of penance---it gave this character and her emotions a few more facets of interest. 

The story slow for me just a bit in the middle as Ror and Niklass make the journey to the kingdom while dodging the occasional ogres and animals that spy for the queen. It’s a lot of traveling and character insight, and the two of them getting to know more about each other.  They form a strong bond of respect, but it grows into more of a friendly relationship since Niklass believes the entire time that Ror is actually her brother!  Somehow she never slips up, even when she starts to feel more romantic feelings for him, despite her irritation that he seems to only want to get to Aurora so he can make her his wife. Luckily the alternating perspective give us the full story of why he needs to marry her or he might not have been nearly so likable.  He is humorous and puts up a bit of a cocky front, but he's also terrified and determined to break the curse hanging over his 18th birthday. Both their situations made for a slow-brewing romance, which I loved!

Definitely an adventure worth taking, Princess of Thorns is filled with adventure and great fight scenes, and a great friendship that can’t help growing into something else.

Find Stacey Jay online: Website  •  Twitter  •  Facebook

Purchase Princess of Thorns: Indiebound  •  BookDepository  •  Amazon


  1. Great review! I have been looking forward to this one for quite some time, but I haven't got the chance to read it yet!

  2. Lovely review! I read this couple of weeks ago and I also loved slow burn romance between Ror and Niklass :)

  3. I received a free copy of this but have yet to get to it (damn TBR piles!) so I'm glad to see you enjoyed it - fairytale settings are a fave of mine!

  4. This book sounds really amazing! I've never read anything by Stacey Jay but I like authors who develop their characters and don't go for the insta-love thing.

  5. I loved the relationship between Ror and Niklaas too. Even when Niklaas had no idea who Ror really was, their scenes were so funny and I like how they became really good friends over that time spent together.

  6. This sounds really good and your review makes me want to give it a try. I read Stacey Jay's take on Romeo and Juliet, Juliet Immortal, and I liked it.


  7. I've heard nothing but great words for Princess of Thorns. I also heard there was supposed to be a sequel but it never worked out for Stacey since the sales weren't as good as expected. I wonder how the story would have continued if there had been a sequel to come out later this year. Were there any questions left unasked at the end that could have been expanded? Or do you believe that Stacey ended this one quite well it doesn't require a sequel? Hopefully it's the latter because I'd love to own a copy of this book soon! n_n

  8. Yay :D Gorgeous review Becky. <3 I'm so glad you ended up loving this book a lot. I have seen so much love for it. I'm excited about reading it, just need to feel like picking it up, lol :) Hopefully soonish. I think the romance sounds amazing :D And the plot sounds great too. Thank you for sharing your thoughts sweetie. <3

  9. I'm so exited for this book!!! I just got Of Beast and Beauty in the mail a few days back and I'm planning on reading that first because a lot of people liked OBAB than Princess Of Thorns. Can't wait to find out about that slow burn romance!

  10. I need to read this NOW! It always came off in the synopsis like less of a retelling, which I like. Slow burn romance is just the best, too. :)

  11. I agree with you on it being slow! It took me a while to finish, I remember that. Great review by the way. You seemed to enjoy this more than I did.