Review 236. Stacey Jay – Princess of thorns.

18782855Title: Princess of thorns.
Author: Stacey Jay.
Pages: 400.
Published: December 9th 2014 by Delacorte Press.
Sort: Stand-alone.
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?
Rating:

”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.” Game of Thrones? Not really, but the twisted fantasy-adventure description comes close my thoughts.
Gender-bender is one of my favorite things and it’s nicely explored. Niklaas is in search for Princess Aurora, because she is his only chance on breaking the curse put on him and his brothers. He believes he stumbles on her brother, who he is more than happy to help the boy in return for an introduction to his sister. What Niklaas doesn’t know is that Aurora lures him into her plan to save her brother from the Goblin Queen.

This book is written from the POV of Niklaas and Aurora. It was not necessarily to me. Yes, it gave some funny situations where we hear Niklaas complain about the too-pretty and annoying boy, but I didn’t like him all that much. He sometimes had annoying thoughts about females in general and his arrogant boosting got on my nerves. He’s not a bad person, but the author could have toned it down a little to make him more appealing to me. The only positive thing is that you get to see his character develop in a more likable person.

Aurora was far more fascinating to me. I like that she’s able to stay in her role as her brother and that she will do anything to free him. She puts herself into dangerous situation and it might be a bit rash, but I saw where she was coming from. I would do anything in my power to protect my little sister too. Her banter with Niklaas was entertaining and this girl isn’t afraid to speak her mind. She is ready to show Niklaas how strong women can be.

The story had it’s up and downs. I wouldn’t say it’s slow, but it’s also not fast-paced. The plot simply moves forward in a steady pace that’s neither thrilling nor boring. I would say it’s more centered around the interaction and growing friendship between Niklaas and Aurora. Which is fine, but don’t go into this book expecting much action or excitement.

The ending was interesting and it held a twist that surprised me. It gave the villain more vulnerability and you finally saw the reason behind her gruesome deeds. I always like it when villains are portrayed as people who make bad choices instead of being 100% evil. The complexity gave the story something extra and while it’s not the best retelling ever, I think this will appeal to fairytale fans.

16 comments

  1. Great review! I bought this last December and it's been sitting on my shelf ever since. I really like the overall premise and I'm always up for a genderbend story but I'm glad you mentioned that it's a bit on the slow-ish side. =)

    - Jazzie @ The Book Dancer

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    1. It's always important to know the pacing of a book, because sometimes you can be in the mood for slow, sometimes definitely not.

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  2. Woohoo I'm so glad you enjoyed this one! I loved Aurora so much - she was such a strong female protagonist! I personally thought this story was so fun and the romance was just right for me. Wonderful review, Mel!

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  3. I really want to read this book, I actually got accepted to read it on Netgalley but then it had actually expired before they had accepted my request which I was so disappointed about. I must go to my bookstore and see if they have it. Great review! :)

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  4. Great review, Mel! I've heard alot of mixed things about this one and while I don't have a copy, I'm still excited about it :D Thanks for sharing!

    Asma @ IceyBooks

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  5. I really loved Princess of Thorns! It's easily one of my favorite books that I've read this year, and I'm so happy that you liked it, even with your reservations. It's just such a great take on the Sleeping Beauty lore, or inspired by it anyway.

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  6. I really enjoyed this book :D It's not one of my favorite ever, but I do so very much love my re-tellings! Great review!
    Jackie

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  7. I want to read this one!! I get annoyed with books getting pitched as "game of thrones" ect because GAH. ARE THEY EVER EVEN CLOSE?!?!? None I've read with that pitch have come close. eheh. But still! Gender bends?! Yes please. ^_^

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    1. I really don't care for those 'the same as X meets Y' like.. just let the book stand on its own?

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  8. I really want to read this book! I loved Stacey Jay's Of Beast and Beauty, so I am looking forward to see her take on Sleeping Beauty!
    Great review Mel!:)

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  9. Fantastic review^^ I do wish you would have liked this one more, but POV switches like that can really be hit or miss - especially if you don't connect with one of the characters. Your other minor issues here are ones that I could probably live with, so I still want to check this one out for myself eventually but I feel like now I have a better idea what to expect :)

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  10. Princess of Thorns has been sitting on my tbr shelf pretty much since it came out and I got a copy. I didn't know this was dual first person POV though. I do like that, but it's a bummer you didn't like the guy character :/ I don't see a lot of Gender-bender in YA, so I'm definitely still looking forward to reading this one in the future. Plus, I loved Stacey Jay's previous book, Of Beast and Beauty, so hopefully I enjoy this one as well :) Great review!

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    1. There should be more gender-bender, it's so much fun.

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  11. I wouldn't say this book was fast-paced either but I loved the relationship ARC between Niklaas and Aurora so I loved this one. I also love when we are given a different perspective on the villains. Great review Mel!

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  12. Awesome review Mel :) I'm glad you liked this book; despite not fully loving it. It do seem amazing :D I need to read it soon too. You make it seem awesome :D And yay for villain being well written. That doesn't happen all the time. Hmph. Thank you for sharing. <3

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