Published by Delacorte Press on December 9, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Sexual Content: Brief references to characters having sex
Reviewed by: Kate
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 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?
A creative take on a fairy tale retelling, PRINCESS OF THORNS follows the daughter of Sleeping Beauty, Aurora, as she treks through the kingdom to rescue her brother. With elements of other fairy tales brought in (Niklaas' curse comes to mind), PRINCESS OF THORNS is a wonderful continuation of a beloved fairy tale. Plus, the entire first half of the book has Aurora dressed up as and acting as a boy - a trope I can't resist - and in this case, it was done well.
Told from multiple points of view, PRINCESS OF THORNS could easily have been the kind of book where the author bit off more than they could chew. Luckily, the addition of the viewpoints other than Aurora's added a lot of depth to the story. Sometimes with multiple narrators, the story can get muddled, but that was not the case here. The multiple narrators offered a different take on the various events, and that gives the reader the opportunity to consider the repercussions of one character's actions from different points of view. For example, without Niklaas's viewpoint, I would not have found him as sympathetic a character as he turned out to be.
One thing that bothered me (and if you've read my reviews, you already know this about me) was the ogre queen's torturing of Jor - I don't think it was necessary to go into such detail, especially since the sexual content in this book was kept to a minimum. I generally consider both violence and sex when recommending books to readers, and while the sexual content seemed aimed at a younger YA audience, the torture/violence scenes seemed more for an older set of YA readers.
Overall, PRINCESS OF THORNS was a delightful fantasy that offered a completely different take on the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale. With a sweet relationship, and fascinating mythology, coupled with constant action and danger, PRINCESS OF THORNS has something to offer every reader.Series Titles: