I don’t like it when a blurb compares its story to another (my expectations will be set) and I’m glad I didn’t read the blurb for this before I dug in. The cover is what drew me in. I’ve been around the bend listening to audiobooks and a friend told me that a good genre for listening is PNR. So here I go.
The first chapter drew me in. It’s from Aurora’s 7-year-old point of view. She, her mother, and brother have been slated for death by the evil ruler. Her father’s already dead so they’re without his support. Aurora’s mother knows of a way to help save her children and she doesn’t hesitate. She gifts her daughter with her fae powers; this gift is by no means without consequences and Aurora’s mother gives the ultimate sacrifice. Even at 7, Aurora feels different after her endowment. There’s a different energy about her and with fervent determination, Aurora is fixed on vengeance for her mother and to regain the kingdom of her father.
She’s small for her age so Aurora can get away with taking on her younger brother’s identity. And while she’s pretending, she meets Niklaas, who has his own agenda. Niklaas, the eleventh born son, has a curse on him. Actually, all his brothers before him had the same curse put on them by their mortality fearing father. They shall all die by their 18th birthday unless the curse if broken. Niklaas thinks he’s found the cure in finding and marrying Aurora.
There are references to a few well known Grimm fairy tales, especially Sleeping Beauty, specifically part 2 which picks up after the wedding. After marrying in secret, the Prince continues to visit the Princess who bears him two children – Aurore and Jour. Both wedding and children are unbeknown to his mother, who is of an ogre lineage. After this, the story gets dark.
What I liked about this was the world building – it’s not contemporary so the author has carte blanche for whatever goes – the landscape, witches, ogres, all of that was fun for me. The pace was pleasantly fast and we get a few points of view which was a little different considering for whom one of the POVs belonged. And those soul tattoos sound absolutely dreadful. The secondary characters were fun and helped with moving the story along.
What I didn’t like. The conflict was too easily resolved and almost anticlimactic. I wanted more carnage considering how the Queen gained her long life. I wanted to know more of Aurora’s life when she lived with the fae, before she went searching for her army of vengeance. That could have been fun. I wanted to know more of how these two very different but similarly fated people would fight for each other, fight for their rightful place and most of all, fight for their future.
Happy reading folks!
Click to purchase: Amazon
Princess of Thorns
by Stacey Jay
Release Date: December 9, 2014
Publisher: Delacorte Press