Read thorn by Intisar Khanani Online


An alternate cover edition can be found here.For Princess Alyrra, choice is a luxury she’s never had … until she’s betrayed. Princess Alyrra has never enjoyed the security or power of her rank. Between her family’s cruelty and the court’s contempt, she has spent her life in the shadows. Forced to marry a powerful foreign prince, Alyrra embarks on a journey to meet her betrAn alternate cover edition can be found here.For Princess Alyrra, choice is a luxury she’s never had … until she’s betrayed. Princess Alyrra has never enjoyed the security or power of her rank. Between her family’s cruelty and the court’s contempt, she has spent her life in the shadows. Forced to marry a powerful foreign prince, Alyrra embarks on a journey to meet her betrothed with little hope for a better future. But powerful men have powerful enemies—and now, so does Alyrra. Betrayed during a magical attack, her identity is switched with another woman’s, giving Alyrra the first choice she’s ever had: to start a new life for herself or fight for a prince she’s never met. But Alyrra soon finds that Prince Kestrin is not at all what she expected. While walking away will cost Kestrin his life, returning to the court may cost Alyrra her own. As Alyrra is coming to realize, sometime the hardest choice means learning to trust herself....

Title : thorn
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 14059999
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 246 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

thorn Reviews

  • Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
    2019-02-06 11:41

    A fairy tale re-telling of the "Goose Girl". I'm very pleasantly surprised at how good this book was. 3.5 starsPrincess Alyrra has never played well at being princess. She just wants to do her own thing and let her abusive brother and cold mother do as they want, as long as she escapes their clutches.A traveling King shows up at the palace and makes an offer for Alyrra's hand in marriage to his son Prince Kestrin.Alyrra doesn't have a bunch of choices. Stay and face more abuse at the hands of her family or take that chance and go to another kingdom where she might get into something worse. Her mother of course thinks it's a perfect arrangement so she sends Alyrra off.On the way they stop at a river to wash and Alyrra's handmaiden shows her true colors and with the help of a Fare Folk she assumes Alyrra's identity and Alyrra becomes the hand maiden.Upon arrival at the palace Alyrra becomes the castle's goose girl. She works the geese and shovels poop to tide her days. She actually is okay with the switch because it gives her a chance to start her life anew.Plus she has her horse, who talks with her about her choices.Alyrra as a heroine is just about perfect. She doesn't have that milkshake that brings all the boys to the yard, she is strong but willing to bend, she doesn't attention whore...and get this NO INSTA_LOVE!

  • Sarah
    2019-02-10 10:36

    Thorn 99-cent Sale For A Cause -All proceeds from this sale will go towards helping a good friend cover the cost of international adoption of a pair of biological brothers with Saethre-Chotzen Syndrome--a condition that results in brain damage unless treated in the first year. Evan (age 7) and Raymond (age 9) were each given up at birth, and were unable to receive treatment for their condition. UK: out more here - was given this book for free on a read-to-review basis as part of the ‘Thorn’ Blog tour.)I have to start this review by saying that this book really surprised me, mostly because the blurb is actually a terrible description of this book, and the actual story is totally different to what you expect having read the blurb!Alyrra is a 15-year-old princess. Her father is dead, her mother is unkind to her, and her brother basically tortures her for fun.One day a king visits, and Alyrra is told that he has come to seek her hand in marriage to his son. Her mother thinks that the king is a good ally, and so Alyrra accepts the proposal when it is put to her, as that is what her mother tells her to do.Alyrra sets off on her way to her betrothed’s kingdom, taking with her a maid and a girl called Valka. Valka is the daughter of a member of her mother’s court, but she is in disgrace so they basically send her off with Alyrra to get rid of her.Half-way along their journey, Alyrra goes off to wash at a stream and Valka follows her. Once by the water a woman appears who Alyrra recognises as a sorceress. The woman casts a spell, and suddenly Alyrra is Valka, and Valka is Alyrra. Valka now feels that she has got her due – she is now princess, while she sends Alyrra off to work as a goose girl once they make it to their new home.While Valka feels that she has beaten Alyrra, Alyrra is secretly pleased by the swap; now she can do with her life as she pleases, rather than being forced to be a princess and to be a member of the court. The only problem is that the prince, who Alyrra was to marry, seems to realise that something is wrong with Valka and Alyrra, and pays more attention to the real Alyrra than she would like.Now that she is starting a new life, Alyrra changes her name from Valka to Thoreena, which is shortened to Thorn. Thorn makes a life for herself in the stables and small town, while Valka as the princess is disliked. The sorceress has not finished her trouble making though, and her next target is Kestrin (the prince). Can Thorn stand by while the sorceress kills Kestrin, or will she find a way to solve this whole mess, and save herself in the process?As I said I was really surprised by this book, the blurb mentions nothing about the whole body-swap thing, which is one of the main parts of the storyline! I was quite shocked when this happened as I obviously wasn’t expecting it!Thorn/Alyrra was a very quiet girl, but had strongly held beliefs. Her mother said that her strength was her silence, which showed how little her mother really knew her, as Thorn was actually the one to speak out when she saw injustices being done, and even labelled herself as ‘too honest’. I really liked Thorn for exactly that reason, she just couldn’t sit by while bad things were happening, she took it upon herself to try and right wrongs no matter what the consequences to herself.I thought that Thorn’s reaction to her body swap experience was a bit of an odd one, but it did actually fit with her character – she’s rarely complained about anything unless it was to aid someone else. I’m sure most of us would have thrown an absolute fit if a similar thing happened to us, but she just took it in her stride, and actually seemed to only see the advantages to swap!Thorn’s life was not easy by a long shot, and there were several points in this book where the things that happened to her were just so awful that I cried. Throughout it all though she stayed strong and did her best and always looked out for others.As surprised as I was by this book, I was also surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Thorn was just such a loveable character, and the storyline was full of twists and turns that I didn’t see coming. From the very beginning, Thorn captured my attention and held it, and I couldn’t help but love this book.9 out of 10.(Book length: 4116 kindle locations)

  • Camly Nguyen
    2019-02-01 15:25

    When a king asks Alyrra's hand for his son in marriage, she accepts happily knowing that she won't have to live with her cruel brother and bitter mother. On her way to the other kingdom, she is cornered by her maid that used some magic from an ancient witch to switch their bodies. At first, Alyrra hated the change but slowly, she learnt to cherish the simple life. No princes, no courtly lessons, no dances... But when prince Kestrin(the dude she was to marry) grew suspicious of the fake princess and ends up discovering Alyrra's identity, they have to do all in their power to save each other from darker forces that threaten to destroy them both.To be honest, the best part in the book was the romance. The book wasn't centered on it and it didn't feel at all instalovy. It was just the perfect amount of cuteness to warm the heart without making it too cheesy. What I also liked was the fact that Kestrin was actually suspicious about Alyrra's identity yet he let her Iive her life like she wanted too. He didn't torture her or force her to be princess again. Kestrin, you're awesome balls.The world building was clear for me, and I really loved the subtle magic that filled the book without overdoing it.If I could change anything about Thorn, I would make Alyrra a little more... Bad-ass? I feel like even though her character was nice, she didn't have the physical action of say Throne of Glass, Graceling or Eona...It doesn't make the book any less good though .I liked it. I'll wait for the sequel.

  • Pauline Ross
    2019-02-03 10:27

    I loved this book, absolutely loved it. It’s an object lesson for me, actually, in not pre-judging a book, because this one ticks so many of my ‘no’ boxes: it’s YA, it’s a fairy-tale retelling, it’s first person present tense (“I back away...”, “I gaze at him”), it’s more or less a romance, it’s about a princess who doesn’t quite fit in, it has villains with no redeeming characteristics. Had I known all that beforehand, I would never have touched it and I would have missed a lovely, lovely story. As it was, it popped up on a list of free books, I started reading the sample and just kept reading, couldn’t put it down, in fact.For those who know their fairy tales, this is a reworking of the Goose Girl story. I didn’t know anything about it, so maybe I missed a few subtleties, but I felt it worked perfectly well without any prior knowledge, and apart from a few oddities (like the talking Horse!) there was nothing in there that couldn't be found in conventional fantasy. One of the great strengths of this book is that the characters all feel truly rounded, so even though they are fulfilling traditional roles (the princess, the prince, the witch and so on) they have great depth and believable personalities. The villains seem at first glance to be simplistically cruel and evil, but they all have enough backstory to make them credible, if not exactly sympathetic.The magic in the book is quite powerful, but the fundamentals are explained clearly enough to be believable, even the talking Horse. The author has thought everything out very carefully, and it works so well that when the heroine is rescued by magical means, it makes perfect sense. Not that she has to be rescued very often, mostly she is perfectly resilient and self-sufficient, and manages to get herself out of trouble and help others as well. I liked, too, that the magic is simply an integral part of life, everyone accepts it and it’s properly regulated. Interestingly, there is also religion, never explained or central to the plot, but just there, as a natural and perfectly normal thing. There are also social customs which are alluded to without full explanations, like a system of debt between people (if someone helps you out, you owe them a debt of comparable value). At one point there’s a discussion of a gift, and whether it incurs an obligation (a debt) or whether it’s just a gift, freely given, and a decision is reached without any attempt to explain the ‘rules’ of such an arrangement to the reader. I rather like this relaxed attitude towards world-building. Some things just are, and don’t need to be elaborated.The character of Alyssa, the princess, is central to the story, naturally, and the first person narration makes it imperative that she is both likeable and believable. I feel the author pulls this off magnificently. Of course Alyssa makes mistakes sometimes, but she copes well with the strange events which overtake her, and is strong-minded, caring and intelligent without ever turning into the tedious type of kickass female protagonist so often depicted in fantasy these days. On the contrary, she often feels overwhelmed and suffers a great deal, but she always tries to do the right thing, as far as she can. There is a certain amount of angsting, but it's actually understandable, given Alyssa's predicament.The plot rattles along very nicely, with some unexpected twists and turns. There are villains, of course, so bad things happen, but there are also friends who help out from time to time, just as in real life. Also realistic is that physical encounters have physical effects - if you roll down a cliff, for instance, or get beaten up, there will be cuts and bruises, maybe even broken bones, and time needed to recover. The climax is a bit of a show-stopper, a wonderful outbreak of magical manipulation with everything at stake, and no real certainty of how things will go. And the author neatly side-steps the clichéd ending. It's a fairy story, so of course good triumphs over evil, but the way that is achieved is refreshingly different. And there's not the obvious happy ever after, either. Rather, there's an acknowledgement that a lot has happened and there are bound to be scars, and a tentative sense of moving forward.This book surprised me. It may be YA, but it addresses some very profound issues, like the nature of justice, the corroding effect of revenge, questions of loyalty and trust and honesty, and the inner goodness (or not) of people, regardless of what they look like, or their rank. The romance element follows a traditional path but with great originality and commendable restraint. The writing style is eloquently literate, and I barely noticed the use of first person present tense. I had a very few minor quibbles - there were a few places early on where I wasn't clear about relationships or what exactly was happening - but nothing major enough to spoil my enjoyment. A terrific read. Five stars.

  • Katerina Kondrenko
    2019-02-14 13:47

    8 out of 10Ревью в моем блоге/This review on my blogLiving A Thousand Lives (please use Chrome/Yandex browser or Android/IOS to see the page; otherwise, spoiler-tags I use to make my post compact may not work)Genre: fantasy, retelling, YAStuff: a la The Goose GirlFail: a bit passive MCWOW: prince, atmospherePOV: 1st person, femaleLove-Geometry: none Quote-Core: "I am the Lady who has lost her soul. I am the princess who has lost her self. I am the goose girl who has lost her way. I am the child who can scream no more."We're all familiar with the fairytales by Grimm. But does everybody remember the plot of Goose Girl? If you forgot it (just like me), then don’t re-read it, ‘cause Thorn is really close to the original story, and thus you’ll spoil for yourself all the plot-twists.So, MC is a princess of a tiny country which is decayed after its king’s death. Her name is Allyra. She’s skinny, brown-haired and very timid. No wonder! This girl has no respect among court nobility, her brother used to beat her and her mother does nothing to protect her and thinks she’s a waste of space. The book starts with arriving of delegation from another another, rich and powerful, Kingdom. Emissaries are looking for a bride for their prince named Kerstin. There are many other princesses thereabouts but the foreign king wants Allyra. Why? Good question. For Alyrra his choice is a chance to start a new life but she’s afraid of it. Her old life is bad but usual, the new one is unknown and unpredictable. BTW, at the start our MC is pitiable and even silly but don't be fast to judge her. She'll grow up.The night before Allyra’s departure, she sees a man in her dream; they are having a nice conversation about different dangerous things when a sorceress breaks into the room. The witch has plans for the stranger and for Alyrra as well. The princess has been already warned that in the country of her soon-to-be husband people don’t live long: members of royal family disappear, common girls miss on the streets, the prince itself is cruel and stuff. Now the sorceress who wants to possess her or something like that… Such a great perspectives our dear MC has. But the marriage arrangement is already signed and there’s no way back. Allyra is leaving with Valka (pretty but bitchy red-haired devil), a daughter of a mean lord Daerilin, an escort and a new white horse. As I said, this beast is very similar to the one from the Rapunzel’s cartoon, but our horse is not only witty, it can speak. The horse's name is Falada, he's wise and kind, plus has a snarky sense of humor. On the way the the prince's kingdom, Valka lures Allyra to the river, where the sorceress is waiting for them. The witch switch the girls's souls and puts an unseen chain around Allyra’s throat: if she tries to tell anyone that she is the princess in Valka's body, she'd die.I was so frustrated! The princess had already endured this much and now that. I had to suffer with her quite all the book and I hated it. But after several pages Allyra thought something like that: I’m not a princess anymore? Wow, no evil brother, no politics, not foreign prince. I’m free! I’m happy! And I was like, 'Wow, if you're happy, I'm happy too'. BTW, the horse had seen what was done by sorceress and with Falada Allyra could be herself. Upon arrival to the palace Allyra (as Valka) is given the cold shoulder (a figurative one) and is sent to the geese barn. The princess adjusts without problems to hard labor and new conditions, she starts to enjoy her life, gets stronger and wiser, but our story is far from over. The prince suspects that Allyra is not Allyra...Thorn isn’t an action-packed book or a steamy romance or an adventure novel. But the story is interesting and page-turning. At the very start you might feel yourself bored, since the story is told from the first-person POV and Allyra isn't the party-girl with a lot of friends: unhappy thoughts are hell of a joy. But it won't last long. I can't say that this tale is totally my cup of tea. I'm not a fan of non-stop hard-times. But I loved how it was written and what it was trying to say. Intisar Khanani is a really good author and I'd love to read her other books in the future.Warning: it’s a dark retelling. *** Thanks to NetGalley for providing this ARC for review ***

  • Sophia Sardothien
    2019-01-25 18:20

    Thank you Intisar Khanani and Netgalley for sending me this book in exchange of an honest reviewHaving never to read Goose girl, I pleasantly enjoy reading this book. The plot was alright, interesting enough to kept me reading for the entire time. Despite the fact that the synopsis seems to empathise a lot on the romance, but the main focus was definitely beyond that. I would have elaborate more but I think it would be better getting in the story without knowing much. The writing style is extremely beautiful, it gribs on the themes of the books perfectly. "Justice is not men beating each other up," Laurel says quietly. "Justice is teaching men that there is a law and, if they don't abide by it, there is an established punishment."I really do like the Princess Alyrra, she's mature beyond her ages as well as that fact that she never acts irrationally. But most of all it's her personality that really sparks my love for this book. She's an extremely kind hearted girl, in defiance of being a princess she is not a spoiled brat, if anything she's considerate and generous always doing things with her best intentions. "Murders make one cold." ..... "It takes away your soul, piece by piece. It turns your heart to stone. Is that what you want?" Prince Kestrin is alright too, not exactly swoon worthy but he definitely makes the book less tense. I love his relationship with Princess Alyrra, they're interactions were extremely rare but cute. Also there's no insta love, which made me love this book even more. "It is easier to be strong when you have a friend supporting you." Overall I give this a full 4 stars :D Hope this helps

  • Cee (The Mistress Case)
    2019-02-09 16:48

    I wish safety for Krestin, as little as I understand him— safety for him and from him.I just— this one line— hit mehhh in the feels— I can’t.Okay, okay, in all seriousness, let’s get started.If you read and liked The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale like I did, don’t be afraid to pick up Thorn by Intisar Khanani. The storytelling is different, as I hoped it would it be. For one, there are Fey and sorcerers in Thorn and I don’t recall any in The Goose Girl (which I read years ago, so I may be mistaken). Thorn is confusing and complicated to follow and you may get tired of it because truths are kept in the dark and are revealed very late, but the story won me over in spite of my complaints. Nothing’s perfect. Therefore, I will leave the flaws up to discussions with other reviewers and won’t address them in my own review.You witness today that Princess Alyrra aka Thorn has become one of my favorite princess heroines. She’s strong, but she’s not concrete. She’s submissive, but she’s not a doormat. She’s clever, but answers don’t come effortlessly to her front door. She’s selfish, but she’s not self-interested. She’s suffering, but she’s not wallowing in her pity party. She’s ashamed of herself, belittle her self-worth, and doubts her power, influence, and strength to a point of exhaustion. She has insecurities. Insecurities that aren’t all about how fat she is or how unattractive she is. Thank god! YA authors, learn something from Intisar. Even though at times I found Thorn’s actions and beliefs unreal and far-fetched, I forgive her because I like her too much to battle with my common sense. Describing her is a challenge, so let me just say I was genuinely surprised by her character. She’s not a saint, and yet she’s pretty damn close to one and she makes me feel like a devil for wishing the worst fate upon the bad guys. It’s not her forgiving and merciful attitude I admire about her, but it is her acceptance and eagerness to learn about a new kingdom and its language. She doesn’t coward away (HA! This sounds like a lie!) and her progress is shown throughout the book in a improvement of her understanding and responses to more complex conversations.Aside from the characters and the morals, there is one other thing I really like and that is— the dialogues.There are the brilliant dialogues.Exhibit A: “Your father offered me passage home if I informed him of certain matters concerning the princess. When I refused, he sent me to my new duties, assuring me that should I wish to betray her, there will always be a willing ear. As for Your Highness, you care for me only for the knowledge you believe I have. Each time we speak, it is only that you may try to pull some fact for me you are convinced I know. You would not help me to better my situation any more than my father, for you need me to feel that I need you, that I will be in your debt for your help. Is this not the game you play, or have I— have I mistaken you?”Exhibit B: “How are the stables treating you? Still shoveling dung?”“An honest living often involves dealing with others’ filth.”Exhibit C: If you are not tempted by power, wealth, rank or an offer of flawed protection, or by a personal concern for justice to be carried out for yourself,” he looks up and catches my gaze, “then what else is there?”The humorous dialogues.Exhibit D: I wouldn’t have thought a bump on your head would improve you so. The next time you walk around looking like a rainy day, I’m taking you to find another youth to save.” Said the Horse after Arylla injured her head due to rescuing a boy.Exhibit E: “And Laurel,” Violet responds, “sat up half the night listening to you stomp circles in your room not because she was worried about you but because she prefers to sleep sitting up with her eye open.” One of the best sarcasms I’ve heard so far.And at times, the poignant/heartrending dialogues.Exhibit F: “Thorn, let me tell you about dangerous. Dangerous is cutting your finger on a rusty nail and getting lockjaw. Dangerous is walking behind a skittish a horse and getting kicked against the wall. Dangerous is walking anywhere in this city at night. Dangerous is not helping someone stay safe.”Exhibit G: "I cannot protect you so far from court,” he says. “Will you not return?”His words release me from the spell of his touch. I pull my hand free. "There is nothing for me here,” I say, my voice shaking.”A character can say so much more than the words they speak, making their implication run deep and far. There aren’t endless amount of redundant and pointless dialogues/monologues jumping out of the page to beg for my attention saying, “Look at me! I’m quirky with my sarcastic remarks.” Or “I’m so philosophical and smart. Love me!” Do you get where I’m coming from? Because I am honestly tired of books overdoing the sarcasm and wittiness of the characters and having these characters act and talk like childish idiots one minute then spout philosophies the next. Boo!Therefore, Intisar did an amazing job with giving life and meaning to her characters and her retelling. Well done. Well done, indeed.By the way, I need someone to fangirl with me. The last paragraph that ended the book was so friggin adorable. Way to make me desperate for more Kestrin and Thorn. I NEED TO SEE THEM FALL IN LOVE <3 Fulfill my needs.ARC via Netgalley

  • Althea Ann
    2019-02-02 11:39

    A beautifully-done retelling of 'The Goose Girl.'( in the original Grimm brothers' fairy tale, a princess, on her way to meet her betrothed, is betrayed by her maid, who uses magic to force the two to change places. 'Thorn' adds an extra element of magic in that the women don't just exchange clothes; but actually switch bodies.Prevented by a curse of speaking of what has been done to her, the princess Alyrra must make the best of her new situation and adjust to living a life of privation and hard labor - like so many of the kingdoms' subjects take for granted. Luckily, she is an adaptable and resourceful individual - and has the advice of a wise horse to help her through.However, the story does not shirk from the cruel and tragic elements of the original tale, and Alyrra's troubles are not at an end, even when she resigns herself to her fate and makes the best of it. Not to mention - does she have a responsibility to the kingdom to make sure that her cruel former maid, now drunk on her new status, does not get the opportunity to keep on deceiving the Prince and grabbing for power?Fans of this book may also wish to take a look at another take on the story, Shannon Hale's 'The Goose Girl.'

  • Dana
    2019-02-12 11:43

    This book is the only fairy tale retelling that I have actually enjoyed, and for that I am truly impressed and grateful. I really loved this story, and while the MC could be naive, I still found her very likable. The pace slows down a lot in the middle of the story, and for some this may drag too much. However I personally did not mind the slow pace, as I understood the MC's struggle and how hard it was for her to make a decision considering the life she had led.I admit that I am not very familiar with the original goose girl story, so I can not say how far this re-telling strays from it. Regardless I loved how the author was able to keep a fairy tale feel to the story, while still keeping it modern and easy to read. I would have liked for the villain/villains to have a more prominent role in the story, but I did enjoy reading the more simple passages about the princess's new life.Overall I found this to be a fun and engaing read, with memorable characters and an interesting plot. Although there are some slow parts in the story, I still think that this book is very much worth reading. 4.5/5Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict:BuyNote: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

  • Jeannette Nikolova
    2019-02-04 10:32

    Read on the WondrousBooks blog.The acutal rating is about 4.5, but I'm pleased with Khanani, so 5 stars it is.A couple of months ago I wrote aboutIntisar Khanani's Sunbolt. As you may have seen in that review, I liked the book but I wanted and expected more. I'm SO SO glad I decided to follow Intisar Khanani's work because Thorn is great! If you are a fan of A Court of Thorns and Roses, you should be able to like this one too!What's great about this book is that it has this lovely fairytale-like quality. The main character Alyrra/Thorn is a perfect mix of our favourite Disney princesses: she is smart like Belle, humble and hard-working like Cinderella and kind like Snow White. I rarely fully approve of a YA character, but if there was ever one that I thought was worth of admiration, it's Alyrra. I had some issues with her stubbornness, but all of her other actions made me really, really like her. And it was her good heart that completely won me over.The entire story was much better thought through than the one in Sunbolt and instead of being loaded with constant frenzy, it was slower(which is to say it wasn't slow, it's simply that Sunbolt is a very fast-pacing book), the plot was interesting, the characters had some thought behind them, something moving them and it was fun being able to glimpse into their personalities. The mystery in the book was also on a good level and there are still questions I'm asking myself, and therefore hoping for a second book(whereas I usually hope that a single book won't turn into a series). Among the things which intrigued me the most was Red Hawk. For the majority of the book I thought that he was Prince Kestrin and he was changing his looks through magic. But that theory turned out to be wrong. I still thought that there was nice chemistry between Alyrra and Red Hawk, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a possible next book.That doesn't mean that I didn't like Prince Kestrin, though! I was very interested in how his personality is going to develop and what kind of person he is going to turn out to be. I was not disappointed. I especially loved the scene with the tree.NOTE: Right before I posted the review, I took a look at the GoodReads page of the book, only to find out that there is an actual fairytale called Goose Girl. How I've never heard of it is a mystery to me, but I'd like to say to Ms Khanani: YOU GO GIRL! I really love good re-tellings of old fairytales.

  • Talltree
    2019-01-22 10:29

    I love this book. I'd hug it if I could. It is beloved to me and will stay forever and ever on my reread shelf <3<3

  • Olga Godim
    2019-01-31 12:29

    This novel is one of the few that have left me divided. On one hand, it’s too intense, too emotionally grueling for my taste. I wanted the heroine, Princess Alyrra (aka Thorn), to have a respite, to have something working for her, but the author wouldn’t oblige. So in my head, I argued with her. I told her that she was wrong to subject Thorn to so many indignities. I told her that the test she devised for her hero, Prince Kestrin, was unfair and unnecessary cruel. I told her that Thorn behaved foolishly. She could’ve found an easier way to deal with her problems. I told her that Alyrra’s friend, Horse Falada, is an inadequate teacher. He knows stuff but he talks in riddles and never explains anything as a teacher should. Unable to persuade the author and the book to take a gentler road, I did it myself. In my few short breaks from reading, I imagined alternative adventures for the heroes. I gave them additional options and widened their choices. I came to love and respect the heroes too much to trap them into tight corners, as the author has done. So I pleaded with the writer to be kinder, and I raved, and I cried, but I couldn’t stop reading. The novel wouldn’t let me. I felt compelled to finish it even though I can’t say that I enjoyed it. But I can say that I will remember it. Subjectively, I don’t like so much suffering for the heroes. I like a lighter read. Objectively, I know that this was one of the best fantasy novels I’ve read in some time. And I know that this writer is a master of her craft. Besides my feeble squeaks fueled by compassion for the heroes, I have one serious editorial comment. There are two mysteries in the story that are revealed towards the end. They include the story of Valka’s hatred towards Alyrra and the story of the Lady’s hatred towards Kestrin. Both should’ve been explained in the beginning of the novel. The hatred of those two antagonists drives the plot, but for three quarters of the book, it doesn’t make sense, and the reader wonders where it comes from. What could humble, inoffensive Alyrra have done to deserve it? Besides that one objection, there are only a few typos to distract the reader from this rich, soulful story. It’s powerful and cathartic; and I recommend it to anyone who likes fantasy.

  • Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
    2019-01-18 11:40

    Another retelling of the Goose Girl fairy tale, and a $0.99 Kindle special. I'm interested to compare this to Shannon Hale's version, which I adore.

  • Kirstine
    2019-01-25 17:40

    Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a copy (even though the publication date was in 2012/13). GO READ THIS BOOK. “I have before me now a new life, if I choose to take it. I feel a ripple of something sweet and wonderful wash through me. I am done with that, I think. I wonder if it is joy I feel.”With fairytale retellings popping up everywhere, it’s easy to think they might not be worth your while. But this one is, I promise you. Other than being a standalone book, which is rare enough, it’s somehow manages to avoid most of the clichés you’d expect – and that I did expect from it. The plot is not “heroine is saviour and saves the world”, there’s no love triangle and hardly a love story ((view spoiler)[ although the growing relationship between Krestrin and Alyrra is both lovely and heartbreaking it ends more with the possibility of romance (hide spoiler)]), the protagonist is well-written and not the type of character I expected at all. She’s self-aware, flawed and at times frustrating, but always reasonable. There’s magic, yes, princes, queens, there’s the fairytale atmosphere, but with a dark, realistic edge, and you can sense the classic fairytale tropes somewhere underneath it, but it’s just that, a sense. You can see where the story comes from, but Khanani takes the source material and makes it her own. And I’ve had it, honest to god, with those feisty heroines who have such an inflated idea of the value of their freedom that they fight any and all authority that they perceive as trying to restrict them in any way. I’ve had it with heroines who just ‘need to follow their own path’ and everything will work out. No, you have responsibilities, especially if you hold power, no matter what that power may be. There is of course value in doing your own thing and thinking for yourself, and there's value in a narrative about someone distrusting authority, but constantly assuming you know better than others and never listening? It’s dumb and I’ve had it. So you have to understand how grateful I am for Alyrra, because she doesn't charge in without thought and consideration. Having grown up with an abusive mother and even more abusive brother, she’s learned to stay passive, hidden and out of the way. She befriends the servants, because they treat her kindly, and she accepts her fate of an arranged marriage for political gain, because it’s her responsibility. It’s what she’s required to do for her family and her kingdom, and at least it’ll get her away from her family. I was actually impressed with how well I think Khanani handled having an abuse victim as her protagonist, and I’m forever grateful to her for letting Alyrra react as she naturally would. She doesn’t fight back before men losing their temper, she cowers in a corner, she flinches when they raise their hands, she’s terrified. It’s the demon she can’t outrun but will have to face and unlearn. And it’s not something you unlearn through violence, but with kindness, patience and good friends, who can remind you of your self-worth. “Dangerous is cutting your finger on a rusty nail and getting lockjaw. Dangerous is walking behind a skittish horse and getting kicked against a wall. Dangerous is walking anywhere in this city at night. Dangerous is not helping someone stay safe.”Can you really blame her for not instantly fighting it when her identity is switched with someone else? Finding herself in a different body, she has to decide if she’ll fight to get her former position back or perhaps start a new life, without the responsibilities of a princess. A life where her family can no longer get to her, where she might finally be safe. Of course, the world is cruel and unkind and men are bastards no matter where you go. That’s why you have to fight them, for those who can’t or are silenced when they try. For a fairytale retelling this book tackles some really heavy subjects. Such as abuse and rape (only referred to) and violence, and if justice is really worth anything if it isn’t for everyone and if it has no room for mercy. As well as illustrating how much of a difference it makes what kind of people hold power, and that those who hold power, are responsible for how it’s used. “I know I cannot leave Valka as my successor; that, having been born to power, it is my responsibility to see it handled well by myself, by those who come after me.”There are, all along the way, unexpected turns, roads you didn’t think Khanani would dare travel, but suddenly you’re there and you realize this is no fairytale at all. Khanani takes what could have been a superficial and clichéd story and gives it depth. It’s a fresh, original and unexpected read that left me satisfied and excited (because it’s so GOOD), but also sad to be leaving it behind. I can’t recommend it highly enough. Also, look at that cover. Beautiful.

  • Shy
    2019-02-09 16:41

    Wow. I was not expecting to be this swept up in the tale - I could not put it down and read the whole thing in one go, to the detriment of some sleep. So if this review rambles a bit, it's all because I stayed up all night reading.I guess I should start with the unexpectedness - I found out about this book on Facebook as it was published by a high school classmate of mine. This was the only reason I went to look at in on Amazon and as soon as I saw that it was a fantasy genre I decided, why not give it a go in a show of support? But that was about all the background I had to it.I must be one of the only people not to know the fairytale story of the Goose Girl so aside from a broad archetype tale of lost heroine looking for her happy ending I really had no clues to the plot at all. It was a wonderful read for me. The only bad thing I can say about this book is that I rather dislike narrative in the present tense. I was quite disappointed at the first page when I realised it was going to be told this way, but within a couple of chapters it stopped mattering, which to me means the prose flowed well enough that I could sink into the whole tale and envision it around me as I read without being distracted by clumsy narrative or forced descriptions or anything. Yes, I'd still prefer my fantasy in the past tense, but it did not spoil the enjoyment for me at all when reading Thorn. I was in Thorn's world from beginning to end and nothing in the writing made me stop and go "oh, well that was awkwardly put..." Some people commented on wishing more explanation about the magic. It might be a place to go for future novels but I didn't feel the omission was too detrimental. Maybe it is just easy for me to suspend disbelief for novels like these but the fact that Thorn doesn't practice any herself made it ok for me to not know more details. I don't think there is anywhere in the narrative where that kind of information would have sat well, in my opinion. I love the fact that, for a book categorised as Young Adult fiction, it deals with very serious themes. It does not hide cruelty. It does not sugarcoat people's vices. To me Thorn read very much to me now in my thirties the way my first Mercedes Lackey book read easily in my teens, with an appreciation that young people can have a lot more depth and maturity than adults frequently imagine. Books are a safe way to explore the world and question actions and consequences. I was even surprised that the "happy ending" is not quite as happy as a fairytale would be. There is sadness and regret and hesitation but also the start of something more positive and I hope to get the chance to read more novels about Alyrra and Kestrin in the future to take me back to my daydreaming days.

  • Beth
    2019-02-16 15:25

    I adored this retelling of the fairy tale about the goose girl. The prose was gorgeous and the story wrapped me up so tight, I stayed up till 2am to finish it... I love strong female characters, and Intisar Khanani has created one of my new favorite female heroines. Her goose girl came from a life of privilege, but one of coldness from her royal family. She grew up only knowing the kindness of the court servants, her only true experience of what family should be. When she is betrayed on her way to be married off to a far-away prince, she must assume the role of a servant. And, in an interesting twist, actually trades bodies with her malicious maid through the evil machinations of a witch intent on destroying her betrothed’s family. Instead of lamenting her fallen position, Thorn sees the opportunity to free herself from court intrigue and backstabbing. She willingly takes the position of a goose girl away from the royal palace, and works hard at her job mucking stables and tending geese. She makes true friends who become like a family to her. And forms an uncommon bond with a very uncommon horse. In this simpler existence she sees a better life for herself and does not wish to return to the conniving way of life at court. However, life for peasants in this kingdom is dangerous, with slave snatchers taking women and children off the streets, while the royal court turns a blind eye. As the witch plots to destroy the rest of the royal family for the actions of the prince's forefathers, Thorn must decide if the prince is worth saving. And she must choose to take up the role of princess again to save the people of a city she has come to love. Five stars all the way, I would recommend this for everyone!

  • Ivie ✩Born to Magic-Forced to Muggle✩
    2019-02-13 11:40

    When I was a little girl, I had a cassette tape with old fairy tales on it. The lady reading them had the most magical, softest voice you could imagine. I used to listen to that one tape every single night for ages, and it never got old. Amongst the stories was the one called Princess Goose Girl and it told a tale similar to this. Stolen lives and treachery, from riches to ashes, from darkness to light. Reading “Thorn” was an unique pleasure for me. There aren't too many novels out there that I could honestly call fairy tales any more, but “Thorn” definitely is one of them. It certainly brings back some amazing memories. :)Khanani is an incredibly gifted storyteller, her writing style seamless and gripping from the very beginning to the end. She brings to life the essence of true fairy tales with the darker elements in her writing. Her portrayal of innocence is so guileless and effortless, you can't help but feel like you are living every task, and feel every hardship that Thorn experiences. Like the old fairy tales this is a story from witch you are supposed to walk away with a lesson, and we all know that all true lessons come with a cost. This was a story about finding your true worth as a person, not looking trough anybody else's eyes but your own.This was a story of true friendships and the power of comfort trough hard times.This was a story of a handful of lucky people, finding true wealth.This was a story that made me smile.Read it.....

  • Gail Carriger
    2019-02-09 10:34

    A retelling of the Goose Girl fairy tale as a YA fantasy. At first I thought it would be very like To Play the Lady, but it turned out to be much darker and less romantic. It's beautifully written and easy to gobble up with a clean plot and some stunning imagery. At times, I found myself a little annoyed with the main character, she's quite passive, but this may be a consequence of the base material (after all, that's what most fairy tale heroines are = passive). In the end, I wished the romance thread was a little stronger, but it was hugely absorbing and fun to read.

  • Karla
    2019-02-07 18:21

    This is a retelling of The Grimm's The Goose Girl and for some reason I have been into reading retellings of fairy tales and the likes and sometimes I find them a little lacking but the ones that I manage to finish are always my favorites. As was the case with Thorn, I loved this book. It had everything I look for in book: fantasy, romance, mystery, good plot.. I honestly could not put the book down because I wanted to know what would happen next with Alyrra and all the problems she was facing. I loved that this was one of those fantasy books where there are kings and guards and stuff of the like, so that was points for it not being modern retelling but this one was perfect just the way it is. One of the things that bothered was the times she didn't do anything to regain her proper place as the princess, I mean yeah she was content with the life she living as a goose girl but at times I found it really frustrating when an injustice was done to her and she was powerless to do anything. Not to mention how she was treated at first by the nobles not to mention Prince Krestin and I wished they would find a way to figure out that she was the princess and not Valka. (view spoiler)[but she couldn't say anything of the truth because of the spell done by Lady who cursed her with an imaginary chain that would choke her if she so much as thought or tried to say the truth out loud (hide spoiler)]The idea that she could speak with Falada, I think that's how you spell Horse's name, was an interesting twist. He guided her and came to be her companion that I liked reading about their interactions so much that it came quite a shock when the inevitable happened (view spoiler)[the princess impostor Valka ordered for Falada to be killed and that just about broke Alyrra (hide spoiler)] but it was necessary for the story near the end when Alyrra was accused of witchcraft because she has the ability to speak to her Horse and control the Wind (you realize the stupidity of the latter near the end). Now, while I was intrigued when I read that Alyrra was going off to the nearest kingdom to marry the prince she had never met before, as soon as her identity was switched with Valka's (view spoiler)[the plot of the Lady who cursed Alyrra had to do with Krestin's family past and is too complicated too go into without reavealing most of the plot (hide spoiler)], I sort of thought that it was going to be impossible for her end up with Krestin but as I kept on reading I figured out that Alyrra went on living her life as a goose girl and she was content with it. She interacted with Krestin a few times, and after a few things came to light, he figured out that the Princess Alyrra was an impostor and that the goose girl Thorne was no ordinary noble lady turned goose girl. After he saw that Thorne was the real Alyrra, it seemed like he was trying to court her, or at least become her friend. At the end, when everything was over, it didn't seem like they were ready to proclaim their love for each other, (for Alyrra wasn't so ready to start falling in love that), it didn't end with a definite happily ever after but it leaves the reader with a sense that they were still going to go through without he whole wedding thing and things might have turned towards love in the future. I was content enough wit the ending, although I admit I would have loved to see more of them after the whole princess fiasco ended. While noticing that the book was near it's end, I worried whether Alyrra would stay in the other girl's identity but then (view spoiler)[after they hung Valka and she died (hide spoiler)] the magic reversed itself and Alyrra went back to looking like herself, I was happy for her because I thought it would totally have sucked for Krestin and Alyrra to have to live with someone who wasn't their true self seeing as how she sort of needed it to reign as princess or Queen with Krestin. All in all, I really enjoyed this book and I was glad I stumbled upon on my Kindle, I don't know how I found it but I hope to read the next books that are in the series/world as the ones in Thorn. Definitely would recommend this book!

  • Marina
    2019-01-20 12:46

    4.5Oh. my. god.This was so much better that I anticipated. Khanani weaves a magical fairy-tale full of curses, stolen identities, and cruel nobility. I was blown away by the intricate plot and the beautiful story.Alyrra is a princess who finally gets a chance to escape her abusive family. But on her way to salvation, she is betrayed by her lady companion, and switches bodies with her. For awhile Alyrra is happy to be able to escape her fate, but she cannot outrun her destiny. It takes great loss and tragedy to finally let go of her fear and stand up for what she really believes in. I really, really, liked Alyrra. Though I did begin to get annoyed with her self-pity after awhile. I just wanted her to seize the day, instead of being so passive and happy cleaning horse and goose shit all day. But she's so kind, so smart, so likable that I couldn't help but see that this was just balm on her soul after years of abuse. Our noble prince is certainly a flawed, but a lovable character. I really enjoyed the fact that their relationship was build slowly, on tentative trust, and loyalty. Both wanted to save the other because they saw the potential in them. I really liked the Kestrin kept reaching out to her, but at the same time gave her space to decide for herself and allowed her to make her own choices. The romance though was very underplayed and not the focus of the story, which I was extremely happy with.I really liked all the supporting characters as well. Violet and Laurel, and the boys. Of course I cannot forget Falada. I loved all of them without question.One thing I wished was better was the explanation and backstory for some things. At times it came too late and for awhile I'd be confused about things. Something were not explained at all. I would have liked to know more about the magic in this world and how some people get to know it. How does their city survive without justice when murders can basically get away with shit and guards only work for bribes?Either way, I think this is fantastic story and I would highly recommend it to anyone who loves fantasy.

  • Elevetha
    2019-02-03 17:39

    Thorn was a really lovely retelling of The Goose Girl and a rather fantastic book in and above itself. One of my favorite parts about it was Alyrra and her actions and choices and, hmm, she's just quite wonderful. Another thing, probably my FAVORITE thing, was the romance. And not because it was sweeping or intense or super-shippy or cute (though it was getting there for some of those), but because it was very natural and real and by the end, I was just so pleased with the progression of their relationship. I believed in them and I believed they could be anadorable power couple. The first 200 pages were good, right? Well, yeah, but the last 50 pages were...intense and also my favorite bit. I didn't love the book till I got to the final scenes and suddenly everything was very real and everyone, by whom I mean Kestrin, was very important to me. (Alyrra was already very important to me.)My one complaint would be that I was confused at the beginning/middle of the story when the Lady randomly shows up and is very cryptic and vague and at first I thought it was just me being an idiot and not getting it but really it WAS a bit confusing. But hey, I guess that's what endings of books are for. To tidy everything up. Anyways, pretty minor thing. Can't wait to read The Sunbolt Chronicles!Typos:"Out return is slow"Page 53"Nothing more than the Valka's cast-off companion?"Page 66"What could he possible want from my mother..."Page 67"Coiling like gently before fading to nothing."Page 140And page 87 just had some weird wording on it.Fan mix song:The Healing - The Wood

  • Isa Lavinia
    2019-02-13 16:38

    Actual rating: 3,5 starsI admit to some hesitation when deciding whether or not to read this book, since it's a retelling of The Goose Girl and this has never been one of favourite fairy tales, what with the main character being a passive, somewhat stupid character because the brothers Grimm were women hating pos.Plus there was that whole issue with Falada, the talking horse, and I, as anyone who has watched The Neverending Story, can't really deal with stuff AT ALL.Whomever is familiar with The Goose Girl already knows the plot to this retelling - except the main villain in this story is a female David Bowie in Labyrinth, owl, glitter, and "You have no power over me!" included, much to my delight.Admittedly Alyrra made me want to shake some sense into her, especially when she offered to help Valka, (the lady who stole her identity) along. That was really the character doing something to fit the plot... But it's one of the few failing in this book.Alyrra is less passive than the Goose Girl in the fairy tale. Or perhaps equally so, but we're given the reasoning behind her passivity.She just doesn't want to be a princess, to her being a princess and physical abuse go hand-in-hand.And she's quite happy being a goose girl, though I can't fathom why:pictured: Hitchcock's inspiration, probablyStill this book was a very pleasant surprise, a great fairy tale retelling!

  • Kirsty (Amethyst Bookwyrm)
    2019-01-24 10:22

    Thanks to Netgalley and Xpresso Book Tours for giving me this book to review.15 year old Princess Alyrra has had no choices or comfort from her rank with a cruel family and the courts contempt, and now she is forced to marry a foreign prince. However, when on the journey to her new home and betrothed, she is betrayed by a magical attack and her identity is switched with another woman’s but this gives Alyrra a freedom she has never had before. Alyrra starts her new life as Thorn, a simple goose girl, however, Prince Kestrin seems to be paying her more attention than the woman he believes is his fiancé. Will Alyrra choose to walk away and save her life or return to court and save Kestrin’s but at the cost of her own?Thorn is a retelling of Goose Girl, which I am not too familiar with. It is not the fasted paced novel but enjoyable, it has romance, a bit of action and some unexpected twists. The plot and story was interesting but it is not the type of story which is memorable. This book was much darker and has more serious elements than I was expecting.Alyrra/Thorn is a sweet, quiet girl who is honest and tried to right wrong but was strongminded and likeable. Kestrin is protective of his country, suspicious of Thorn and could not figure her out and is also brave. However I found there was more chemistry Thorn and Red Hawk the Thieflord who has a sense of justice. I also liked that the villain was relatable as I understood her motives.I liked Thorn and would recommend it to people who enjoy reading YA fairytale retellings.This and my other reviews can be found at Amethyst Bookwyrm

  • Ella
    2019-01-23 18:49

    THE MC IS FIFTEEN AND DOESN'T ACT LIKE AN IDIOT. *faints* WHAT IS THIS MADNESS??!!Answer: Something brilliant, obviously.

  • Sarah
    2019-01-31 15:23

    Wow, this is the first book I'm writing a review for in quite a while (Has it really been almost a year?), and while my review writing skills (few that I had) may be rusty, here we go!I haven't yet read The Goose Girl by Hale, but I did look up the myth before reading. To that end, I was really surprised by how well it kept to it. The brutality of the original Grimm tale is there, but perhaps softened a bit by the hand of our protagonist.Princess Alyrra, who goes by Thoreena/Thorn after she is transformed, was a very interesting protagonist for me to struggle with. And I really did struggle. I'm personally a huge fan of unsympathetic protagonists. They don't ask for my forgiveness and they don't care what I think of them. Alyrra is so much different; she is probably the most purely good protagonist I've read in a while. I thought her really naive at first, and she truly was. She became less naive as the story went on, but she never lost her original goodness. She frustrated me. A lot. She was probably meant to frustrate me. I constantly found myself shaking my Kindle, asking her for a little less soft corners, a little more jagged edge. I don't think I ended up loving her as maybe I was meant to, but I could understand where she, and by extension the author, was coming from.Themes of abuse, specifically female abuse at the hands of men, is one of the biggest topics in the book. I do think the author handled the situations well and with proper respect, and I really applaud her for that. Alyrra's mercy, I suppose, is what I struggled with the most. For me, there were times when the book seemed to stray into the territory of "victims should just learn to forgive their abusers because revenge doesn't do anything" and that line of thought does not sit well with me at all. I don't think it's good to hold on to hate, but I think Alyrra's quickness to forgive put me off. However, most of the villains (view spoiler)[ Alyrra's brother non-included apparently(hide spoiler)] do get justice handed to them in the name of the law. I just think a little more development with (view spoiler)[ Laurel(hide spoiler)] would have rounded out the theme. I think the book would have benefited for reassurance that her hate and relief at the death of criminals isn't undeserved or cruel in the least.I was also a fan of how the author addressed issues of poverty and class. The scene with the apple cakes hit me hard, and I thought it was incredibly well developed. The relationship between Alyrra and Kestrin was developed really really well. No unexpected romance out of nowhere. I actually really appreciated that and I wish more authors would do this.I found the writing style a little jilting to read. It's just a personal thing; it was obviously written to capture the feel of the original fairy tale, but that on top of my inability to agree with Alyrra just compounded the distance between us. It also made the book hard to get into at first. The banter between Alyrra and the prince or the king got old kind of fast. It made every conversation sound the same and nothing got said over a long period of time. Still, it was clever in places and way more reminiscent of actual political banter than I've read in most fantasy books.

  • Elisabeth Wheatley
    2019-02-01 10:35

    It has been a very long time since a book captured me the way this one did. Though it was a bit slow in the beginning, once I got past the first few chapters, I might as well have been shackled to my iPhone. I simply could not tear myself away.I had my eye on this book for awhile. The idea of a "The Goose Girl" retelling intrigued me. However, I had read another TGG retelling (The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale) and wasn't sure it would be entirely new. I must now eat my thoughts.The plot:I was highly impressed. Remember how I said I was worried about originality? While I could spot elements of the Grimm fairytale, it was a whole new spin. (I know people always say things like that, but I can't help that it's true.) The voice and the feel were unusual and I enjoyed the mix of middle-eastern and European customs and styles.The characters:Princess Alyrra/Thorn is the most engaging main character I have met in a long time. All she wants is to be left alone and yet, when push comes to shove, she does step up and do the right thing. She is humble and compassionate and brave, though she doesn't believe it. I greatly enjoyed watching her discover her inner strength to face her enemies and I was rooting for her all the way. One of my favorite things about her character was how, even after Valka had been downright sadistic to Thorn, Thorn still took pity on her and showed mercy. Compassion is a quality that seems to be growing scarce in modern MCs and it was exhilarating to meet one who has it in plenty.Kestrin was what many would call "swoon worthy." (While I don't normally use that term, it seems fitting here.) Young, handsome, gallant, brave...did I mention he's the prince? While I got a bit mad at him a few times, the greater portion of my reading was spent in agony over what would happen with him and Thorn. Not to give away the ending, but I was quite satisfied with the outcome. Valka, the maid who betrays Thorn, is an excellent antagonist. Pampered, spoiled, selfish--she's the kind of character we all love to hate. Let's not forget the Lady, the mysterious otherworldly being who starts all the trouble in the first place. As for details about her, you'll have to read the book. There were a bevy of other characters (Red Hawk, Falada, Violet, Laurel, Oak, Ash) who were all memorable and lovable in their own way. (I am really hoping to see more of some of them in the companion trilogy the author is working on.)All in all, this book was awesome. Mind-bogglingly so. In other words, go get it. Right now. That's an order. =)

  •  Simply Sam ツ
    2019-01-30 12:24

    ***3.5 Stars***I wanted to read a fairy tale, complete with evil queens and curses, and this seemed to meet that criteria. As a bonus, it also fits the bill for our MacHalo TBR July cleanout. Score!I am unfamiliar with the goose girl fairy tale, so while this may be a retelling, for me it was just the telling. No re about it. It was totally new so I went in not knowing at all what to expect. It was quick and easy to read. There was definitely a curse (more like 2 curses), an evil sorceress, talking Horses, hints of magic, a band of altruistic thieves, a prince with a secret, and a princess with an even bigger one. And do you want to know one of the best parts? Absolutely NO instalove. In fact, there was really very little in the way of romance. Whew! Thank goodness. I liked it. I did, biggest issue was Thorn herself. No surprise there really. I have a harder time connecting with female characters. Don't ask me why as I'm not a 100% sure myself. There are some that click with me but those are far fewer than those who don't. I also prefer male music artists, so my prejudice is not just limited to books. Anywho. Back to Thorn. She was too good, you know what I mean? To the point that she was kind of a bland individual, one that I would have discounted had I not known she was the heroine of the story. She was a milk toast character who was content to let whatever happen in life just happen, and she remained that way until the last 10% of the book or so. But somehow, someway, people were always in awe of her goodness and bravery. It just didn't feel genuine. I am trying to be more patient when it comes to certain character development issues, so I kept reminding myself, "This is a fairy tale. I have to allow greater liberties with the characters." And that worked mostly. So, even though her characterization didn't totally jibe with me, it wasn't something that killed the book for me either. And while a big part of the story was light and airy, there were many times that it went to much darker places than I expected. Murder, torture, rape. The loss of beloved characters. I was caught off guard the first time, but I have to admit, the book was all the more interesting for it. Overall, it's not my favorite read of the fairy tale retelling genre but it's still a solid addition.

  • Bukcrz
    2019-01-18 18:33

    Wow, and again wow!Though the book description sounds like this book will be your run of the mill Prince meets Princess, golden-heart Princess saves the Prince, and they live happily ever after. Not even close. It sounds that way at the start but soon, the twists and turns in the story will caught you off guard with its depths and truths.The heroine’s (Princess) appeal and strength lies both on her lack/flaws (depends on who you ask) and her desire for a new path in life as she displays very universal emotions like fear of the unknown, self-preservation, pain of loss, joy of belonging, and the burden of taking responsibility. I do not mind at all staying in her mind the whole time (book is in first voice) because as soon as I thought I knew what she’d think, she’ll surprise me with a great spin while still gripping my attention from beginning to end.The hero (Prince), though viewed through the heroine’s eyes presents a silent, tortured and caged man on both his own making and others. I like him even more (or the author in this case) when his position as prince was not the final solution to every hurdles they encounter. I love that this book is a perfect blend of the main character’s coming together and their fight against a common enemy both inside themselves and outside.A bonus plus is that it’s a book for young readers as well as adult.A definite keeper on my shelf.

  • La La
    2019-02-04 16:49

    This is a fabulous retelling of The Goose Girl fairytale. I adore the author's writing style. It was everything I look for in a YA Fantasy story, and you all know how hard I am on them when reviewing. The MC is superb!

  • Sh3lly ☽ Guardian of Beautiful Squids and Lonely Moons ☽
    2019-01-18 13:41

    On Netgalley May 6, 2015$0.99 on Amazon: April 7, 2015