Name: Princess of Thorns
Author: Stacey Jay
Number of Pages: 400 pages in Hardcover
Published: December 9th 2014
by DelaCorte Press
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Retellings, Romance
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?
I recall requesting this way back on NetGalley, but just recently received a reply from them that it was declined. Funny thing is, I’ve already finished reading it. Go figure. Lol! Anyway, I’ve had so many expectations for this book because of the recent retellings I’ve read that awed me. Not specifically retellings of The Sleeping Beauty though. The thing is, I know they’re different authors, but if you’re someone who will be writing a retelling of a book that has been retold by so many in the past, you want your book to outshine the others right? Have you heard of Tattered Heart or The Wide-Awake Princess? Those were retellings of The Sleeping Beauty too, but they’re awesome in their own ways. I’m not sure about this book though. I didn’t really like Princess of Thorns. Sigh.
Friends told me that this is not a retelling. I guess they’re correct. It’s a fairytale that has characters from a famous fairytale. That’s the safest way I could put this. The writing is decent. Not quite confusing and really engaging at some point. Yeah. At some point. I noticed that it dragged almost half of the book and it’s short of so many things. Like the world building. There’s no solid world building on the book. I just assumed that it was like a mystical medieval setting or something since there are ogres, fairies, a castle, a princess and princes. Why there are ogres in the first place is beyond me. Where they originated is not on here too. It’s like they puffed out of nowhere. With the plot? There’s really nothing much. It’s an “adventure” that’s full of unexplained things. The main character’s mother (The Sleeping Beauty) died sacrificing herself so she could give her little princess (Aurora, which is Sleeping Beauty’s real name too, but her name here is Rose. Confusing.) extra ordinary abilities (Like being merciful, bravery, boosted strength, etc.) to reclaim her throne so the prophecy would not come true. Her brother, Jor, was held captive by an ogre queen because she initially thought Jor was the fairy-blessed child. Aurora on the other hand, traveled far, disguised as her brother, to rescue Jor with Prince Niklaas. That’s where the story dragged. The entire journey to the castle is not really that important and uneventful if you’re looking for a real adventure, but it was where the story dwelt. It was like a love story between two people who’s unaware (in denial) of their feelings for each other. Especially Niklaas since Aurora is disguised as a prince. When they’ve reached the castle? I was disappointed because I was expecting an epic battle between Aurora and the ogres for her to reclaim the throne. Sigh. There was none. I was left feeling incomplete. I may have liked the romance part if it was not written exaggeratedly. Yeah. There’s no InstaLove and the book doesn’t have head-over-heels-in-love moments, but still. It’s kind of annoying. Particularly when Niklaas was playing hard to get. I hate the dramas. It’s not even cute. Frustrating. What I hate the most is the fact that they’ve ruined the original fairytale by making Aurora’s father (The Prince who had awaken Sleeping Beauty with a kiss) a cheating husband. He already has a wife when he was with Sleeping Beauty and that’s reason why Aurora was cursed. Can’t kiss anybody without them losing their minds. I say, WTF?
Character development? Again. None. The main character, Aurora, is just a stubborn and reckless princess who wants to rescue her brother. Didn’t really care about anything or anyone other than that. She also somehow forgot about the Fairy who cared for her when they’re in hiding before she decided to run off doing “heroic” things (like there were). Didn’t even think that going to the castle without an army to help her will lead for the ogres to capture her and fulfill the dark prophecy. No. She didn’t realize that. She also didn’t realize that the future of the world is on her. She only wants to rescue her brother. Period. Selfish little princess eh? Heroic? Nah. Niklaas is also a selfish little prince. He needs to marry a princess before his eighteenth birthday or he’ll become a swan. That’s the only reason why he agreed to come with Aurora. Heroic? Nah. I hate it when Aurora is convincing him to marry her and he doesn’t want to because he thinks she’s only doing it out of pity. What a puss? Drama King. I hate it. The villains are also not presented well so I didn’t care. Actually, I really didn’t care about the other characters because the rest of them were insignificant. Sigh.
I don’t think I can recommend this since I felt that it ruined the original fairytale.
For a fairytale lover, it saddened me that they have it twisted horribly.
It’s still up to you though if you want to read it.
It pains me to give it a two 😦