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Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay (2 stars)

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This is another case of a book that looked perfect for me on paper. A warrior princess with major sword skills on a crusade to save her brother and reclaim her land from an evil Queen? With a hint of classic Sleeping Beauty elements? I was excited. Unfortunately, these elements failed to coalesce into an enjoyable story for me.

Full Disclosure: I was approved for an eARC of this book on NetGalley, but after the archive date; so this review is based on a finished copy from the library, but the review will be submitted to the publisher on NetGalley.
Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay
Series: n/a
Genres: YA, Fantasy
Published on December 9, 2014
Published by Delacorte Press
Final Rating: 2 stars
Synopsis:
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?

Review:
Princess of Thorns is the long, dangerous road trip of princess-in-exile Aurora, who enlists prince-in-trouble Niklaas to help her rescue her brother (and maybe take back the kingdom from the evil queen). Trolls, crows, bandits and other assorted bad guys chase Ror and Niklaas wherever they go, and little is accomplished, besides a budding romance, until the rushed ending.

I liked the sound of the characters' roles, but I couldn't connect to the characters themselves. Ror has amazing skills, but she spends too much time mentally whining. Compound that with a impulsive, stubborn personality and a few disastrously bad decisions, and you have a heroine I could neither respect nor root for. Niklaas was/is a ladies man. He speaks often of his sexual conquests to his (hopefully) future brother-in-law, who is actually his (hopefully) future wife. ... Awkward. It doesn't help that he's as stubborn as Ror and always thinks he's right. The chapters in the evil queen's perspective were similarly steeped in drama, yet failed to inspire any emotional response. The only character I mildly liked was Jor, Aurora's brother, whom we met only briefly. I think his mild disposition would have been a good counterbalance to Ror and Niklaas and wished he had been in more of the story.

The road trip finally ends in a big showdown between good and evil, which is surprisingly anticlimactic and ends quickly, leaving only the romance to be resolved. If you like the sound of a slowly developed romance plagued by curses, and don't mind the limited exposure to a magical world, you may enjoy Princess of Thorns.

8 comments :

  1. This one has been on my TBR but have seen quite a few reviews that make it seem like it might not been something I will like. After yours, I think I will leave it on my TBR for a while
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

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    1. Probably a good idea if you weren't super excited for it. If you're interested in other opinions on this one, I remember both Anya @ On Starships and Dragonwings and Alyssa @ Eater of Books liked it. :)

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  2. That is too bad. Kinda wanted to read this.

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    1. You may still enjoy it, Nathan. I think my biggest problem was a disconnect from and frustration with the characters, but I've seen other reviewers really loving the story. :)

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  3. I requested this one on Netgalley awhile back. They finally approved me for it....and it is archived. WHY?!! But it also means I probably won't be reading this one anytime soon.

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    1. That's exactly what happened to me. Luckily, I'd already borrowed it from the library, but yeah, I'm not sure what happened on their end. No worries. :)

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  4. *makes notes of what Kel isn't a fan of* I shall warn you of impulsive heroines in the future! ;-)

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    1. Haha, thanks! I wish I could say these issues are consistent across the board, but it always depends on how they're done (and my mood at the time ^^;). There is no hope! ;)

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