ARC Review: Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay

Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay

Title: Princess of Thorns
Author: Stacey Jay
Series: N/A
**I received this ARC through NetGalley which does not affect my review**

Not all fairy tales end in happily ever after. The Sleeping Beauty never thought she would come to hate her husband and be banished to a dungeon along with her two young children while an ogre queen takes over her kingdom. Her only hope is to sacrifice herself and hope that one day her daughter, Aurora, blessed with fairy gifts will one day take her kingdom back.

Aurora knows what is expected of her, but when her brother Jor is taken prisoner by the evil Queen Ekeeta, she will risk everything to get him back. Disguised as her brother, Aurora enlists the help of Niklaas, a prince trying to escape his own curse. Both will have to overcome their secrets and differences if Aurora wants to see her brother again and Niklaas his eighteenth birthday.

I am a big fan of fairy tale retellings and while Stacey Jay’s Princess of Thorns is a different take on the like by continuing the story not from Sleeping Beauty’s perspective but from her daughter’s, it lacked enough originality and interesting characters to make it a compelling read.

I really question the romance in Princess of Thorns, not in how it develops per se, but in the object of Aurora’s affection. Aside from coming off as a bit of a sexist, womanizing jerk around Aurora when he is ignorant of her true identity, Niklaas is kind of an arrogant, patronizing bully towards her disguised self when they first meet. And while his character does undergo a change of heart, I still wanted to throw something at him. I did not understand the initial attraction on Aurora’s part except for the fact that he was simply there; his presence alone made him the love-interest.

I really liked Aurora. I liked that she was brave and a little reckless. I liked the fact that her love for her brother brought out these characteristic and despite being underestimated, she rose to the occasion time after time. I liked her so much that I could not help but think she deserved a better love-interest, setting, and plot. Women were universally valued less, seen as creatures meant to be protected, incapable of fighting their own battles. This felt like an unnecessary setting for Aurora’s story: she is blessed with fighting skills, but this only meant something because of the prejudice views against a woman’s ability to fight and there is something off about this. A lot of the story just felt convenient. The resolution just sort of happened with no real planning on Aurora’s part and because of this I wasn’t sure if the characters really earned their happily-ever-after.

Rating: 2/5

★★

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13 thoughts on “ARC Review: Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay

  1. I have never heard of this book but it sounds interesting! I LOVE fairy tale retellings <3! The main character sounds really awesome :)! Is this book a series or a stand alone? Sounds like a stand alone :O! Good review though!!!

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  2. Huh… After all the hype around this book, I’m seeing a lot of negative reviews. The synopsis is so intriguing but I guess it’s just one of those synopsis’ that doesn’t really represent the book through and through.

    I’ve heard that the guy doesn’t even realize that she’s a girl until like, half the book?! What?! Really,,,? And you’re saying that the romance isn’t good either,,, :/ I want a romance where I can ship the characters! If the guy is too much of a jerk, or the girl too whiny or their chemistry a no-show, it really irks me. If I can’t ship them, what the point?! Well, on the bright side… no love triangle. At least… I don’t think so.

    *sigh* I don’t like books where things are much too convenient. I want them to fight for it! If whatever they want is just handed to them, what the point, then?!

    At least the main character’s not horrible. I hope she showed her fighting skills and that she doesn’t need to be protected.

    Great review! Hopefully, your next read is much more enjoyable! 🙂
    ~Fari 0:)
    A Recent Blog Post: Does the Guilt Crush You? @ My Little Corner For Books (Involves hiccuping chihuahuas, awesomeness/weirdness depending on how you look at it and guilty confessions about DNF-ing books! XD)

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    • The main character was fantastic compared to her counterpart. I know what you mean about shipping and I was never drawn to the idea of these two enough to ship anything except for maybe a different story for the protagonist. Thank you, I’m hoping I’ll have better luck with the next book too 🙂

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