Review–Thorn by Intisar Khanani



by Intisar Khanani

Summary: 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.
Thorn has received a Badge of Approval from Awesome Indies.

Source: I received a digital copy from NetGalley.

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Thorn was a wonderful fantasy novel that is a retelling of The Goose Girl from Grimm’s fairytales. While I’m not familiar with the original tale, I highly enjoyed Thorn.

Thorn was a YA fairy tale retelling, but it didn’t have the modernization, the YA tropes, or anything like that. It maintained a magical quality that stayed true to the lessons of the tale. Alyrra made herself belong in a family that ostracized her and then later, she did the same in her new home after an imposter took her identity. She kept her personality and work ethic and, though she was spelled and couldn’t tell anyone who she was, eventually it became clear that the right people were noticing that something was off.

I rooted for Thorn/Alyrra and I appreciated the fact that she never acted like anyone owed her anything. She stayed positive and was grateful, even while shoveling the stables instead of being the prince’s betrothed. Because of her demeanor, she made a lot of friends and learned that being a good princess meant doing the right thing and being fair. While it sounds like it’s a story about staying in your place, Alyrra was often guided by her Horse and he stressed the importance of coming forward about what you can and having courage to speak out, which is something she had to learn alongside her silence and obedience.

I really enjoyed Thorn and I thought it was a well written, sweet, yet still compelling novel. I definitely recommend it.


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