Title: Princess of Thorns
Author: Stacey Jay
Recent Release Date: December 9, 2014
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: I can't get enough of both fairy tale retellings and epic YA fantasy with awesome world building. This book is both, although its connection to a fairy tale is pretty loose. It is more connected to the original Sleeping Beauty that had ogres, but I am not as familiar with it as I am with the Disney-fied version that's fed to all of as as children. This book makes me want to delve into the original Sleeping Beauty tale, which it seems Jay was faithful to. Aurora is Sleeping Beauty's daughter in this book, which was confusing for me at first since Princess Aurora IS Sleeping Beauty in the Disney film. I advise doing a little research into the original tale before reading this book, but the book stands alone if you do not.
This book reminds me of Ella Enchanted. The protagonist is fairy-blessed, but like all magic, the good comes with the bad. Her blessing has unintended results. I really enjoyed the way the "curse" plays out.
There are 3 (or rather 2.5) POVs in this book. The "third" POV is almost unnecessary, but it gives an interesting look into the perceived villain's thoughts.
With the protagonist masquerading as a boy,gender is at the forefront. I love when stereotypes are addressed and bring a conversation forward.
I really enjoyed the world building. The ogres are much different than what you'd expect. I want to see more of the fairies. The politics of the world were also interesting and easy to follow.
I would love to see more books set in this world. I give this book a 4/5 and highly recommend it. I will definitely be looking into more books by Stacey Jay.