by Intisar Khanani
Published on May 30, 2012 by Intisar Khanani
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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, sometimes the hardest choice means learning to trust herself.
When I first accepted this book for review, I had never read the Grimm’s “Goose Girl” tale it was based off of. So I used this magical thing we call the internet and read it before reading Thorn. I have to say, while Thorn followed the tale very closely excluding names, I enjoyed it nonetheless–so much that I couldn’t put it down. This book isn’t just a take on a Grimm tale, but it also covers topics not usually found in something of such a “light” nature. Physical abuse and murder were both addressed and Thorn discusses, though the characters, the definition of justice in terms of revenge. As a reader, I learned as much as I enjoyed the book.
I really liked Alyrra’s character. She did what she could with the situation she was put in, and wasn’t afraid to question herself. It was easy to connect with her on the base level of doubting oneself–it’s something everyone does at one point or another. Yet she has the courage to fight for what she thinks is right, whether it fits the general consensus or not. Her first-person present tense narration took less than a page to get used to before I was consumed by the story. Trust me when I say you’ll be remember the “Goose Girl” tale after reading this book.
I recommend Thorn to all ages. The violence and more adult themes discussed may not appeal to a younger audience but it’s written in a way that anyone could understand them. I found it to be a great tale, very entertaining, and I wish it wasn’t a standalone because I want to read more!