Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Early Review: Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay

When I first started this book, all that I could think was What the heck did I just get myself into? After reading the synopsis, I had expected myself to be excited about the fact that Prince Niklaas had no idea Princess Aurora was a girl (since she was disguised and all), but soon enough I was dying for someone to figure out that she was a girl. It was just so obvious, and I found it hard to believe that after a week on the road with Aurora, Niklaas still did not figure out that he was traveling with a girl. I mean, I sincerely doubt that any girl could successfully disguise herself as a guy for that long and if looked at that closely. It just did not make much sense to me, especially after Niklaas heard Aurora giggle. Do guys even do that?

Then there was also the fact that literally nothing happened in the first half of the book. We got the background of the main characters, and we learn about both Aurora's and Niklaas's curses. That is, whenever Aurora kisses a boy she loves, he basically becomes her slave, and Niklaas is doomed to turn into a swan the day he turns eighteen. Besides learning this, the entire first two hundred pages were a blur, with Aurora and Niklaas constantly yelling at each other. The romantic growth between the two characters was alright; it was not exactly realistic, but this is basically a fairytale, so I will give that aspect some leg room.

At the second half of the novel, things started picking up and it was surprisingly hard to tear my eyes away from the pages. Everything happened so quickly at that point, but quickly as in Thank goodness, I was waiting for this since the beginning! type of quickly. After that, the pace of the book was just right and every moment was intriguing. I love the twist the author plays with Aurora's final fairy gift of mercy, and as annoyed as I was that Aurora is not the perfect princess I would have wanted  her to be - can you tell I am a huge Disney fan? - her flaws made her realistic. Besides, I view getting crazy fed up with Aurora a good thing, because it makes her more real, right?

What I loved most about the novel was that even though one would guess that the book has a happy ending, the not-so-happy parts still had the power to wound me. I did not cry while reading this book, and thank goodness for that, but a few scenes were still emotional and made the story all that interesting. If only the author wrote the same as she did in the second half of this book the novel would have been perfect. As it was, i enjoyed the second half much more than I did the first.

Of course, I would recommend this novel to any fans of Disney and people who enjoy reading fairytale retellings with strong heroines. I do have to caution against DNFing the book before fifty percent, as it is only after that point that the storyline really gets going. Overall, I am really glad that I did not give up on this book when I wanted to, as that ending was just beautiful. It was literally perfection for my fairytale obsessed self.

Book 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?

Source: A copy was received from the publisher for review.

Title: Princess of Thorns
Author: Stacey Jay
Publication Date: December 9, 2014
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genre: Fairytale Retelling, YA
Pages: 400 pages