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. – Goodreads
Alright, alright. Game of Thrones meets the Grimm’s fairy tales? Let’s simmer down. There was nothing Game of Thrones-y about it, except for the fact that there was royalty. Grimm’s? Yes. In fact, I would say it was kind of like Shrek meets Mulan. Let’s carry on.
I am always a little bit leery of gift given heroines. I’m personally a fan of a heroine who has to work for her success. When I read in the summary that Aurora had fairy gifts, I groaned inwardly. However, they turned out to be more like curses, save for the strength. I appreciated this.
Kept in a dungeon by the ogre queen, Aurora’s mother, Sleeping Beauty, committed suicide in captivity to pass on her fairy gifts to her briar-born daughter, Aurora. Aurora and Jor, her little brother, then slipped out of the dungeon with the help of a guard. The story then flashes forward. The Ogre Queen has the prince in her clutches, but needs Aurora to fulfill a dark prophecy.
Aurora dresses like a boy to pass as a soldier. When Prince Niklaas saves her from a bunch of headhunters, she introduces herself as Prince Jor (her brother’s name), but says she would rather be called Ror. At this point, I was convinced Prince Niklaas was an imbecile. AuRORa? Come on, man!
The worldbuilding was fabulous. The story was intricately woven, and it really did feel like a tale from Grimm’s fairy tales. I loved Jay’s writing style, too.
The romance was subtle, which worked well for the characters and story.
All that aside—I wasn’t wowed by this story. I wasn’t pulled in and held there, turning page after page until I finished. It was a great read, which I appreciated, but it just didn’t captivate me as much as I had hoped. I’m not quite sure what was so “meh” to me. I think this book would really captivate most fantasy fans, but it just didn’t do it for me.
I gave Princess of Thorns a 3.5/5 on Goodreads.