Review 2. Thorn by Intisar Khanani

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Title: Thorn
Author: Intisar Khanani
Publisher: Createspace
Published: May 15th 2012
Pages: 248

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.


Thorn is a perfect retelling of the Goose Girl with lots of magic. Truthful to the Goose Girl tale, Thorn is a story about a princess afraid of taking her place and when faced with a choice she has to decide which road to take - to be a princess or be a goose girl?

Intisar Khanani writing is beautiful. It is detailed and vivid - the descriptions were simply perfect; I could easily imagine the scenarios. It was a delight to read a a story fast-paced with so many twists. Also, the character growth was amazing - Alyrra, the main characters, grew from a scary princess to a good-hearted strong princess.

I loved this book very much, but there were two things that bothered me:
I got mad at Alyrra a couple of times because after all she had seen and heard, how could she think a fraud would be a better princess than her? It's natural for Alyrra to have doubts about her place. The time she spends as Thorn working in the barn as a goose girl was essential for her to understand what kind of princess she wanted to be. She already had everything to be a good princess - a gentle heart - but her doubts needed to be soothed. Her mother and brother were far from good examples. 

Also, Alyrra suffered abuse at the hands of her family - I hated her brother so much! For her it wasn't easy to trust other people. But after meeting Kestrin (the prince she was supposed to marry with), how could she keep thinking that he was playing games with her? He knew who she was and he gave her a choice - he did try to convince to return to her rightful place, but he would never force her to do it.

I recommend Thorn to everyone who loves fairy-tale retellings.

I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.

P.S. Intisar Khanani liked my Goodreads review! *happy dance* 

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