Princess of Thorns

Princess of Thorns

by Stacey Jay


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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.
It’s been ten years since Princess Aurora’s mother, the Sleeping Beauty, sacrificed her life to give her daughter her magical powers. Aurora knows that magic is never free. The price for hers is that she will never know romantic love.
     Prince Niklaas is living on borrowed time. Unless he is able to convince a princess to marry him before his eighteenth birthday, he will meet the same terrible fate as his ten older brothers.
     When Niklaas and Aurora meet under unusual circumstances, they must race to prevent the fulfillment of an ogre prophecy foretelling the end of human life. But will they be able to break their curses?

“Compelling and action-packed. . . . The combination of adventure; lovable, complex characters; and a touch of romance make this a book that teens will be drawn to, especially those who appreciate strong female protagonists.”—School Library Journal

“The plotting is impeccable, the world building ample, and the resolution neatly done without feeling pat.”—Booklist 

“The banter between rakish Niklaas and feisty Aurora is crackling with chemistry and wit.”—The Bulletin

“We absolutely loved Stacey Jay’s Princess of Thorns, a riveting retelling of ‘Sleeping Beauty’ that's full of action, drama and romance.”—

“Will appeal to fantasy lovers.”—VOYA

“Jay creates people with real flaws, but endows them with enough integrity to be characters to respect and want to know.”—

Praise for Juliet Immortal
“The bones of the classic Beauty and the Beast story are all here, imaginatively fleshed out with tropes from science fiction, fantasy, even political drama. . . . Will please readers who like to believe that fairy tales can come true, even under dire circumstances.” —The Bulletin, Recommended

Praise for Of Beast and Beauty
“The romance is intense, and so is the horror in this strong reversal of the Romeo and Juliet story. . . . Teens will enjoy the macabre fantasy story of forbidden love.” —Booklist

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385743235
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 02/09/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 602,043
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Stacey Jay has written several popular books for young adults. She lives with her family in California.

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Princess of Thorns 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Bookyogi 11 months ago
This book was a part of a postal book club and I don’t think I would have heard of it otherwise. Even though I found it somewhat predictable, I enjoyed it anyway. Nicklaas is adorable and the story was fun. I had some structural problems with the plot and worldbuilding, but not enough to really mind.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Morgan_S_M More than 1 year ago
This is basically everything I love in a fantasy! I didn't love the ogre queen's few chapters but I appreciated the glimpse into the villain's perspective, and I love that there were ogres in general! And fairies and witches and all sorts of excellent, fun fantasy elements. I loved this retelling, which was a sequel to Sleeping Beauty in a way. Aurora was such an awesome character and I looooved her very Mulan/Shang, Alanna/Jon relationship with Niklaas. Slow burn, bantery, passionate perfection. Of course secrets get revealed and I thought the reactions were believable and well-thought out. No quick forgiveness, but no unnecessary guilt either. I just loved them together. Lots of action and swoony romance and fantasy goodness in this satisfying standalone!
ToManyBooksNotEnoughTime More than 1 year ago
I would like to thank Random House Children's & NetGalley for granting me a copy of this e-book to read in exchange for an honest review. Though I received this e-book for free that in no way impacts my review. Goodreads Teaser: 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? A lovely romantic adventure with its basis firmly planted in two different fairy tales, though the tales have been co-opted for this book. They have the same names and cast of characters, but that's where the resemblances stop. Aurora has lived most of her life with the weight of the world on her shoulders, yet she manages to grow into a headstrong, intelligent, funny, and tender hearted young woman. When faced with a fire prophecy she must head back to the kingdom of her birth to rescue her brother. Niklaas is the other protagonist of this story, and like Ror he too has a fairytale for his background. Like most princes he is originally an insufferable jerk, to full of his own good opinion of himself and his sexual prowess. Luckily for him most of that is just his age talking. Watching Ror and Niklaas struggle to overcome one trial after another is entertaining, and they are well developed characters. So much so that it is well neigh unto impossible not to root for each of them. Their interactions speak volumes to everyone around them, yet they remain oblivious. Even when Ror lists all the reasons why she can't stand him it's clear that she's trying to convince herself right along with him. The pace of the story is solid, though it does tend to drag a bit before the start of the climatic ending. Otherwise the pacing and character growth are nicely tied together, keeping the characters sympathetic and relatable. Their doomed romance is heartwarming, even as it reaches its terminal condition. Can true love really conquer all, or is that simply a fairytale myth?
skizzles22 More than 1 year ago
Actual Rating: 4.5 Enchanting Stars! Stacey's writing is GORGEOUS! Lyrical, enchanting, captivating. It's the first thing that pulls me into her stories and what keeps me reading until I'm sad that I've reached the ending. And when I'm pulled in with the writing, it's easy for me to get lost in the way the characters are telling the story. I love, love, love that this was told in dual POVs! It's so nice to hear both of the characters' sides and it just helps to connect more with them. And it makes the story that much richer. And so do brilliantly developed characters. Aurora is everything I love in a heroine--intelligent, strong, a fighter who will do whatever it takes to save the people she loves, whether that means sacrificing her own life or not. She's not a martyr; she's just a girl hell-bent on revenge and will do whatever she can to keep her little brother safe. But nothing is going according to plan, and Aurora will have to face obstacles she never foresaw. Including an arrogant prince who has his own agenda. She could easily get swept up in romance and daydreams of happily-ever-after, but she's got more important stuff on her mind. She's got priorities! But she's not perfect; she has flaws. She's stubborn as hell, full of pride, and impulsive. That leads to a few mistakes that thankfully don't have irreparable consequences. But they could have, and that's what Aurora had to learn. She needed to accept that she's not perfect and that she has to have faith in herself and others, or else she'll keep going down a lonely path. But I think Niklaas took the crown for Most Stubborn. I swear, these two were perfect for each other just on that shared quality alone. At first, I wasn't sure what to think of him. He's incredibly arrogant, spoiled, and at times, vulgar. But underneath all of that, he's protective, attentive, and has a good heart. However, he thinks he's talking to Aurora's little brother, all the while never knowing that he was in the princess' company the whole time. I'm sure he'd be a bit different if he knew, and when he does find out, Niklaas is angry. Understandably so, because she outright lied. But he kept secrets from Aurora too, ones that might have changed her no marriage for me ever attitude. Because as much as Aurora is cursed, so is Niklaas.  Their stubbornness led to some delicious sexual tension. And they had such great chemistry, even when she was disguised as a boy! They had a foundation of friendship which gave their relationship depth, even though it was wrapped up in secrets and lies. These two butted heads so much, and they both let silence speak louder than words. There were times when I just wanted to yell at them and say: BE HONEST. But these two have spent their lives hiding and keeping parts of themselves locked away, and they don't know how to let each other in. They let pride, anger, and carelessness almost ruin what they had with each other. But through everything that happened, their love blossomed. True and romantic and full of first love. There weren't many secondary characters, but when they stepped onto the pages, they lit up. I loved that, through them, Aurora's and Niklaas' relationship grows stronger. I wish there had been more scenes with Jor, Aurora's younger brother, though. But through stories and Aurora's worry and love, I felt like I knew him. The "villain" was wonderfully developed, and I never knew where the story stood when the Ogre Queen was involved. The story took a turn I hadn't been expecting but one that I fully enjoyed. There were action-packed scenes in which our heroine didn't stand on the sidelines, but there were also quiet moments of contemplation and vulnerability for both of the characters. It was about survival, love, death, and sacrifice. A journey in which the main characters learn about themselves and discover freedom from the constrains of their pasts and the curses they were born with. It led to an epic conclusion that brought with it so much hope for the future of Princess Aurora, Prince Niklaas, and the people of Norvere. Princess of Thorns was another wonderful fairytale retelling by Stacey Jay. A book with so much courage, strength, and heart. A book where the princess doesn't wait for her knight in shining armor to save her and the prince fights with her side by side.
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
"Once upon a time there lived a prince and princess with no happy ever after . . . " In the kingdom of Norvere, two briar-born children are forced into hiding when their father is murdered and their mother--the Sleeping Beauty--is imprisoned by the ogre queen. Eventually Aurora and Jor escape. Thanks to her mother, Aurora is blessed with enhanced strength, a brave spirit, a merciful mind, and a heart no man she loves will dare defy. It will take Aurora nearly ten years to understand the full weight of that; to understand that fairy blessings can be gifts as easily as they can be curses. The immortal king of Kanvasola cursed his eleven sons so that no heir might live to challenge his claim to the throne. But the immortal king found a gentle witch who doomed the sons to change into swans on their eighteenth birthday instead of death. As the years passed, ten sons were transformed. The eleventh, Niklaas, hopes to break the spell and change his fate by journeying to Norvere to find and marry the princess Aurora. When her brother is captured by the ogre queen, Aurora disguises herself as a boy to try to raise an army and reclaim her kingdom before it's too late. Niklaas agrees to help, thinking it will bring him closer to Aurora and the end of his own curse. It will take trust and sacrifice from both prince and princess if they hope to save Norvere and rescue Aurora's brother before all is lost. With so much at stake, Aurora and Niklaas will have to try to survive before they can even consider their happy ending in Princess of Thorns (2014) by Stacey Jay. Dual narration from Aurora and Niklaas offer a balanced story in this action-packed high fantasy fairy tale that references the stories of "Sleeping Beauty" and "The Swan Princess." Jay takes both stories in unexpected directions as Aurora and Niklaas embark on a cross-country journey to try and save Aurora's brother Jor. In addition to action and humor, Princess of Thorns is a fantasy with feminist elements as Aurora struggles to reconcile who she is (capable, single-minded, strong) with what is typically expected of a princess. Niklaas faces similar moments of doubt and confusion in his narration. While both characters begin the story flawed--Niklaas' views are often primitive or reductive while Aurora is painfully reckless--their growth is obvious over the course of the narrative. Even knowing more than both narrators, readers will find a few satisfying surprises here--particularly in the final act. Brief scenes from the ogre queen Ekeeta's perspective add another layer to this story and make Ekeeta a complex character of her own rather than merely a stock villain. Although there is often a fundamental lack of communication between the two protagonists, it is a plot device that is used well throughout the story in combination with the alternating narration to create a story that is an absolute page-turner. Working within the confines of both Aurora and Niklaas's curses, Jay offers a thoughtful story with as much external plot as there is internal character development. With magic, adventure and romance Princess of Thorns is a story that is as enchanting as any fairy tale. Possible Pairings: The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson, Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine, A Creature of Moonlight by Rebecca Hahn, Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones, Hero by Alethea Kontis, Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta, Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier, Cinder by Marissa Meyer, Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this entire story! I wish there was a sequel to it becauae the two characters were amazing!
COBauer More than 1 year ago
Received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I flipping LOVED this book. PRINCESS OF THORNS is an epic fantasy! Stacey Jay masterfully combines various fairytale mythologies and adds some new twists and takes on the classics. Thanks again to another author who writes strong and smart women. Aurora kicks so much ass. I loved her strength, independence, and loyalty to her family/people. Hers was a journey worth rooting for. The romance was very nicely developed. I am a sucker for the humorous, bickering dynamic. They started out distrustful, became friends, overcame some serious obstacles, and truly earned their love story. LOTS of feels! Cannot recommend this one enough.
KatsNook More than 1 year ago
Princess of Thorns is exciting, romantic, magical, and funny. I loved this! Princess Aurora is the daughter of Sleeping Beauty and that is the only connection made to the classic fairytale.  The story of Princess of Thorns is original and I loved the author’s creativity.  I couldn’t put this book down! What I love the most about Princess of Thorns is the characters.  Princess Aurora isn’t your typical classic fairytale character. She is a warrior princess who is determined to save her brother, Jor.  Aurora is smart and quick to put Prince Niklaas in his place.  And she can kick ass!  Aurora is fairy blessed with enhanced strength, bravery and mercy, so it is exciting to see her stand up for herself and protect everyone she cares for.  I love her!! Prince Niklaas has the looks of a god and knows how to charm his way through everything.  But he is more than looks.  He is a loving and protective brother. He may be a smooth talker but he is honorable.  Even though his original mission is to remove the curse on him, Niklaas puts the future of the people before his needs.  Niklaas is swoon-worthy with his charm and his heroic actions, making him a perfect modern day fairytale character. Aurora and Niklaas’ relationship has the perfect balance between friendship and romance.  When they first meet Aurora is pretending to be her brother, so naturally Niklaas takes the role as ‘big brother’.  The fun teasing between them adds amusement to the story. I loved Aurora and Niklaas as ‘brothers’ and later as a couple.  The romance is soft and sweet, starting as friendship and respect then grows into something more.  Princess of Thorns is the first book I have read from author, Stacey Jay.  This was beautifully written and perfectly paced.  I look forward to reading more from this author. I highly recommend this book to all YA Fantasy fans.  Princess of Thorns is a book I will read again and again!
Addicted_Readers More than 1 year ago
4.5 Stars What an elegantly spiraling, tremendously beautiful, and utterly wonderful, bombshell of a book!! I absolutely LOVED PRINCESS OF THORNS in every possible way! From it's epic world building, and well developed characters, to it's beautiful version of the SLEEPING BEAUTY retelling that surpassed any and all expectations, and had me falling hopelessly in love with this wonderfully epic and truly beautiful story that rocked me to the core! PRINCESS OF THORNS is NOT a book to be missed!!! Stacey Jay has quickly become one of my new favorite authors of all times!! I've been wanting to read her other book, OF BEAUTY AND BEAST since hearing all the wonderful praise about it, but sadly, I never gotten around to it. So when PRINCESS OF THORNS arrived on my doorstep for review, I jumped at the chance to review an author I've been so desperately wanting to explore. And let me tell you, all the rave reviews and amazing rumors couldn't of prepared me for this rare gem I found within the PRINCESS OF THORNS!!! THE PLOT "Prophecy foretells that in the last days of the Long Summer, the Age of Reaping will dawn with the rise of the living darkness. The four kingdoms will dwell in shadow, and the souls of man feed the First One's hunger for a hundred years." In a faraway land, their lies two kingdoms in despair, two kingdoms who's rulers have failed them, two kingdoms who's heir's to the throne are cursed, two kingdoms who will be forever doomed into darkness, if the curse is not broken, in time.... Only one of the eleven Prince's of the kingdom of Kanvasol still remains. The curse that claims all heirs to the Kanvasol throne at the age of eighteen has already cursed ten of the eleven Prince's. And now as Niklaas, the last remaining Prince of Kanvasol eighteenth birthday drawls near, he knows his time is running out. But him being the youngest and most determined Prince of them all, he is not willing to accept that fate. He is not ready to give up and let the curse claim him, transforming his body from human flesh, to shrink inward and sprout feathers and wings, and be forced to take flight as a swan, forever cursed to be this beautiful animal, unaware of who he was and what he lost. He will not scum to this curse, and is determined to break the chains that bind him, hopefully before it's to late... The remaining Princess of the kingdom of Norvere is all the kingdoms last hope for survival. Gifted with the fairy blessed blood of her dying mother, shed for her to be bestowed the gifts and skills needed in order to save their people from the evil Ogre Queen and her soldiers that have taken their kingdom with force, and have succeeded in stealing the souls of the people of Norvere. Princess Aurora remained in hiding until her seventeenth year of age, only to venture out of her hidden sanctuary when the time comes not to let her mothers sacrifice be in vain. When Aurora's brother, Prince Jor is kidnapped on the way to one of their yearly visit, and then a vision of Jor being killed by his Ogre captives is foreseen, Princess Aurora knows the time has come to break the bounds that bind her, before all is lost and plunged into darkness, forever cursed to dwell in shadow and fear as the age of the reaping will curse them all to a life of misery, torture, and death... Prince Niklaas is ready to set himself free. He sets out to find the lost Princess Aurora, in hopes she will aid him in breaking the wretched curse his father cast upon him, ensuring Niklaas would never live to his eighteenth birthday to become the rightful king of Kanvasol. So Niklaas's only hope lies in finding the last remaining unwed Princess, and persuade her to marry him before it's too late. Niklaas and Aurora join forces, both needing something from the other, but unsure of the truth behind it. The journey is anything but easy, as the Ogre Queen is never far behind, and her lackeys are determined to bring Princess Aurora to their Queen, eager to fulfill the prophecy, and allow The Age Of Reaping to rise. And the longer the secrets that both Niklaas and Aurora harbor, the harder it is for them to remain true, because they could very well destroy the strong relationship they've forged, if ever revealed. Time is running out as Niklaas's eighteenth birthday drawls near, and Aurora knows the clock is ticking until her brothers fate comes true. They will have to put aside their differences and work together if their going to stay alive long enough to complete their missions. But what do you do if you heart is pulling you one way, but you mind is pulling you another??? Overall, PRINCESS OF THORNS was a fantastic read that I absolutely adored!!! I am so eager to read more from this author, as I know it will be just as amazing as this book was! I have a feeling Stacy Jay is going to do great things in the YA Genre, and I will be right there waiting when she does!! If your looking for a romantic YA fantasy, that will sweep you into a world of lies, betrayals, sacrifice, determination, strength, and a forceful love that is determined to prevail, then PRINCESS OF THORNS is a MUST READ!!! NOTE: I received a physical ARC from Random House for reviewing purposes! All opinions express are my own and are not influenced in any way!
StephWard More than 1 year ago
'Princess of Thorns' is a thrilling and enchanting retelling of the fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty. In this story, Sleeping Beauty's daughter, Aurora, is blessed with fairy magic that gives her the qualities she will need to win back her throne. With this blessing came a curse - she will destroy the free will of any man who dares to kiss her. After her brother is taken captive by the ogre queen that stole her throne all those years ago, Aurora is ready to fight like a warrior to reclaim what is rightfully hers. She makes an ally out of Prince Niklaas, who is also cursed - he will turn into a swan on his eighteenth birthday unless he can break the spell. Disguised as her brother, Aurora and Niklaas join forces to break both of their curses - before it's too late and terrible things happen. Fairy tale retellings are all the rage right now in YA fiction, and I have to admit that I'm loving the different twists that the tales are getting this time around. When I read that this book was a retelling of Sleeping Beauty - but with her daughter being a warrior princess who is going to fight to win back her throne from an ogre queen - I knew I had to read it. I found the story to be very original while maintaining the "feel" of a fairy tale. I loved Aurora as the main character right from the beginning. Aside from being blessed with fairy magic to have enhanced strength, mercy, and bravery, she is also smart, determined, a loving sister and daughter - and someone who will do whatever it takes to make things right and avenge her mother's death. She was easy to relate to and I was definitely cheering her on throughout the entire book. Niklaas is a strong secondary character with a lot of personality and a great backstory of his own. I liked reading about his family's curse and about his life - and, of course, I loved seeing Aurora and Niklaas get to know each other and watching their relationship grow. (There always needs to be romance in a fairy tale!) The writing was exceptional with a very fast pace with lots of obstacles and twists thrown in. The author uses first person point-of-view to tell the story; however, it's not just Aurora we hear from. The book is told in varying viewpoints between Aurora, Niklaas, and the ogre queen - which gives the reader an intense inside look at the story from three very different angles. We get to see the story through each of their eyes - hearing their private thoughts, inner dialogue, hopes, dreams, fears, desires - everything that makes them unique as a character. I love when authors write in this point of view because it really gives the reader a greater understanding of each character - good or evil - while giving the story a new depth that couldn't be achieved otherwise. The plot was full of action and adventure - there was never a dull moment and the pace was quick but not confusing for the reader and there was an effortless flow throughout the story that made transitioning between character's viewpoints seem natural. Overall, this was one of the best fairy tale retellings I've read - this year or ever. I haven't read any of the author's other works, but you better believe that I'll be snatching them up whenever I get a chance. I can't recommend this book high enough for readers who love fairy tales, retellings, fantasies, and action/adventure novels. If you give this novel a shot, I promise you won't regret it! Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
ZombieJoe More than 1 year ago
Several years ago (before I started writing reviews for WLP), I took up reading some of the YA novels out there. My reasoning was wanting to know what options would be good for giving to my grandchildren. I wanted to gift our granddaughters with books that had a strong message and good role models for them to identify with. The fantasy fiction options that came up in the genre were the ones that left me the most pleasantly surprised. I state this, as I place Princess of Thorns in the same category as those ones from so many years ago. Not so much a retelling (though there is a bit of that), it is like Walking Dead being the story of what happens after the credit roll at the end of a zombie movie. This is what happens after the credits roll on Sleeping Beauty. Which is to say this is really the story of Sleeping Beauty’s children – specifically her daughter Aurora. Who is now in possession of her mother’s fey-blessed magic. While there is a prince in the story, there is so much of Aurora showing herself capable of standing up for herself. In fact, she starts out with Niklaas (the prince) mistaking her for her brother. And while she may be mistaken for a gangling, pre-teen boy, she has the mystical and mental strength to prove his equal. Which is what I look for in a title for ours, a truly strong female lead that shows they can do anything the male protagonists can. This particular story also has another of the characteristics I look for in a story – a believable villain. I have heard it said that the villain wholly believes they are the hero of their own story. The ogre queen made me feel as if she was in the right, at least in her own mind. Though with her being a devourer of human souls, I’m not convinced she was in her right mind. But I will leave that up for you to decide. More so than just the star ratings, I like to rank books based on if I would own a copy, gift a copy, or keep a spare around for gifting. Being as it is the holidays, let’s just say one of these might be under the tree at Casa de Zombie. (I should be safe, as I don’t think any of my grandchildren read my reviews.) 5 Stars Not much I could see as a form of improvement with this story. Loved the prose, the plot, and the characters.
DuckyDi More than 1 year ago
By the Pit, I loved this book! With Sleeping Beauty her mother, Aurora could only grow up beautiful, strong and loyal. A warrior, she knew she had to save her brother from a horrible fate. The queen was a formidable enemy and she could not win this fight alone. While only seventeen, Aurora had fairy magic and the spirit of a warrior. Disguised as a teenage boy, she gathered those who would help her in her quest. Niklaas, who was battling his own fate with an age-old curse, joined Aurora's quest hoping the "young lad" would help him avoid his own loveless future. The author wrote of forbidden love amidst a beautiful background of fairy tale and fantasy. Her gentle touch and gift for natural dialogue - at times serious, funny and wonderfully sarcastic - brought this story to life for me. I am long past the age of the young adults portrayed here but their yearning for love and family, good over evil, is timeless. I couldn't help but think of the Princess Bride story as I read of evil curses, nail-biting adventures and, of course, love. Always love. This is the first "young adult" book I've read since I probably was one myself. I've avoided books in this genre/age category for a long time, believing there was no longer anything I could relate to or read anew. Stacey Jay has changed that opinion. A good story breaches any perceived barrier of time. I will be eagerly looking for more by this author. Awesome! I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
BooksbyNightMommybyDay More than 1 year ago
**I received a free copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for my honest review** 4 stars! Happily-ever-after…that’s how all fairytales end, but what happens after?  What happens  Prince Charming isn’t as wonderful as he appears in to the audience…how he puts his wife and children up in the forest away from the castle to hid them away from his first wife, who just so happens to be of the Ogre race that wants to take over the human race? For Rose (Sleeping Beauty), this is her life – her and her two children Aurora and Jor.  They have been imprisoned in the dungeon by the crowned ogre queen, Ekeeta, who is determined to see the ogre prophecy come to pass – which requires a briar-born child such as Aurora or Jor to fulfill.    To keep her children safe, Rose kills herself and transfers the fairy-gifts that were granted to her upon her birth by the fae to the then 7 year old Aurora.  Then Aurora and her little brother Jor escape the dungeon through a trash chute and live with separate fairy families. 10 years later, Aurora is 17 and ready to end the ogre rule once and for all – to put an end to the horrible prophecy that has been looming over her the last 10 years.  She has left the fairy family and second mother, healer Janin and her son Thyne and gone in search of her brother who was taken prisoner by Ekeeta.  She disguises herself as a boy and is taken by the Boughtwards – only to be rescued by the 11th son of the immortal King Eldorio of Kanvasola, Niklaas.  He is seeking Aurora out to break his own curse of becoming a swan on his 18th birthday.  Together,  they go in search of an army to take on Ekeeta and her ogre brethren.  But with her spies and animals that have eyes everywhere and are always looking out for them, will Aurora in her boy disguise as Ror, and Niklaas make it back in time to save her brother’s life, her thrown, Niklaas’s life, and the lives of her entire kingdom? I really wasn’t super impressed with this book during the first few chapters…it was slow and confusing, as I didn’t understand why it was telling us about a king who wanted to stay king forever, and therefore cursed his sons.  But once the action started, it didn’t stop – that and the beginning two stories finally feel into place and made perfect sense.  I was a chapter away from saying DNF, but I’m soooooo glad I didn’t stop!  Aurora and Niklaas’s relationship (while more of a brotherly one on Niklass’s side for most of the story) was a great progression of friendship to eventually more romantic.  I LOVED the spin on the fairy-tale of Sleeping Beauty and where things went after the Happily-Ever-After – and the fact that it dipped more into the real world where we sometimes have to actually WORK for it.  Good read – just remember DON’T stop reading after just the first few chapters as it really gets going well into the book.  You won’t regret it!!
Alyssa75 More than 1 year ago
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay Publisher: Delacorte Press Publication Date: December 9, 2014 Rating: 4 stars Source: eARC from NetGalley Summary (from Goodreads): 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? What I Liked: I feel like I have been a "fan" of Stacey Jay for a really long time, without actually reading her books. I'm apathetic about her Juliet Immortal series, but I've always wanted to read Of Beast and Beauty, and now, this book. I'm a huge fan of fairy tale retellings, books based on fairy tales, original fairy tales, etc. So, I was all over this book when I saw that, one, it was by Stacey Jay and two, it was fairy-tale-based fantasy. Princess Aurora is fairy-blessed by her mother passing her gifts to her, but the gifts are a curse of a sort. Aurora has the ability to steal the will of anyone she kisses. So Aurora won't kiss anyone else, after Thyne. Dressed as a boy, Aurora and her brother Jor live with the fairies, until one day, Jor is captured by the ogre queen. A human prince finds Aurora, and believing her to be Jor, makes a deal with her: he'll help her find her way to the Feeding Hills, if she will bring him to Aurora (he believes that she is Jor). Bu the road to regaining her throne - and Niklaas obtaining Aurora's favor is not straight and narrow. Who will survive, and who will win? Right from the start, I knew that the intricacy of this world and its history would leave me breathless. It's fantasy, and it's amazing. Jay adapts the worlds of Sleeping Beauty and creates her ow fairy tale. Sleeping Beauty is Aurora's mother, and Aurora is the heir to the throne of which the ogre queen currently has taken possession. Jay does a fantastic job of setting up the history and timeline of events of this novel, I was impressed by how well the world was developed! I was rooting for Aurora during this entire book. Not once did I completely not understand her decisions or motivation. I felt for her as she pretended to by Jor, using her fairy ways to make excuses for the long hair and privacy when bathing and slightly more feminine ways. Niklaas knew that Aurora was very feminine-looking for a boy, but he never suspected that it wasn't Jor. Nevertheless, I really felt for Aurora. She did an amazing job of pretending, of hiding herself. Aurora is pretty kickbutt. She has incredibly powers thanks to her magical gift, but she is also very brave and determined. She and Niklaas argue all the time, because both are stubborn, and want their way to be done. When two royals get together... it's especially funny because 60% of the book is spent with Niklaas believing that Aurora is Jor - and Aurora has to go through the journey to the Feeding Hills listening to how much Niklaas wants to marry her (but he doesn't realize that it is her). I really like Niklaas. He is also brave, but in a calmer, more rational, peaceful way. His life hasn't been easy at all. All eleven of his brothers have been turned into swans upon turning eighteen, because his father had his sons cursed so that none would ever ascend his throne. Niklaas wants to escape the curse by marrying Aurora, an heir to a different throne. But Aurora doesn't ever want to marry Niklaas, because of her gift and ability to take away the will of whomever she kisses. The romance is so subtle in this book. Again, about 60% of this book is spent with Niklaas thinking that Aurora is a boy. So, for 60% of the book, we have these two as friends, good friends, like brothers. I actually really like this setup, because they really get to know each other - especially since Niklaas believes that Aurora is male. While their relationship is built on lies (on both sides), the core of the relationship is a strong friendship. And then Niklaas finds out. And then he's mad. And yet... there is still so much between them. I really like the plot of the story, dealing with Aurora trying to get her throne back, and Niklaas running from the curse. I wanted to know how both would get what they wanted, because both seemed to have impossible goals. This book wraps up really nicely, as a standalone should. I won't say anything specific, but I liked the ending, all around! What I Did Not Like: While I really liked the ending, I was a bit confused about some of the events. I can't say anything because then I'll be spoiling things and I don't want to spoil anything. But I was confused as to what specifically happened to the ogre queen in the end. Also, why she did what she did, in relation to Aurora. Basically... what? I need clarification. Or possibly a re-read. Would I Recommend It: I would recommend this novel to any fantasy lover out there! Or if you like fairy tale retellings! Or if you like a sweet romance that isn't just a romance! The subtleties are beautiful in this book. There are so many beautiful things about this book! I'm so glad I gave it a shot. Rating: 4 stars. My first Stacey Jay novel was a huge success! I'll definitely be going back to read Of Beast and Beauty at some point... just need to obtain a copy soon!
WorldsCollide More than 1 year ago
A stunningly beautiful, endlessly thrilling, and wonderfully romantic YA fantasy, Princess of Thorns was a brilliant book that I absolutely loved. With its interesting take on what happened to Sleeping Beauty and her children and its vivid world-building, this book was amazing. The setting of this book was beautifully set up. I wasn't swamped with details, but there was enough for me to feel totally absorbed into the fantasy world, complete with an air of magic. It really made the book that much more engaging and I thought it was well done. Aurora was a wonderful heroine. She was very strong, able to take care of herself and definitely a force to be reckoned with. She could be stubborn and prideful with her reluctance to accept help, but she got better over the course of the book. I really liked how fiercely loyal she was to those she cared about and that, in the end, she knew her priority had to be the safety of all the people of the world. She was a fantastic character and I really liked her. Niklaas was amazing as well. He was slightly arrogant, very charming, and absolutely adorable. He was determined to find a way to break his curse but helping his friends came first. I liked how, after finding out how strong Aurora was, he knew he had to rethink his view of the world and he did. He was just wonderful and I adored him. The romance was great. Because Aurora was disguised as a boy at first, it started off as a friendship and I really liked that. Aurora and Niklaas really got to know and respect each other as who they were before any deeper feelings complicated anything. And, when Niklaas found out that Aurora was a girl, there was a noticeable transition from friends to something more, rather than just switching right over, and I liked how that was done. They were great together. They were strong on their own, but even stronger together and I just loved them as a couple. The plot was totally gripping and I was hooked the entire way through. There were plenty of thrills and twists that kept me on the edge of my seat. I absolutely loved the story and the ending was perfect. Princess of Thorns was a brilliant YA fantasy that I absolutely loved. Everything about it was simply stunning. YA lovers, this book is a must read. *I received a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
valercrazy More than 1 year ago
Once upon a time there lived a prince and a princess with no happy ever after... Princess of Thorns had me hooked from the very first page with an opener like that and I stayed hooked until the very end. Heck, it's over and I'm still hooked, I keep thinking about the characters and HOW I NEED MORE! This is my first Stacey Jay novel (where have I been living?) but it will definitely not be my last. She's awesome! The writing, the characters, and the concept all made this a huge win for me! Let's start with the writing, it was beautiful and it flowed which really helped shaped the world that these characters were living in. This reminds me, there is a map involved! I know so many people love maps in their fantasy novels and this one proved extremely helpful. The wonderful writing connected me with the world, the characters, and the past. One of my favorite aspects is that it's written through three different POVs (I'll get to that in the next paragraph) and they each had their own unique voices and characteristics. I have to give Stacey kudos for that, they were all distinct and wonderful! Next up: The characters. These characters, whether they were major, minor, important, not important, they were ALL WONDERFUL! The main character, Aurora, is Sleeping Beauty's daughter and a crazy awesome character; her mother refused for her to be fairy blessed at birth realizing that it's both a gift and a curse but she later gets her gifts and all sorts of things come from that. She is such a strong female character who I instantly loved from the very first second we met her. If it's possible, Niklaas is just as good of a character as Aurora is! His father in the Immortal King and out of fear of someone taking his throne, he has cursed each of his sons to die on their eighteenth birthdays; the witch who cast the curse took pity and instead transformed them into swans but in Niklaas' eyes, that isn't much better. He is on a quest to wed in order to sidestep his curse and he is just awesome, I could just keep talking about him forever. The final POV is a POV that we rarely have and that is the Ogre Queen who is all sorts of bad news; her POVs were CREEPY because ogres take the souls of humans so she spoke in plurals and it freaked me out. The other minor characters were spot on and I loved them all! Princess of Thorns is wholly unique; I don't want to say too much but it is definitely different and the plot twists.... I stopped functioning during a few of them but I'm fine now. It's just... so brilliant. I've never read a book quite like this one. Like I mentioned earlier, it's about Sleeping Beauty's daughter but that wasn't a big part of the book in my opinion; they mentioned her mom's sleep once in an off-handed remark but that about it. I loved it nonetheless. This book is full of contrasts and the biggest one was between Aurora and Niklaas; Aurora is a strong female while Niklaas has grown up in a world where women can't be strong and they have more than one clash. I definitely sided with Aurora on this one, I got SO frustrated by Niklaas but it all made sense and I loved seeing the two of them change. The set up for the ending is fantastic, I had to reevaluate everything and I saw how she did what she was doing. The only note that I have is that the pacing is a little weird but also understandable. In conclusion, I have taken on the responsibility of pushing this book to death so I hope that you check it out. Also, CAN IT BE DECEMBER 9TH YET?????
janice1231 More than 1 year ago
Review of Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay 4.5 stars -- A completely different tale of Sleeping Beauty This book was a departure from the normal genre of books that I usually read, but I was willing to give it a try on the recommendation of a friend. This story deals with what happened to Sleeping Beauty after she got her prince and her daughter's (Aurora) journey to reclaim her throne. Princess Aurora turns out to be a fairy, blessed with Sleeping Beauty's fairy powers, but yet cursed to destroy any male she kisses. Prince Niklaas is searching for Aurora to get her to marry him before his eighteenth birthday, or he will turn into a swan like his ten brothers before him. Dressed as her brother, she convinces Niklaas to help her raise an army to go against the evil Queen, but she really needs the army to help save her brother. Will she be able to save her brother before she dies? Will Niklaas turn into a swan like his brothers? I have to say, it took me a couple of chapters to really get into the story and figure out the three different POVs, but it picked up the pace not too far in. This makes you think about what happened with the rest of the princesses we all grew up hearing about. How did their lives turn out? Does the fairy tale always end with a happy ending that lasts for eternity? This is a book that I feel comfortable passing down to my 16 year old granddaughter. Well worth the time to read. ********** **Complimentary Copy provided by Author for an honest review.**