A princess with two futures. A destiny all her own.
Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads.
Series: Dauntless Path#1
Author: Intisar Khanani
Publication Date: March 24, 2020
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Page Count: 458
Genre: Young Adult, Retellings, Fantasy
My Rating: ★★★★
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A princess with two futures. A destiny all her own
Between her cruel family and the contempt she faces at court, Princess Alyrra has always longed to escape the confines of her royal life. But when she’s betrothed to the powerful prince Kestrin, Alyrra embarks on a journey to his land with little hope for a better future.
When a mysterious and terrifying sorceress robs Alyrra of both her identity and her role as princess, Alyrra seizes the opportunity to start a new life for herself as a goose girl.
But Alyrra soon finds that Kestrin is not what she expected. The more Alyrra learns of this new kingdom, the pain and suffering its people endure, as well as the danger facing Kestrin from the sorceress herself, the more she knows she can’t remain the goose girl forever.
With the fate of the kingdom at stake, Alyrra is caught between two worlds and ultimately must decide who she is, and what she stands for.
I’m excited to be a part of the THORN blog tour with The Fantastic Flying Book Club from March 24th – March 30th, 2020!
I received an ARC of this book from HarperTeen via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! In no way does this affect my rating or review.
All included quotes have been taken from an ARC and may not match the finished publication.
Content Warning: Physical & Emotional Abuse, Rape & Attempted Rape, Assault
Mother has never kept me safe from my brother The only time I can remember not fearing him was before my father’s death.
Although she’s grown up as a princess, Princess Alyrra has never known a pleasant life. Tormented and sometimes afraid for her safety from her terrible brother, and disliked by her mother, Alyrra has little hope for a happy life. When a King of a faraway land arrives at their abode to ask for her to become the betrothed of his son, she has no option but to accept. The marriage alliance will provide her family with improved status. Her brother’s hatred towards her has long-jaded her view on men and makes her apprehensive of what the prince will be like.
I have only ever been a tool–something to be used or disregarded, my worth measured in my political acuity and marriage prospects.
Before she leaves her homeland to travel to Menaiya, she is visited by a mage in her dreams, warning her of the many perils ahead and to be wary of whom she trusts. A terrifying sorceress enters the room during his warning, and attacks the nameless mage when Alyrra denies to help her gain the prince for herself. Alyrra wakes up with the knowledge that the dream has foreshadowed what is to come.
Princess Alyrra embarks on her journey to her new home, accompanied by Valka, a previous friend, and Lady that she has long had a falling out with. Despite the mage’s warnings, Alyrra is tricked by Valka and the woman from the dream along the way and has her identity stolen from her. Alyrra and Valka switched bodies, putting her at the mercy of Valka as she took possession of the princess’ body. The only one to know her true form is a talking horse named Falada, that her brother had gifted to her as a wedding gift before leaving.
Once at court, Valka quickly gets rid of Alyrra, stripping her status to a mere peasant. Alyrra becomes a goose girl, and rather likes her new, simple life. As time unfolds, and her crossings with Prince Kestrin increase, Alyrra finds herself drawn to not only him, but his kingdom and the people within. Knowing of the trick the sorceress has set in place for Kestrin, Alyrra must decide if she wants to remain the goose girl, or become the princess that she has always been to help mend a kingdom in disarray.
Thorn is a heart-wrenching tale about a constant and admirable princess. This retelling of the Grimm Brothers’ The Goose Girl highlights how important healthy and supportive relationships are to have, and how terribly toxic ones can attack one’s self-worth.
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Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. Born in Wisconsin, she has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. She first remembers seeing snow on a wintry street in Zurich, Switzerland, and vaguely recollects having breakfast with the orangutans at the Singapore Zoo when she was five. She currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband and two young daughters. Until recently, Intisar wrote grants and developed projects to address community health with the Cincinnati Health Department, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy. Intisar’s debut novel, Thorn, was picked up by HarperTeen and will be re-released in Winter 2020. In the meantime, she’s hard at work on the remaining books of The Sunbolt Chronicles.
Intisar is extending this promotion until the end of the tour, so we have a chance to share this:
On March 24th Thorn will be releasing from Hot Key (UK) and HarperTeen (US/CA)! To celebrate, I’m offering some amazing Thorn goodies to everyone who …
– pre-orders/orders a copy of Thorn before March 31st at 23.59.
– OR requests it from their library (library hold / suggested purchase) before March 31st at 23.59.
Here’s what’s up for grabs:
Physical goodies (US/UK): PICTURED ABOVE
– A Thorn Bookmark
– A set of Chibi Stickers featuring Thorn characters
– A Signed Bookplate
PLUS Digital goodies (worldwide):
– A PDF of Brambles – a Thorn prequel short story so you can jump into Alyrra’s world now!
– A PDF of The (Annotated) Goose Girl – the original fairytale with annotations from yours truly in the margin
-A coloring page of three Thorn-themed bookmarks
All you need to do to enter is send a proof of purchase (or screenshot of your library hold), your name and address to firstname.lastname@example.org. T&Cs apply!
UK entrants: Hot Key Books rocks and can mail you physical goodies as well as the digital. Check it out here: http://hotkeybooks.com/thorn-pre-order/
Non-US/UK entrants: I really, really wanted to offer you the physical goodies, but postage is a bear. If you would like to cover the cost of an international stamp ($1.20), I can absolutely mail you the goodies as well. E-mail in your proof/screenshot for your digital goodies, and I’ll link you up so you can do that.
Original link: http://booksbyintisar.com/thorn-pre-order/
The universal book link for purchasing Thorn is: www.books2read.com/thorn
Want to win a copy for yourself?
1st Prize: Win a book of your choice from Bookdepository (INT*)
2nd Prize: Win a THORN swag pack (stickers, bookmark, and a signed bookplate) [INT]
– Bookdepository: Open INTERNATIONALLY, *where Bookdepository ships to (https://www.bookdepository.com/help/topic/HelpId/3/Which-countries-do-you-deliver-to#helpContent).
– Swag bundle: Open INTERNATIONALLY.
Giveaway Starts: 24th March 2020 and Ends: 7th April 2020