Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay
Sleeping Beauty’s daughter, Princess Aurora, must not only save her brother but also reclaim her kingdom from the ogres who have captured them both. Though she is fairy blessed as a warrior she can’t do it alone. In her attempt to raise an army she forms an alliance with none other but the youngest prince, Niklaas, of the king who is allied with the ogres. Aurora was originally mistaken to be her younger brother and decides to take on the facade. The only thing is, Niklaas was on a mission to find Princess Aurora to woo her to marry him to break a curse.
So, this was my second attempt at a Stacey Jay novel, and now I want to go back and try the other one over since I DNF it. This book was addictingly cute. Was it the best fairy tale around? Certainly not, but it definitely hit the spot.
Told in alternating POVs we get to really get to know both characters. However, there were a few parts where we got the ogre queen’s POV as well, and I found them completely unnecessary, even considering the twist we receive at the end. In fact, let’s talk about that twist. I really enjoyed the majority of the book, right up to the alleged twist, and then I found that it resolved itself rather quickly. I did like the ending, but was definitely disappointed with how easily it came about. My thoughts were essentially: we worked for all that, and then this happens? It’s that feeling when you’re watching LOTR or The Hobbit (or reading, and maybe the books explain it better?) when you think, man couldn’t it have been really easy for the eagles to just carry them all the way to Mt. Doom? or for the ghost army to just kill them all? Okay, off topic, I know, but that’s the feeling I got at the resolution to Aurora’s problems.
With that being said though, I really enjoyed reading the book. It was easy, lighthearted, and I genuinely rooted the characters on as they went on their journey. And I tell you what, I was real anxious for the moment that Niklaas found out the Aurora was, well, Aurora. I really appreciated that suddenly his man parts weren’t longing for the girl he thought was a boy the whole time. While he generally thought Aurora was a pretty boy the entire time, it wasn’t shocking that he eventually found her to be an attractive girl. It made the transition much easier to swallow. So they are so stupid about each other that it made their romance endearingly sweet.
The World Building
I liked that this world was built upon one that most are familiar with, except twisted. I honestly was never a big fan of Sleeping Beauty, but this book actually made me want to watch the movie, if not at least read the original fairy tale. I loved the creativity of the fairy gifts and curse that pairs with them.
I adored both Aurora and Niklaas, and it had nothing to do with the fact that they were so unnaturally beautiful. They are both so stubborn, fiery, and think they’re always right. Their bickering made for such an entertaining read. I have pulled two quotes from the book that each character said about the other, and I think it’s just spot on.
‘He isn’t just a prince, he’s a hero, the sort of person even death is hesitant to approach without a nod.”
“Of course she’s a hero, a person willing to face extraordinary odds, to rise to any challenge, and to put the welfare of others before her own.”
I just love that they both think of each other as heroes and it makes my heart all soft and warm.
The Neighbourhood – Stuck with Me