Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay

maryam162424's review against another edition

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August 2, 2019:

*3.75* A nicely paced novel that really showed what true sacrifice means. I appreciate Aurora’s values and how she handled things. I don’t know why but I just didn’t love it as much the first time.

sjj169's review against another edition

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3.5 stars

It took me awhile to read this book. Not because it's a bad book but because I read it over the Christmas holidays when I had the boy child and hubs here and well..they are kinda needy.

Anyways..the book. Aurora and Jor are the famous "sleeping beauty's" children. The Sleeping Beauty tale did not go as we all know it. Her prince was a cheating asshole who was already married when he awoke the princess.

New wifey is an ogre who does not like sharing the throne. So the two kids end up being raised by the Fey.
Jor is kidnapped by the Ogre queen and is going to be killed unless Aurora can find her army to assist her in freeing her brother.
She teams up with Prince Niklass (she is dressed and portraying herself as her brother) to try and help the lad escape the evil queen's clutches. Niklass has troubles coming all of his own..the author did a good job of not making me bored with how the story went. Great premise.

Guess what? This was a fun book. NO insta-love. As a matter of fact the romance between the main couple is hard fought. They argue as much as my husband and I do. (Yes, I really do like him)
Then the ending came around and it just wrapped up way too neatly. Overall it's a decent read though.

I received an arc copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

duskbladedrow's review against another edition

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I wanted to hate this book after what Aurora did to Niklaas near the end of the book, but I didn't. I still enjoyed this story as a whole and found myself keeping my fingers crossed that at least Niklaas could have his happy ending. Still wish I could have slapped some sense into Aurora though.

sc104906's review against another edition

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Okay, so Sleeping Beauty did not live happily ever after. Her prince was a jerk with multiple wives (which she didn’t find out until it was too late) and Sleeping Beauty wished she was never woken. Ror and her brother saw how twisted Sleeping Beauty and the Prince’s relationship was and ultimately saw how it lead to the demise of both of their parents.

Their mother is killed in front of their eyes, but her last dying action is to give Ror a fairy blessing. This blessing makes her stronger, smarter, more agile, and really messes with her love life. As the years pass, Ror and her brother continue to develop their skills to rise against their enemies and take command of the throne. However, the brother gets kidnapped and Ror will stop at nothing to get him back.

Prince Niklaas has his own curse and is determined to marry Princess Aurora (Ror). Once he finds her, he thinks she is her brother. Ror needs Niklaas’s help to rescue her brother, so she plays the part of her brother. Will the determined prince unwittingly win the heart of his princess?

While this novel is long, I really liked it. The grittier fairy tale retell was a nice change of pace. If you liked this author’s Beauty and the Beast retell, you will not be disappointed by this novel.

cupcakegirly's review against another edition

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Story: 4.5 Stars

I'm often skeptical of re-tellings, but this one was done in such an imaginative way that I was immediately invested in the characters and the outcome of the story. Stacey Jay gives us just enough of the traditional Sleeping Beauty tale (Disney's version at least) to feel familiar yet this Aurora is her own unique character.

Niklaas was an enjoyable addition and it was refreshing to watch the way their ending unfolded. They have to work at it, admit their mistakes and imperfections, but the ending left me completely satisfied.

"What am I, a petunia?" ~ Aurora

Fans of high fantasy YA, and fairytales will enjoy this.

Audio: 3 Stars

The sound quality was great and the narrator did a decent job overall, but it sounded as if she had trouble deciding who should have which accent and sticking with it. Aurora often spoke with an Irish accent but fell out of it easily, and Niklaas is supposed to be a 17 year old prince, but sounded more like a 90 year old man from old world England. If the story hadn't been as good as it was, I would have quit this audiobook.

quiet_chaos's review against another edition

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Princess of Thorns
by Stacey Jay
Rating: 5 out of 5
Review also found on my blog at

I almost didn't read this book. And that would have been a tragedy, though of course I wouldn't have known it. I judge books almost solely by their covers, but sometimes will just go off of what people recommend to me. This one was different. I read Of Beast and Beauty and loved it so much. I started Juliet Immortal because it was already on my TBR list, but I just couldn't really get into it. I like modern stories sometimes, but can't read many in the young adult area, mostly because there are too many pop references and it makes me crazy.
So when I saw this one come out, I was a little torn. I didn't love the cover (or the tagline: Sometimes you have to fight for happily-ever-after). But I read the synopsis and decided I'd want to try it so it was added to my TBR and then forgotten. I picked it up when I went back through my list for my next pick and headed up to the library to find something new. Of course, I found several other things, too, and I'd forgotten what it was about this one that made me want to read it. I brought it home anyway, but was on a graphic novel kick and ended up setting this one to the side before I even started it. I checked my due dates though, and saw that this one was due and had no renewals left. I think it was actually because someone else wants it, not that I had it for 9 weeks already... surely. Seeing that I had less than a week, I picked it up to start it to make my final decision and either read it or not. Three days later, it's in the Read and Loved It stack.

What I loved:
The characters. There was magic and there was some of the teen angst, but for the most part these seemed like very realistic portrayals of how these people would have felt about their circumstances.
The relationships. Man, I'd love to go into detail about this, but I don't want to spoil anything. I will say that Aurora and Niklaas's relationship was one of my favorites in a YA book (and possibly in just any book).
The premise of the story. I think maybe somewhere I read that this was a retelling of Sleeping Beauty, but it's not at all. The Sleeping Beauty background is from the original, not the Disney version, but really this is about her daughter. There are many borrowed ideas from other stories, but the way they are used and tied together worked well for me.
The point of view. I really like first person. The only thing I (usually) like even more is when there are multiple first person accounts. I like knowing what everyone is thinking, but not from a third person viewpoint.
My favorite quotes (there were so many, but I wanted to pick the ones that summed up the reasons I loved the book and also that didn't accidentally spoil anything):
“Why should any woman learn how wretched this world can be if they don't have to?”
“Because they are strong enough to know the truth, and proving that to themselves will make them stronger. And perhaps, if men were brought up to be gentler people, women wouldn't have need of protectors.”

“Maybe together we'll prove that prophecies, and curses, and kings and queens with nothing but evil in their souls aren't as powerful as people helping each other. People tying their hearts and minds together and telling fate to go stuff itself.”

As a general rule, I try really hard to think of “Things I Didn't Love.” Honestly, I can't for this one. Some of the reasons I loved the book are reasons other people will hate it. So if by those, it doesn't sound like it's for you, then maybe it's not. But this may be my favorite book I've read this year, and I can't believe I almost missed it.

madirowa's review against another edition

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I avidly read fairytale retellings so this was one of those books that I just obviously had to pick up. It is said to be a Sleeping Beauty retelling but it is more of a combination of many different fairytales. The whole story had more of a Mulan vibe to it than a Sleeping Beauty but no matter. I like that sort of plot line so I was cool with that.

Aurora is a fairy-blessed girl with the gift of strength, bravery, and mercy. Of course this curse has a dark side. She is given a heart no man she loves could defy so pretty much any boy she loves whom she kisses she takes the free will away from. Then you have Niklass. He is cursed to turn into a swan like his ten older brothers if he doesn't marry a princess in line for the throne before his eighteenth birthday. So Niklass is searching for Princess Aurora to wed her.

Instead he finds her brother, Prince Jor, or so he thinks. It's actually Aurora disguised as a boy and has him call her Ror as a nickname. Jor is actually imprisoned and Aurora is trying to rally an army to free him. Ror and Niklaas make a bargain that if Niklaas helps Ror build an army then Ror will bring him to his sister. Of course that gets complicated because Ror is Aurora but anyways it makes for a interesting story line.

I know some people think it was slowly paced but I found myself hooked. I just kept reading and reading until I was done. It's wasn't flawless but because of my love for fairytale retellings it's hard for me to not like it.

One if the problems I did have with the book was that you are sort of just thrown into the world without much explanation. It's just like 'deal with it and read'. I personally look for more world building in a fantasy so this was definitely a negative side. And then, like many YA books towards the end of the book you want to strangle the characters because they're being stubborn and utterly stupid. But otherwise I like it.

My favorite part of the book was the relationship between Aurora and Niklaas throughout the entire book. It's funny because Niklaas isn't trying to woo Ror when he thinks she is a boy so you can see the real side of him. Niklaas and Ror develop an earnest relationship and become good friends and you can see how something more is sort of there even when Niklaas thinks Ror is a boy.

This book isn't for everybody. As a fairytale retelling I loved it. Looking at it purely as a fantasy it needed way more world building. There is some action and obviously romance but even though I found it fast paced I know some people did not. I just love my fairytale retellings!

tangotini's review against another edition

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It started off interesting - I liked the relationship between the MC and the prince, but the world they were setting in was a bit confusing. I didn't have a clear picture of any of the other species, locations, or characters they visited, and when I tried to go back and reread parts to try to fix that, I still couldn't really get a clear picture. Plot-wise, The constant references to the "prophecies" was annoying, and I didn't feel that invested in why the prince's prophecy was so important (i.e., "why should I care"). The pacing of the narrative also wasn't great; it took them a good chunk of the book to get to their first Quest destination, and all the points after that were just hard to follow. The ending, while sweet, felt a bit abrupt? Like, there were two or three more attempted plot twists before the "happy ending" finally happened on the very last page – and none of them felt organic.

I thought the premise and narrative were interesting, but I wish the worldbuilding and pacing had been better. I'm disappointed and would not reread this.

juicelina's review against another edition

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It was more of a 3.5
This book was interesting. Overall I think I enjoyed it although the ending could have been better. I have a weird love for books that involve gender benders for some reason and I also love fairytale retellings and according to the blurb this book contained both. Unfortunately there was not much fairytale retelling except for a little in the beginning of the story. But the gender bender was still pretty good. I'm not completely sure how I feel about this book. There was a lot of good and bad.

The bad: I feel as if I didn't get enough information or background for the world and most of the characters and the little background we do get I felt as if it was really rushed. Also I feel as if the focus drifted from the more important issue (saving the kingdoms) to the lesser issue (breaking niklaas's curse). Lastly the ending felt awfully convenient. It was like we were building up for something huge but it ended up solving itself in the easiest way possible with no thought at all.

The good: the writing was simple and I enjoyed reading it. I also liked how when niklaas finds out aurora's true identity he doesn't immediately fall for her just because she's a girl. He has conflicted feelings about thinking of her as a sibling rather than a lover. Their friendship over all was really nice and their character development was well done.

So I want to say I enjoyed this book and I found it funny and cute and I almost cried at one point. (Almost!!!) It's not one of those books that I'd read multiple times, but I did enjoy it the first time around.

lunasoleil's review against another edition

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3.5 stars