“Thorn” was originally published in 2012 and was recently republished by HarperTeen because an editor fell in love with it. After reading this fantasy, it is easy to see why.
The main character Princess Alyrra has always longed to be free from her family’s abuse and her rank as princess. When a foreign king offers Alyrra his son’s hand in marriage, it is impossible for her to reject knowing she’ll never have to live with her cruel brother and bitter mother ever again. However on her long journey to the new kingdom, she is deceived by her maid and wakes up in a body that is not her own.
Frightened and alone, Alyrra now has the chance to find out what she really wants in life: a royal, tedious, standard life or having a soul that’s truly her own. Alyrra chooses the simple life of a goose girl. No more princess, fancy dinners and dances, Alyrra is finally living her dream.
But when prince Kestrin becomes suspicious of the imposter, Alyrra and Kestrin will have to combine forces to save each other's lives and discover the true dark power behind everything that threatens. As they dig deeper Alyrra discovers that not accepting her fate as a princess has true consequences she can no longer bear.
This retelling of “The Goose Girl,” by The Brothers Grimm, has a number of new themes scattered throughout, from justice to slavery, revenge, social hierarchy and much more. The author’s writing style is extremely beautiful, perfectly conveying the book’s themes.
Alyrra is absolutely amazing. She is mature beyond her years and is always thinking of others, something that is hard not to like in a characters. Her interactions with the prince also are stunning. The author also weaves together dialogues between each of the other characters.
“Thorn” offers a good balance of plot and characters. While the book isn’t exactly action-packed, the interactions between the characters keeps readers engaged from the first page. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is in stymied with reading, or someone in search of a standalone. “Thorn” will not disappoint.