Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay
**I received a free copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for my honest review**
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!!