Review of Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay

PrincessofThornsPrincess of Thorns
By: Stacey Jay
Release Date: December 9th 2014
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Format: E-ARC
Source: Publilsher via NetGalley

An electronic copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:

Though she looks like a mere mortal, Princess Aurora is a fairy blessed with enhanced strength, bravery, and mercy yet cursed to destroy the free will of any male who kisses her. Disguised as a boy, she enlists the help of the handsome but also cursed Prince Niklaas to fight legions of evil and free her brother from the ogre queen who stole Aurora’s throne ten years ago.

Will Aurora triumph over evil and reach her brother before it’s too late? Can Aurora and Niklaas break the curses that will otherwise forever keep them from finding their one true love?

The Story:
Princess of Thorns was the second book of Stacey Jay’s that I’ve read. I adored her retelling of Beauty and the Beast with Of Beast and Beauty and was so excited to see she was taking on Sleeping Beauty.

I expected this to be a retelling but in actuality it was more of an expansion to Sleeping Beauty. The main character, Aurora, was Sleeping Beauty’s daughter. The story was the slightest bit confusing in the prologue and first chapter just because I was wrapping my mind around the world and players. Once the story got started I was hooked and wanted nothing more than to read this book (why must I do other things when all I want to do is read??).

I absolutely love theΒ girl disguised as a boy trope. I never get tired of this particular plot device and when it’s done right, which it is here, it’s so much fun to read. I loved the way Jay utilized it and made it work with her story beautifully. I felt that it was never obvious that Aurora was a girl dressed as a boy and was fully believable.

The adventure side of this story was fast paced and kept me riveted. I loved the action scenes and could easily visualize the fighting scenes. There was a good amount of adventuring which felt pretty typical to the fantasy genre but of course the writing made it fun and never boring.

Many aspects of Princess of Thorns have been done before- girl dressed as boy, curses, miscommunication and a kiss stealing the will of another person-regardless Jay was still able to give this book it’s own heart and mesh these together to create a story that I adored (even with my reading a ton of fantasy and seeing these things used often).

Have I mentioned I enjoyed this book?

It was such a pleasure to read and was perfect for what I needed right now. I wanted a fast paced, absorbing book that had heart and the sense of adventure. Jay gave me all of this plus a couple I could ship.

The Characters:
I loved, loved the characters in this book. Aurora was badass and perfect as the ‘boy’ Ror but also as the Princess out to avenge her family and save her brother. She was a true heroine ready to sacrifice to save others. I loved her struggle with the line between deception and truth and how much of herself to give. She was a well developed, likeable character that I immediately rooted for.

Niklaas was such a great addition to Aurora/Ror’s quest. I adored their banter and felt their connection early on. I loved his witty dialog and cocky attitude. He was so much fun to read and felt incredibly fleshed out to me. I also appreciated that he wasn’t just a side character there to help Ror on her quest, he was on his own adventure with very high stakes.

The villains of the story, the ogres, were wonderfully done as well. I loved that Jay gave them a mythology and appearance that stood them apart from other things I’ve read. They ate the souls of people and marked their bodies with symbols representing the souls they’d devoured. I loved this tidbit and would love to see more about them in a future book.

Final Thoughts:
Princess of Thorns was a wonderful expansion to Sleeping Beauty that kept me riveted to the page (or my phone in this case). I loved the characters and story and want more from this world (hoping for a novella or additional book).


I’ve got an international Twitter giveaway going for a pre-order of Princess of Thorns.


  1. says

    Wow, so happy to hear you loved this one! And I was intrigued by the book before but after reading your review, I really need to read this one!!
    Fantastic review, Kristen!

  2. says

    I’m so glad you loved this one! I *almost* requested it when I saw it on NetGalley but restrained myself. I think this is one I’ll definitely have to pick up once it’s out (if I don’t win your giveaway, haha!) Thanks so much for that giveaway and wonderful review! πŸ™‚

  3. says

    WITTY BANTER AND COCKY ATTITUDE?! I need that in my life. That’s basically what I look for in a male lead (haha does that say a lot about me :P) and I’m so glad that Princess of Thorns has this element, especially since I’ve been on the fence about this one. Fast-paced? Count me in. Thanks for the fantastic review, Kristen! x

  4. says

    Wow, Princess of Thorns sounds great! I haven’t read any of Jay’s books although I do own her Romeo & Juliet inspired series. I like modern day takes on classics, so I’ll add this one to my tbr. Lovely review!

  5. says

    Aw, yay πŸ˜€ I’m so glad you loved this book Kristen. <3 Amazing review, as always πŸ™‚ I cannot wait to read this book. So so excited about it. And it makes me so happy that you loved it πŸ˜€ Thank you for sharing sweetie. <3

  6. says

    Ohhh lovely review, Kristen!! Your review has me jumping up and down, excited to read this πŸ™‚ I think I’ll start it next… I’m so glad it’s action-packed and has great characters. ooh this Niklaas guy sounds wonderful!! I love when fairytale retellings extend, not just alter the story. Fantastic review, Kristen!

  7. says

    I’m such a sucker for fairy tale retellings, though I didn’t realize that this was sort of an expansion! I love girls in disguise tropes, too and I do love adventures, haha! Can’t wait to check this out. Thanks for the review!

  8. says

    I skimmed this review because I will be reading this soon but happy you seem to have enjoyed it. I love the way Stacey Jay does retellings — she sort of pulls out themes and uses the original story as a jumping off point. Very excited about this one!
    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics

  9. says

    I just finished and wrote my review for this book, and I completely agree! This is such a fun, adventurous story, and I love how much the characters grow over the course of the story. I was nervous about how the romance would go, but Aurora and Niklaas’ have such good chemistry, both before and after the big reveal. πŸ˜‰

    Great review, Kristen!

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