Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay

published on December 9th 2014 by Delacorte Press
fantasy | retellings | romance

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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?


I’m all warning you now: This book won’t be for everybody. It had its fair share of pros and cons, but personally, I thought the novel’s redeeming qualities outweighed the irritating bits.

Why You Must Read the Book:

The elegant writing will surely draw you in. It wasn’t elegant in a “lyrical” sense (I hate those books), but it was simple, but with a very nice flow. The writing definitely made the world more believable for me.

• Character development was great. We actually start off with two bratty, annoying main characters who grow throughout the course of the book. They became stronger both mentally and emotionally. By the end, I respected them both a lot more.

• You’ll love the dynamics between Aurora and Niklaas. Their relationship has the perfect balance between friendship and romance. Of course, Niklaas thought that Aurora was a guy at first (it’s in the blurb), which was a great opportunity to build up a tight friendship.

FEELS! Yup, feels. I didn’t ugly cry or anything, but I did tear up a bit and I just shipped Ror and Niklaas so hard!

Why You Might Hate the Book:

• You might be expecting a Sleeping Beauty retelling… And let me tell you, you won’t get it. If anything, this book was closer to a retelling of Mulan. There were only very little bits and minor details of this book that can be considered part of Sleeping Beauty.

• There wasn’t enough world building. We’re given an intriguing idea of the world (orges, fairies and whatnot… interesting, yeah?), but not enough depth. I would have liked more pages of the book dedicated to the world, how it came to be, and why things are the way they are.

• We don’t get enough of the real antagonist. Said character is only present in a few parts of the book and isn’t given much of a background. I would have wanted to know his story as well.


If you’re looking for a Sleeping Beauty retelling or gorgeous world building, this isn’t the book you’re looking for. But if you just want a simple story with interesting characters, chemistry, and easy-to-read writing, consider giving this book a shot.


Skulls 3.5


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About Aimee

Aimee loves being a little bookworm (okay–she doesn’t like being little). She also loves chocolates and sweets but is freaked out by the thought of possibly getting diabetes.

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18 thoughts on “Review: Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay

  1. OH I LOVE chemistry but I also like my world building so I’m in quite the pickle right now. But I want to sail a ship and this one seems to be a good one. Gah, now I’m conflicted. Plus I love when characters actually grow throughout the reading process. Lovely review, Aimee! x


  2. Hmm, honestly, I love good worldbuilding, so perhaps this one might not be for me, but I know I’m going to at least give it a chance. You never know — it might be better than I expect! And, of course, I love the sound of the friendship. Then again I also like well-rounded antagonists, so now I’m not sure. Haha. :) Great review, though, I love how you’ve listed the pros and cons.


  3. Hmm i’m not sure what I make of this one. I love it when characters have great chemistry but the subpar world building is a bit iffy. Not the biggest fan of those types of things.


  4. I love when a book has a good romance! Since I’ve been pretty excited to read this book, now I really can’t wait to finally read it! Though, I hope I’ll be able to overlook the fact that the world building is not particularly strong. Great review Aimee!


  5. Oooh I’ve been seeing this one around quite a lot lately! I am tempted to preorder a copy, because I’ve been hearing mostly positive things but I honestly need to stop buying books. I had this book buying ban…and IT DID NOT GO TO PLAN AT ALL. I may have bought like 12 or so books since I tried to put that ban into place…yeah…

    Great review, girl! <33


  6. Glad that you enjoyed this book overall, Aimee! Sounds like Stacey Jay’s first book, Of Beast and Beauty, was a lot more solid and well-liked, though. But I haven’t read that or this yet, so I wouldn’t know. xP Lol, I always thought I was the only one who didn’t like those “lyrical” books. I mean, the writing is nice and all, but if it’s too flowery then it just pisses me off. But beautiful writing is always a plus, even if I’m fine without it, too.

    I’m always in awe of authors who’re able to make annoying characters likable in the end. It’s so easy to do the opposite and make the readers hate their guts, but it shows how skillful the author’s writing and planning is when you can see the development and grow to love the characters despite their, um, less redeeming qualities. xD And yay for good romance! I love it when best friends (they sound like pretty good friends?) fall in love with each other — it’s like the sweetest thing ever. <3

    Too bad the villain wasn't as fleshed out as the heroes were, though. That's one thing that bugs me a lot when it happens. Sometimes books focus so much on the good aspect and not enough bad, and even though many people like that, my twisted brain doesn't, bahaha. If anything, it would be even more epic if there was more bad than good. xP

    Either way, I'm happy that this was a decent read! Not sure if I'll check it out, but lovely review as always, hon!


  7. I’m actually quite surprised at how much you liked this, because I went all snobby and judged the book by its cover. I’M SORRY, OKAY? I can’t help it.

    You know I love a good re-tellng (Metal & Wishes, Lunar Chronicles anyone?), so this is right up my street. LOVELY JUBBLY!


  8. I’m glad you enjoyed this one!! I DNFd it 30% in because it was just so slow and boring to me. Ror and Niklaas annoyed me soo much. The writing and lack of world-building annoyed me as well. I guess I just didn’t stick with it long enough to see the great things you did. Perhaps I’ll try again. Lovely review, Aimee <33


  9. Glad you enjoyed this one, Aimee! And fantastic review. :) I’ve never really looked into this book before, but it definitely sounds interesting. I actually haven’t seen Mulan or read anything about the tale before, but I’ll make sure to do so before reading this book if I decide to put it on my TBR. :)


  10. YES YES, MULAN! Man, I loved that cartoon so much, I wish more people knew about it lol.

    So glad to hear they did the character development really well here, and the writing sounds beautiful. Sounds like a divine book to sink my teeth into! Great review Aimee!


  11. Totally agree with your points but I LOVED this one. The romance was the exact opposite of YA instalove. There was no tired triangle, and a lot of character development. It didn’t bother me that the Disney version of Sleeping Beauty wasn’t used. And I always find this author’s worldbuilding a little confusing. I just go with it, because she’s so creative!
    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics


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