ARC Review : Thorn by Intisar Khanani

Publication: Hot Key Books
Publication Date: March 24th, 2020 (first published: May 30th, 2012)
Genre: YA Fantasy, Retellings, Romance
Buy Links: Kinokuniya Malaysia | MPH Online
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Source: Huge thanks to Pansing for the review copy in exchange for an honest review
Rating: 4.5


Between her cruel family and the contempt she faces at court, Princess Alyrra has always longed to escape the confines of her royal life. But when she’s betrothed to the powerful prince Kestrin, Alyrra embarks on a journey to his land with little hope for a better future.

When a mysterious and terrifying sorceress robs Alyrra of both her identity and her role as princess, Alyrra seizes the opportunity to start a new life for herself as a goose girl.

But Alyrra soon finds that Kestrin is not what she expected. The more Alyrra learns of this new kingdom, the pain and suffering its people endure, as well as the danger facing Kestrin from the sorceress herself, the more she knows she can’t remain the goose girl forever.

With the fate of the kingdom at stake, Alyrra is caught between two worlds and ultimately must decide who she is, and what she stands for.

Thorn is a story inspired by The Goose Girl Fairytale. Honestly, I can't recall The Goose Girl story until I get into the story then all those memories, when I was a kid reading The Goose Girl, comes to my mind. Also, I just realized that Thorn has been published back in 2012. How on earth I didn't even realized it? Seriously, I fell in love with Intisar's writing. It is a really wonderful experience in reading pages by pages of Thorn. 

"I am the Lady who has lost her soul. I am the princess who has lost her self. I am the goose girl who has lost her way. I am the child who can scream no more."

Here's why you should read it;

1. It's a fairy-tale retelling. Of course, I mentioned it above but still, a fairy-tale retelling is amazingly written. 

2. The main character, Princess Alyrra is well developed throughout the story. She was at the beginning described as a shallow, slow girl that does not interested in any political things. Despite that, she is a caring, lovely, kind person. Her relationship with maids, the people she met and work with were really wonderful, she is also good with horses. However, she has been bullied by her cruel brother (I hate him!) and the relationship between Princess Alyrra and her mother isn't that good as well. 

3. There's a spice of magical things sprinkle around the story.

4. The romance in the story is not so much but we can see, the progress on both Princess Alyrra and soon to be wed to, Prince Kestrin. The moment they met it wasn't that wonderful but as time goes by when Prince Kestrin actually starts to realized Alyrra's real identity and the fake princess.

5. Did I mention a fake princess? Yes, I am. How it happened? Who is pretending to be Princess Alyrra and what she had done with the real Princess Alyrra? Ehem, should pick this book once it is available ya! I don't want to spoil it much.

Overall, I love Intisar Khanani's writing. It was really a pleasant reading in which I'm taking my time to read and fully immersed in the story. The romance is not the center of the story but still, I like it. Each of the characters in this story is absolutely well developed although I want the real princess to confront or anything with the fake princess though it does but wasn't really enough for me, I guess. The story does gets draggy and kinda slow which I am taking it off for a few hours then continue my reading back. Anyway, if you like a fairy-tale, retelling story, I am truly recommended you to read this one and get it once it is available in all bookstores this March 2020.