Author: Intisar Khanani
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: May 2012
Genre: YA Fantasy
Book Summary (from Goodreads)
For Princess Alyrra, choice is a luxury she’s never had … until she’s betrayed.
Princess Alyrra has never enjoyed the security or power of her rank. Between her family’s cruelty and the court’s contempt, she has spent her life in the shadows. Forced to marry a powerful foreign prince, Alyrra embarks on a journey to meet her betrothed with little hope for a better future.
But powerful men have powerful enemies–and now, so does Alyrra. Betrayed during a magical attack, her identity is switched with another woman’s, giving Alyrra the first choice she’s ever had: to start a new life for herself or fight for a prince she’s never met. But Alyrra soon finds that Prince Kestrin is not at all what she expected. While walking away will cost Kestrin his life, returning to the court may cost Alyrra her own. As Alyrra is coming to realize, sometime the hardest choice means learning to trust herself.
Thorn has received a Badge of Approval from Awesome Indies.
First of all, I LOVE this cover. I also love the story of the Goose Girl, so the combination alone had me picking this up. It didn’t disappoint!
I really enjoy the backstory that the author has given Alyrra. She’s created a complete world, and her attention to detail was very well done. I liked Alyrra’s relationships and the way that the author created a life that made the reader believe she wouldn’t mind being sent to another land. I also really loved that Alyrra, while angry at first about the change in fortune, comes to see it as an opportunity rather than a curse. The way she handles the switch between handmaiden and princess also works well, as does the inclusion of the villain. It helps to carry the story further than just a jealous maid.
The prince and the supporting characters are well done, though I must admit that I wanted to know more about the Snatchers, as well as the Red Hawk and his place in Alyrra’s life. I wanted to see what she would have done in the end about the things she saw as a commoner, and I wanted to see how she handles the transition back into her own face. After all that’s happened, I imagine it would be difficult.
I had some moments where I wished for a little less whining and avoiding the subject from Alyrra as she decided what to do, esepcially since she spends most of her time professing that she doesn’t understand court politics, but she obviously does. I suppose it could be said that she learned them gradually, but it didn’t seem that way to me. First they weren’t obvious, then they were there. I also wanted to see her reach out to her friends at the stables more quickly and with more feeling than she did at the end.
If you like retellings, especially of the Goose Girl, then you’ll really enjoy this one. I look forward to seeing what else the author puts out.
Where to Find the Book
Book was purchased by the reviewer.