Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Intisar Khanani: Thorn

In her debut novel Intisar Khanani takes readers on a journey where one Princess has two futures she must decide between:
Princess Alyrra made a horrible mistake growing up she displeased her family and the court, not their only use for her is make their contempt for her known. When a King shows up to offer his son's hand in marriage all of the Kingdom is shocked, why would anyone want Alyrra, but the marriage is advantageous therefore the documents are signed. However, there is another that wants the Prince for herself, one who has vengeance on her mind. The Lady, a sorceress will stop at nothing to claim the Price. When Alyrra refuses to hand him over, she robs Alyrra of her identity and her title. But Alyrra does not see this as a punishment, more of an opportunity to a new life, even as a Goose Girl. The more Alyrra learns about the Prince, the land, the people and the suffering, she must decide if her own happiness is worth that of the sadness of the kingdom.
This is a good debut novel. It does start off a little slow, but the second half of the book really picks up. You really get to love Alyrra as a character and the struggles that she goes through, and I will not lie there is one point of the book where I was maybe ugly crying a little bit, but I challenge anyone not to at that point. The world is not really defined in the book, but I likened it to something in the King Arthur era with the technology, setting and Mages instead of Wizards. I'm okay with the world building not being too strong as I did not find that it really took away from the story at all once I myself had established the world I believed it was taking place in. Also this book is not as romance as the premise of the book portrays, the "romance" in the book is really more of a relationship building than anything else and I like that Khanani did not see the need to have romance or sex in the book just to have it. The story unfold amazingly without it.

The beginning of the book felt a bit off as Alyrra is hated by her family but it is not explained why. Other than she is too honest, but what was she honest about or too honest about. So I was a bit confused and not sure about this book. However, by, I believe, chapter 3/4 we find out what Alyrra has done to earn the disliking of all those in her family and court. I just wish this would have been explained a bit earlier on, especially as it has so many ramifications on Alyrra's life at home, and we experience many of the verbal and physical abuses that she suffers from due to her being too honest.

I like that Alyrra is not your typical main character for this type of book, she is not kickass or knows how to fight or a smart add. Instead she has a quiet strength, the ability to adapt and a strong sense of protectiveness to those she cares about. She does struggle with what her choices are, best for her or best for the masses. She has no special abilities like some of those around her, but another of her strengths is to be humble, which is not something you see very often in princesses. Really it is hard not to love her as a character.

This book was originally published in 2012 and was just released again this year (2020), and it looks like there is going to be a second book in this series, which I look forward to reading. If you want a lighter fantasy read then this is a good book to pick up. I really enjoyed the story and Alyrra as a character.

If You Like This,
Check These Out Too:

No comments:

Post a Comment