I’m a big Stacey Jay fan. I love her retellings, especially her sci-fi version of Beauty and the Beast (although, alas, no teapots). So I got really excited when I heard she was tackling Sleeping Beauty, possibly one of the darkest fairy tales.
But, in a twist, Sleeping Beauty isn’t actually the hero of this version. In fact, Princess Rose has been dead the whole book.
Instead, the novel focuses on one of her two children: her daughter, Aurora (or, as she prefers, Ror). And Ror is not made of the same passive princess material as her mother:
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?
To which I say: YAY! Dark curses!
What Intrigued Me: Stacey Jay has made a name for herself as a boss at twisting familiar stories into something dark and unique. And I liked the idea of someone tackling the darker original version of Sleeping Beauty (no surprise, but Disney deviated from the source material, making it into something more family friendly). Put the two together, and I was pretty sure I was going to enjoy this book.
What Hooked Me: I have a soft spot for princesses that don’t act like princesses. And Aurora is so unprincess-like, she passes as a boy for most of the book. She’s stubborn, over-confident, and hot-tempered. She acts impulsively and makes a lot of mistakes. She lies to keep herself safe, but also to keep those she cares about safe. Which is so loveable and human.
What Made Me Fall In Love: My favorite love stories aren’t about love at first sight. They aren’t about couples so in tune, they finish each others’ sentences. And they aren’t about soul mates, destiny, or fate.
My favorite love stories are the ones that border on dysfunctional. The ones where the couples spend a lot of time fighting and disagreeing and generally misunderstanding each others’ motives. The ones where they’re no longer polite, where each person speaks their mind, and they still love each other despite all the flaws.
And Ror and Niklaas fight a lot. Oh, the sexual tension.
Princess of Thorns is available December 9 from Amazon and your local fairy tale provider (a.k.a. bookstore). Pick one up before it magically disappears!