Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I'm a huge fan of the fairy/folk tale update, so this was getting off to a good start just by virtue of being a version of the Sleeping Beauty story - except it's really about SB's daughter, Aurora. Apparently Dear Old Dad (aka "the prince who woke SB up") had another wife, an ogress who is not pleased about the new family and not just because she doesn't like humans. At the time of this story, Joram (Aurora's younger brother) has been captured by the ogres, and Aurora's trying to raise an army to rescue him and save her kingdom from destruction (the ogres suck out human souls... don't ask). Nicklaas, a prince from a neighboring country, is looking for Aurora so he can marry her before his 18th birthday, which would then break a curse his father placed on him.
Confused? It's less so in the actual reading. Of course there are confused motivations and mistaken identities, action, love, witchcraft and much more. Even better, this appears to be a stand-alone! So why three stars? Because it didn't do anything really new with the themes and motifs. Plus, the ending? It felt rushed, and I just didn't believe the Big Change of Heart. YMMV, of course.
ARC provided by publisher.