ARC Review: Thorn by Intisar Khanani


*I read this as part of my Twitter plan of reading all the overdue arcs I have. I’ve had this since 2015 or so but read it in June 2017, and reviewed then. I read this as an arc, but it was previously published. As always, this is my honest review.

Usually, I love a good retelling, but I couldn’t get into this one, which is a play on Goose Girl. I made it 35% through before I called it quits and DNF (did-not-finish) it. However, I might revisit at a later time.


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.

I liked Alyrra well enough. She’s been through a lot but she’s strong. Unfortunately she was a little too passive for my tastes.

The main reason I chose to DNF this one is because the pacing was slow. It felt like the plot was dragging and moving on with nonsensical things. It felt like I had spent forever reading, but only managed a few pages, and even then nothing very important happened.

The story is interesting enough, the whole concept of switching identies and pretending to be someone else is usually fascinating However, this one was just too slow for me to properly enjoy.

Maybe I’ll try again in a couple of months. Part of me is interested in what happens at the end, but not enough to continue slugging my way through.


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