|Thorn (Dauntless path)|
Author: Khanani, Intisar
To escape her cruel family and contemptuous court, fifteen-year-old Princess Alyrra is willing to marry Prince Kestrin but when she magically swaps lives with her nemesis, she may find happiness as a commoner.
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 01/01/2020 Gr 9 Up—As is common in fairy tales, Princess Alyrra has been betrothed to the prince of a neighboring kingdom as a means of cementing relations between the two ruling houses. Even though she loathes her life as a princess and finds living up to her royal duties a chore, she reluctantly agrees to the betrothal and sets off to meet her future husband with only one lady-in-waiting to keep her company along the journey. Although Alyrra is aware that Valka is a sorceress, and an ambitious one at that, she is unprepared for the spell that is cast on her early in their journey when Valka exchanges her own body with that of Alyrra's. As soon as they reach the castle, Alyrra is sent to work as a goose girl, and Valka assumes her role as Prince Kestrin's betrothed. Loosely based on the fairy tale "The Goose Girl," Khanani's story is set in a dark and dangerous world of betrayal and danger where a sheltered girl learns to find friendship among strangers and a place for herself where none had previously existed. VERDICT Though well-written and dramatically told, this novel is replete with graphic violence, rape, torture, and executions, which may make it a questionable choice for younger readers. On the other hand, teens will find much to love in a novel in which the princess grows to become a force to be reckoned with.—Jane Henriksen Baird, formerly at Anchorage Public Library, AK - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 02/15/2020 Alyrra, princess of Adania, has suffered at the hands of her abusive brother and distant mother, receiving comfort only from serving girls and her horse. When her mother brokers Alyrra's marriage to the prince of distant Menaiya, Alyrra assumes the worst. But her life changes before she arrives in Menaiya: Alyrra's vindictive handmaiden Valka, aided by a cunning sorceress with motives of her own, magically steals Alyrra's identity and her crown. Though Alyrra embraces her new life as a goose girl, she can't quite turn her back on what she knows of Valka's plans, or the duty she feels toward the life and prince that should have been hers. Though the pace sometimes meanders and some of the many plot point are dropped, this Middle Eastern–inspired retelling of The Goose Girl has much that will entice fantasy readers. A measured romance and an awareness of contemporary social issues elevate the text, but most alluring of all is Alyrra's strong, sensible heart. Fans of Shannon Hale's The Goose Girl (2003) will find this a solid successor. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.