Kingdom of Thorns by Katherine Macdonald

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

A curse is placed on a princess, doomed to sleep for one hundred years after pricking her finger. A Prince is determined to save her Kingdom to save his own. And a mysterious guide will take him to the cursed castle if he follows all of her rules.

Kingdom of Thorns is a fun, action-packed retelling of the classic Sleeping Beauty story. Both protagonists are likable and their banter is wonderful. I really loved Leo the most, though, because of his teddy-bear-like personality. He is sweet but also insecure which is a relatable quality but something that I loved seeing him overcome. Overall, however, I felt that the author did well with bringing depth to both characters.

The world was fantastical with just enough description to keep it interesting. Plot-wise, I was surprised by the unique take of this beloved fairytale. I was also impressed by all of the dangers and monsters that both guide and the Prince encountered and conquered together. Yet, despite all of the action, I felt like the middle dragged a little and I found myself wanting to skip through it to get to the end.

I also love the exploration of consent and healthy relationships in this book. Gender norms were flipped on its head and I liked seeing the Prince needing saving for once.

In all, I really enjoyed this fairytale retelling and would recommend it to anyone who likes strong characters and all the whumps. I give it a 4.5 out of 5 stars but rounded it up to 5.

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Book Information

  • Stand alone book
  • Clean romance with allusion to closed door sex scenes
  • Genre: Fantasy Romance
  • Audience: YA/NA
  • Some swearing

Favorite Quote

“Afraid isn’t the word I would use. Terrified might be better. Or… petrified. Yes. Petrified is good.”

“Do you always complain this much?”

“Only when I’m way out of my depth and panicking,” he said. “So quite a lot, actually.”

Book Blurb

Cursed at her Christening, Briar is doomed to prick her finger on a spinning wheel on her seventeenth birthday and plunge her kingdom into eternal slumber. Less than enthused about her fate, she fights to break it, but a hundred years later the kingdom lies at the centre of a forest of thorns. The curse is complete and only true love’s kiss will break it.

Volunteering in the place of his brother, Leo is determined to brave the enchanted forest and attempt to end the hundred-year-old curse. If he fails, the dark fairy, imprisoned within the Kingdom of Thorns, will be unleashed upon the world and a kingdom will fall to ruin.

Guided by a mysterious young ranger named Talia, he sets off on his quest, but the darkness isn’t the only thing that grows in the woods, and Leopold finds himself locked in a bitter fight for his life, his sanity… and his heart.

A tale of true love, inner strength, and the power of free will. No damsels in distress here; just action, mesmerising description, and delightful witty banter.

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