Thorn by Intisar Khanani is such a powerful story about finding your true self, fighting against the injustice and loving with your whole heart.
Princess Alyrra grew up in a cruel family, fearing that her brother might hurt her every day. She despises the fact that she needs to behave in a certain way to appeal to the court. Her despise grows even more when she learns that she’s been betrothed to the powerful Prince Kestrin, a stranger from another kingdom.
But when a sorceress robes Alyrra of her true identity, she sees this as an opportunity to start a new life as a goose girl, where she doesn’t have to pretend in front of everyone and be her true self.
Soon enough, she realises what is actually going on with the regular people in the kingdom. The poverty, the crimes, the fact that the royal guards don’t care at all. The fact that the street thieves have to make their own sets of rules in order to keep the peace on the streets.
When a big tragedy hits home, Alyrra knows she needs to make a choice. Stay here and give up the identity of the princess forever, or go back to being a princess, only for the sake of saving the people.
“It is rare for someone who wants power to truly deserve it.”
Thorn is the first book of the Dauntless Path series, and I am so happy I had the chance to read it! Very powerful book, with a very strong female character, who is not afraid to say what she thinks and fight for what she believes in!
“I’ve found that acting when you are afraid is the greatest sign of courage there is.”
What I loved about Alyrra’s character is that it shows us how much of a hardship it can be to make a certain choice. It is not just black and white. At first, we all root for the – get your identity back. However, Alyrra has been abused all her life. Her brother abused her physically and her mother mentally. She then had to deal with the pressure of being a princess. Following rules. Not saying what she really thinks, but what others want to hear. She is then promised to marry someone she doesn’t know and pretend to be someone she is not, again.
And suddenly, she can be someone else.
She has the chance to start a brand new life. A person that is not in the spotlight. She can think and speak freely. And that is why I understand her choice to want to stay as a goose girl forever.
“We all have our unspoken sorrows, hopes we cannot mention, choices we may yet regret.”
But then she sees the true picture of how people are treated in the kingdom. How people live. The injustice that happens on the streets every single day. And then she also gets the attention of the prince and being who she is, she is not afraid to say her mind.
But to truly change things, she needs to become a princess again. And making such a choice comes not only with consequences, but with huge sacrifices too.
The ending of Thorn was very well written and very satisfying. I am looking forward to reading more about Alyrra’s story and get more answers in the next book. I cannot recommend Thorn enough!