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Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. Born in Wisconsin, she has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. She first remembers seeing snow on a wintry street in Zurich, Switzerland, and vaguely recollects having breakfast with the orangutans at the Singapore Zoo when she was five. She currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband and two young daughters. Until recently, Intisar wrote grants and developed projects to address community health with the Cincinnati Health Department, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy. Intisar's next two projects include a companion trilogy to Thorn, following the heroine introduced in her short story The Bone Knife, and a novella series set in a fiction world of eleven kingdoms all controlled by a corrupt Council of Mages. Thorn is her first novel.
on Feb. 27, 2013 :
This novel was part of a group read in my Goodreads group. I was provided with a free copy for this review.
I would like to start off by saying that this was a wonderfully written fairy tale! Although I’m not familiar with the original that Thorn is based on (The Goose Girl), I found it had all the elements required for a great tale. I was especially happy with ending because it was not your typical “Happy Ending”.. Things do turn out well in the end but it was far from the perfect princess marries the prince ending and I really liked that. I have nothing against fairy tales, but things rarely turn out the way you want them to.
Thorn follows the story of a young princess named Alyrra who has grown up in an unhappy home. Abused by her brother and ignored by her mother, Alyrra’s only solace is her horseback riding and her friend, the Wind. She soon finds herself betrothed to a prince from a far off country that she has never met and has heard even worse things about. She has no choice but to accept and she leaves home on a long journey towards her new husband. During the trip she is attacked and magically switches bodies with her hand maiden. Unable to tell anyone what has happened, she arrives in her husband’s kingdom not as a princess but as a common servant. It is in this new life that she must decide to live as a common peasant, something she desperately desires, or to face her fears and fight for what is rightfully hers.
There were times when I really didn’t know what to think of Alyrra. I understood the pain and the fear that comes from being abused, but sometimes I wished I could have just shaken her and told her to suck it up. I also really enjoyed the prince’s character. He strong and compassionate, but he had flaws too.
I would recommend this book to anyone who loves fairy tales. It was well written and it flowed very quickly and effortlessly. Thank you for letting me read such a great novel and I hope we see more from Intisar soon.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)