Cage of Tangled Thornes

The Thorne Chronicles Book 1

Young Adult - Fantasy - General
425 Pages
Reviewed on 06/13/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Cage of Tangled Thornes is a work of fiction in the fantasy, action, adventure, and interpersonal drama subgenres, and it forms the opening novel of The Thorne Chronicles book series. It is intended for young adult readers to enjoy and was penned by author Lisa Alfano. In this thrilling fantasy clash of magic, politics, and family drama, we are introduced to the land of Iosia, where magic was banished many years ago, and those descended from the defeated Onyx magicians are forced to live a banished life. As heir to the Thorne throne, Ysabelle prepares for a marriage that will unite enemies while her younger sister Dahlia yearns for change and freedom just as dangerous magic surfaces again and threatens their kingdom.

Author Lisa Alfano starts this fantastic series off with a bang in an all-encompassing fantasy drama. Fans of magical worlds will immediately fall in love with Alfano’s craftsmanship in the atmosphere, detail, and history of Iosia. I was swept away by the different clans of times gone by and how it has shaped the current politics, and I adored the tension and uncertainty surrounding Ysabelle and her questionable ambitions. Dahlia is, of course, the star of the novel and a very relatable teen having to hide a significant disability. Her emotional arc deepens with such poignancy as the novel rolls faster and faster toward its startling climax, and it’ll have you biting your nails to see what befalls our hero and her land next. Overall, Cage of Tangled Thornes offers YA fantasy fans everything they could want for a knockout series opener, and I, for one, can’t wait to see what more the series has to offer.

Stephanie Chapman

Lisa Alfano’s Cage of Tangled Thornes (The Thorne Chronicles Book 1) begins a new series. King Leo and Queen Astrid had two daughters; the beautiful Ysabelle and the poor crippled Dahlia, who was a sentinel with the ability to shape-shift into a hawk. Ysabelle’s thirst for power was overwhelming. Since she was a princess, she treated everyone as inferior. Jeshun observed the sisters and knew he had to ensure Dahlia married Aidan so that she could leave Caelius. Meanwhile, in Valdisia, Cerebus had developed an affinity for the beautiful woman he sees on the other side of The Guardian. Morren approached him and promised to make his dreams come true. Cerebus agreed to follow Merron’s instructions. It wasn’t long before the Marquess of Valdisia set sail to marry the Princess of Iosia.

Lisa Alfano created distinct personalities for every character. Ysabelle’s vanity and disdain for everyone, including her father, King Leo, and her sister, were clear. She matched the profile of a spoiled brat and took pleasure in toying with the feelings of others. It contrasted with Cerebus's and Dahlia’s characters who only desired a place where they could have a family. I could understand Cerebus being disappointed at Ysabelle’s coldness. The plot was unpredictable, with twists shaping each character’s motivations. The transition between their perspectives was seamless. I couldn’t put the book down for fear that I would miss out on this enchanting story. The ending left space open for a sequel. I look forward to reading the rest of the series and recommend Cage of Tangled Thornes to fantasy readers who enjoy exceptional character-driven books.

Cloie Belle Daffon

Princess Ysabelle and Princess Dahlia are the heir and the spare respectively of the Thorne family. Generations ago, the House of Morren wished to rule the land with dark magic but was defeated soundly by the House of Thorne. The Thorne family has governed over Iosia ever since that great war, while the House of Morren’s descendants continued to pay for their ancestors’ mistakes and live in squalor to this day. Princess Ysabelle was the current heir to the throne, adored by the public, who were blissfully unaware of her flaws. Beautiful and assertive, Ysabelle was the pride of the Thorne family. In contrast, her younger sister, Dahlia, was constantly berated by their parents and was hidden because of her identity. She only ever wished to be her true self and be free. A brewing war on the horizon disrupted their lives. New alliances must be forged, and darkness must be fought once again. Will the House of Thorne once again emerge victorious? Who is the true evil? Read the first book of The Thorne Chronicles: Cage of Tangled Thornes by Lisa Alfano to find out.

The story begins with the current Thorne royal family, and I was hooked from the very first chapter. I was immediately immersed in the detailed storyline. This was an absolute page-turner with well-rounded characters and an engrossing plot. Lisa Alfano’s propulsive writing immersed me in a wildly innovative and fantastical world in the blink of an eye. The Thorne Chronicles: Cage of Tangled Thornes has interpersonal conflicts and warfare that create an interesting blend of action, romance, politics, and much more. Alfano has created a masterpiece, and I can’t wait to read what other surprises she has in store for us in the next book.