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Reviewed by Stephanie Chapman for Readers' Favorite
Lisa Alfano introduces Prince Leo and Lady Astrid in Deal of Jagged Thornes: A Thorne Chronicles Prequel (The Thorne Chronicles). Leo was the second son of King Percival in Iosia. He and his best friend Brenton were traveling in disguise as commoners. They are accompanied by the sensible Jeshun, who did his best to keep the prince out of trouble. Meanwhile, Astrid receives a warning from Mr. Weston. He took her to a strange, burned field and warned her that evil was coming. The next day, her portly cousin Odella informed her that Lord Athel had left to go to town. Astrid discovered that he has lost money owed to the king. In her attempt to recover the money, she found herself engaged to a dirty vagrant named Leo. Neither of them ever intended to marry, yet their circumstances were about to be altered considerably.
This is an intriguing prequel from Lisa Alfano to launch her Throne Chronicles series. It describes the history of Iosia and the Thorne family monarchy in vivid detail. This includes maps that provided reference points to help place the various woods and locations that Leo and his friends traversed. There is also The Guardian, a glass mirror wall that prevents exiled Onyx magic wielders, the Undesirables, from leaving Valdisia. The well-developed characters played distinctive roles in the plot. Odella disgusted me. Astrid’s attitude of superiority was off-putting, and I didn’t see how Leo could find her beautiful. Her personality was abrasive, while he was more laid-back with his amusing antics. I recommend Deal of Jagged Thornes to readers who enjoy fantasy stories with engaging characters.