Of Twisted Thorns

Young Adult - Romance
304 Pages
Reviewed on 11/02/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Stephanie Chapman for Readers' Favorite

C.E. Young’s fantasy novel Of Twisted Thorns is about Briar’s discovery of a world beyond her imagination. Clay, a cobbler in the small village of Malhain, sets out for Thron after denying Dagan’s request to marry his daughter. One evening, Dagan appears at the door with news that Clay is dead. Dagan is supportive of Briar as she grieves. In a moment of weakness, Briar agrees to marry Dagan. The day before her wedding, Dagan’s brother, Kylan, gives her the coat her father wore. Kylan warns her to be careful around Dagan. The following day, Briar flees from Malhain on a stolen horse she names Raven. Briar discovers what she believes is an abandoned castle. To her surprise, the castle is home to a cursed prince and a retinue of magical creatures. A pixie tells Briar that Raven told them of her plight. Meanwhile, a furious Dagan is relentless in his pursuit of Briar.

C.E. Young writes about Briar’s emotions in vivid detail. The narration made it easy to understand the world through Briar's eyes. I had an immediate dislike for Dagan because of his arrogance. His deception and threats for compliance were frightening. The author gave the scenery the perfect amount of detail without slowing the flow of the story. I could envision the thorn maze and the enchanting castle. The chattering pixies and Casimir’s stumbling over words when around Briar were enchanting. The dialogue enhanced the personalities of the castle’s inhabitants. It filled this unpredictable story with several twists that kept me guessing how Briar would face each moment. I was stunned by the ending. Of Twisted Thorns will appeal to fantasy readers who enjoy slow-burn romance and alternative stories similar to Beauty and the Beast.