Hunted meets The Wrath and the Dawn in this bold fairytale retelling—where court intrigue, false identities, and dark secrets will thrill fans of classic and contemporary fantasy alike.
Princess Alyrra has always longed to escape the confines of her royal life, but when her mother betroths her to a powerful prince in a distant kingdom, she has little hope for a better future.
Until Alyrra arrives at her new kingdom, where a mysterious sorceress robs her of both her identity and her role as princess—and Alyrra seizes on the opportunity to start a new life for herself as a goose girl.
But as Alyrra uncovers dangerous secrets about her new world, including a threat to the prince himself, she knows she can’t remain silent forever. With the fate of the kingdom at stake, Alyrra is caught between two worlds, and ultimately must decide who she is and what she stands for.
Originally self-published as an ebook and now brought to life with completely revised text, Thorn also features an additional short story set in-world, The Bone Knife.
Princess Alyrra of Adania fears her violent brother, so it's a relief when her mother, the dowager queen, arranges for the pale-skinned teen's marriage to brown-skinned Prince Kestrin of faraway Menaiya. While en route to Alyrra's new home, her spiteful traveling companion, Valka, strikes a deal with a sorceress who is an enemy of the Menaiyan royal family. The witch casts a spell swapping the women's identities and preventing Alyrra from telling anyone; in return, Valka will help her exact vengeance upon Kestrin. Once in Menaiya, Valka banishes Alyrra from the palace, so she takes a job in the royal stables tending geese. Though Alyrra now nicknamed Thorn grows content, she knows she must try to reverse the enchantment; Valka's betrayal of the well-intentioned Kestrin seems imminent, and the beleaguered Menaiyan working class needs a compassionate princess. This originally self-published reimagining of "The Goose Girl" ends abruptly and leaves some plot threads dangling. Overall, however, Khanani delivers a moving, character-driven tale that tackles difficult topics (justice, domestic violence) with empathy and grace. Ages 13 up.
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Thorn is a beautifully crafted story of a young woman’s journey from self-doubt to recognition of her own strength and ability to help those without power. The characters are rich and the story heartbreaking and heartwarming without the saccharine of some YA novels. A triumph.
I have read the Books of Bayern series which is also a retelling if the goose girl. And I love both of these. Two very interesting and very good retellings of the Goose Girl. LOVE!!! 😁