I have never read anything by Intisar Khanani but now she is high on my watch list. This is the short prequel to Thorn, that is the explanation of what Princess Alyrra had done to earn the court and her mother and brother’s hatred. (As described through Google/Goodreads). I won’t give away spoilers but I will list trigger warnings.
Trigger Warnings: bullying, mentions of flogging/beating, mistreatment of servants, abuse, emotional abuse?, physical abuse, and attempted murder
Now I’m unsure if it’s actually emotional abuse, but I feel it is. I can’t say without spoilers as it is a short story, but this is pretty hefty in how servants and the princess are treated. I would go in this with caution, if any of these triggers apply to you.
In the kingdom of Adania, everyone knows what Princess Alyrra did to earn the court’s contempt, her mother’s disdain, and her brother’s hatred.
She betrayed her own.
Yet, the truth hides another story, one of honor and honesty, of a princess gambling her own life for another’s. It’s a tale of courage and consequences, and a choice that can never be undone.
A short story prequel to her multi-starred fantasy, Thorn, Intisar Khanani’s “Brambles” gives Alyrra’s account of what really happened all those years ago, and how a few critical days turned her life into a daily fight for survival.
For 40 pages I was enchanted by this world. Valka was a villain you just couldn’t help but get strong feelings for in all the negative ways. Princess Alyrra was definitely a character to root for and her brother obviously needs a lesson in manners. Forty pages and yet I’m still pondering all the actions and characters in this novella.
First read of the month gets five stars! I’m hopeful that this is a good sign. Happy reading to all!
Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book