Review: Thorn by Intisar Khanani

Review: Thorn by Intisar Khanani

Thorn by Intisar Khanani is a unique fairy tale retelling that sweeps the reader off their feet. This Goose Girl retelling has a fantastic cast of characters and a theme of justice that is prevalent throughout the story. It is a must-read for fans of the genre.

Review: Thorn by Intisar KhananiTitle: Thorn
Series: Dauntless Path #1
Author: Intisar Khanani
Also by this author: Brambles: A Thorn Short Story
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction
Publication Date: March 24, 2020
Rating: four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Summary (from Goodreads):

A princess with two futures. A destiny all her own

Between her cruel family and the contempt she faces at court, Princess Alyrra has always longed to escape the confines of her royal life. But when she’s betrothed to the powerful prince Kestrin, Alyrra embarks on a journey to his land with little hope for a better future.

When a mysterious and terrifying sorceress robs Alyrra of both her identity and her role as princess, Alyrra seizes the opportunity to start a new life for herself as a goose girl.

But Alyrra soon finds that Kestrin is not what she expected. The more Alyrra learns of this new kingdom, the pain and suffering its people endure, as well as the danger facing Kestrin from the sorceress herself, the more she knows she can’t remain the goose girl 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.

Amazon “iBooks”

❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃

Review: Thorn by Intisar Khanani

I have never read a fairy tale retelling quite like this one before. At first, I was drawn in by the stunning cover and original concept, but was quickly sucked in by its incredible world and characters. Thorn follows the original Grimm Brothers fairy tale, The Goose Girl, although it does become quite darker than expected.

❀ Enjoyable Main Character

Thorn (Princess Alyrra) is an enjoyable main character as she is fierce, determined, brave, and loyal. Not all of these characteristics are present at the start of the book. However, Thorn really transforms as she grows and matures throughout the story.

❀ Theme of Justice

The theme of justice is one that is explored during the course of the novel. Khanani shows the reader many forms of injustice in this book and it gives the reader lots to digest. How far should one go to seek revenge on others? This is something that makes this story exciting and intriguing to read.

❀ Thought-Provoking

Thorn by Intisar Khanani is a YA fantasy book that is thought-provoking and thrilling. It has incredible characters and looks at important societal themes. I see on Goodreads that this is the start of a series called Dauntless Path and I am now impatiently waiting to read the next book.

Quotes: Thorn by Intisar Khanani


“Try not to embarrass us,” my brother says. “If you can.”

I look out at the empty courtyard and pretend not to notice Lord Daerilin smirking to my left. He has always enjoyed my brother’s barbs, especially so these past three years.


I do not remember falling asleep, but when I open my eyes, the shutters have been thrown wide. An owl, pearly white in the darkness, perches upon the sill, its great eyes watching me.

About Intisar Khanani

Inistar Khanani

Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. Born in Wisconsin, she has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. She currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband and two young daughters. Prior to publishing her novels, Intisar worked as a public health consultant on projects relating to infant mortality and minority health, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy.


About Lori

Avid reader. Contributor to The Candid Cover. Educator.

27 thoughts on “Review: Thorn by Intisar Khanani

  1. Azia Willis says:

    The cover is so gorgeous! Fairy retellings are one of my favorite types of genres to read. I’ve never heard of the Brothers Grimm’s story, Goose Girl, so that’s another thing I’d like to explore. But this book sounds unique and compelling. Definitely adding to my TBR. Great review!
    Azia Willis recently posted…Review: Chain of Gold | Cassandra Clare

  2. Debra Branigan says:

    I have been watching this book and I am glad I read your review because now it’s on my TBR for sure. The synopsis sounds like this would be a wonderful read. The cover art is beautiful too.

  3. Ellie Di says:

    I’m not familiar with the original Grimm version of Goose Girl but what I get from your review is a story of women empowerment as well as an unexpected plot, so I’m definitely going to add this to my TBR list.
    As always, thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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