Published by Delacorte on July 26, 2022
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
About Violet Made of Thorns
Gina Chen’s debut fantasy, Violet Made of Thorns, is a richly imagined world of seers, curses, and princes rich with fairytale vibes.
Violet, a prickly orphan, was rescued from a life as a street urchin when she saved the royal heir, Prince Cyrus, from death. In thanks, the king makes Violet his official seer. But the position comes with a price – the king expects Violet to use her visions to his benefit – twisting the readings she gives the court to further his agenda.
This puts Violet in opposition to the unfairly gorgeous Prince Cyrus who has loftier plans for when he ascends to the throne. Even worse, he threatened to replace her as royal seer. And then there’s the curse- Cyrus needs to get married or Bad Things Will Happen.
And then there’s the undeniable attraction between Cyrus and Violet – inconvenient, even dangerous.
My thoughts about Violet Made of Thorns
Thie author created a lush richly imagined world full of complex characters and magical mysteries. I loved how unapologetically prickly and cranky Violet is. Even tho she’s a seer, she doesn’t have all of the answers and is caught between trying to find a way through the intrigue and hoping her country can avoid war and she can keep her place. Violet’s emotional turmoil is so well depicted that you feel it too.
She’s attracted to Cyrus but you can tell it rankles that he’s the golden boy, popular and sought after. I love a morally grey MC. Violet’s struggles are so well written, you can feel how hard she’s trying to thread an impossible needle – keeping the kong and court happy while not disappointing Cyrus even when those things are diametrically opposed.
The secondary characters are well developed – I wanted to know more about them and hope we get more of their stories in future books.
As a fairytale lover, I loved the callouts to fairytales from fairy-created ball gowns to wickedly enchanted horned beastmen.
Enemies to lovers
Curses and enchantments
Fairies and glamours
Serving girl masquerading as royalty
Wicked witch and revenge
Fates and visions
Beauty and the Beast
Magical slipper left behind at a royal masquerade
Roses, thorns, enchanted woods
Violet Made of Thorns is a darkly charming modern fairytale.
Thank you, Delacorte for the ARC!