Violet Made of Thorns by Gina Chen

Violet Made of Thorns by Gina ChenViolet Made of Thorns by Gina Chen
Published by Delacorte on July 26, 2022
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 368
Format: Hardcover

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.

You get:



Enemies to lovers

Curses and enchantments

Fairies and glamours

Serving girl masquerading as royalty

Wicked witch and revenge

Fates and visions


Sleeping Beauty

Beauty and the Beast

Snow White

Magical slipper left behind at a royal masquerade

Roses, thorns, enchanted woods


In closing

Violet Made of Thorns is a darkly charming modern fairytale.

Thank you, Delacorte for the ARC!

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About Gina Chen

Gina Chen spent most of her life thinking she hated writing, until she churned out a few hundred thousand words of fanfiction and decided that maybe she was a writer. Her stories lean toward the fantastic, featuring heroines, antiheroines, and the kind of cleverness that brings trouble in its wake.

A self-taught artist with a degree in computer science, she generates creative nonsense in all forms of media and always has a project stewing. She has particular fondness for fairy tales, demon tales, romantic comedies, and quiz shows. Currently, she resides in Southern California, where the sunshine is as plentiful as its tea shops.

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