Published by Entangled Teen on March 6th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy & Magic
Source: eARC from Publisher
Reading Challenges: 2017 New Release Challenge, Debut Author Challenge 2017, Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge 2017
After seven grueling years of captivity in the Garden—a burlesque troupe of slave girls—sixteen-year-old Rose finds an opportunity to escape during a performance for the emperor. But the hostage she randomly chose from the crowd to aid her isn’t one of the emperor’s men—not anymore. He’s the former heir to the throne, who is now leading a rebellion against it.
Rayce is a wanted man and dangerously charismatic, the worst person for Rose to get involved with, no matter what his smile promises. But he assumes Rose’s attempt to take him hostage is part of a plot to crush the rebellion, so he takes her as his hostage. Now Rose must prove where her loyalties lie, and she offers Rayce a deal—if he helps her rescue the other girls, she’ll tell him all the Garden’s secrets.
Except the one secret she’s kept for seven years that she’ll take to her grave if she must.
Garden of Thorns is a young adult fantasy by Amber Mitchell. I love the concept behind this book. The Garden is a captivity like setting where girls are taken and forced to join a burlesque type troop and perform. The main character Rose escapes and immediately tangled with a group of rebels. They take off on an adventure with differing end goals. I really liked the concept of Garden of Thorns, but the book ended up being just ok. Plus, I do have to point out how beautiful the cover is! I seriously love it!
Rayce and Rose are the two main characters in this story, and while I liked them both well enough, something was missing for me. I’m not really sure what it is, and that is the frustrating part. I guess I was just wishing for more on all fronts. I wanted more description for sure. I was very unclear on a lot of aspects of the garden. Where did they get the girls from. Was it illegal? was it legal? At the start of the story, I thought they were actually flowers. Like the talking flowers from wonderland. It wasn’t until the performance scene that I knew any differently.
And then with the whole adventure, it was good. I did like the story more as it went on, but there was something holding me back from loving it. I found it to be a little predictable and a little easy. There wasn’t anything compelling or gripping about the characters or the romance or really their situation. There isn’t too much romance in the story, but the romance that there was felt very natural. It didn’t feel rushed or forced, which I appreciated.
Bottom line: Garden of Thorns is a decent read with a very interesting concept. I wanted to love it more than I did. Don’t get me wrong, I liked this book. It was a good read with good writing, and good characters. But I didn’t love it. It was just kind of ehh. However; a ton of people have loved Garden of Thorns. (I will link to a couple of other reviews down below) However; if you are a concept driven reader, you will likely enjoy this very unique fantasy setup. Let me know what you think!
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Check out these reviews from readers that LOVED Garden of Thorns!
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: