Welcome to my little slice of blogging heaven bookstafam!!
Jana here, I’m back and I’ve excitedly teamed up with Spotlight Tours again for another magical Takeover Blog Tour, this time, I am reviewing A Curse of Thorns by Nicole Mainardi.
I read this one as a part of the Reading Rush 2019, as well as for the #QuidditchCupReadAThon so it was a quick but enjoyable read, and I’m excited to share my thoughts with you all.
First of all, I have to thank Nicole for sending me an e-ARC copy and for adding me to the team for her book tour. Below, you’ll find a copy of the book cover, as well as the Goodreads synopsis and my review! Don’t forget, be sure to click on the cover when you’re done the post to head over and add it to your Goodreads TBR!
A Curse of Thorns by Nicole Mainardi
Release Date: March 9, 2019
GoodReads Synopsis: “In order to repay her father’s debt to the Regime and save her sisters from a terrible fate, Belle Fairfax—an eighteen-year-old girl with a love for forbidden books and the thrill of the hunt—must risk everything to find the reclusive Beast and steal the ring that cursed him.
But the Beast is not what she expects.
A young king cursed by a witch and forgotten by his village, all Bastian wants is to win the heart of the forest girl with the silver scars. But he’s a hideous Beast that abandoned his people for the sake of vanity, and he knows it won’t be easy to earn her affection.
But there’s more to the girl than he thought.
Belle only has one purpose once she makes it to the Beast’s castle: find the ring, take it, and leave the Beast to rot. But as she comes to know about the Beast, she realizes that she has more to fight for than just her family. Bastian knows he’s left his people in the hands of the corrupt Regime, and the guilt of their suffering gnaws at him. The more time he spends with Belle, though, the less he hates what he’s become.
With Briar on the brink of falling completely under the control of the Regime, Belle and Bastian find that, together, they may be the key to freeing their home from the reaching grasp of the tyrannical Emperor.”
Rating: 🌟🌟🌟 (3/5)
Buy the book here
First of all…
Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book from Nicole and Spotlight Tours in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! In no way does this affect my rating and review.
So, without further adieu, let’s dive on into my review.
If anyone knows me, they know I love a good retelling, and A Curse of Thorns is no exception. Nicole Mainardi takes one of my all-time favourite tales and puts a new spin on it and I was pleasantly surprised with how much I liked it. It gave me Beauty and the Beast meets the Hunger Games vibes and I was totally in to it.
Now, I did have a few qualms with the book, but with that being said, it was definitely a retelling I would suggest being added to your TBR if you’re a fan of either of the afformentioned stories.
The book begins with our prologue and a look into the past. We meet the King and Queen of Briar and their son, Prince Bastian. The Queen of Briar we learn passed shortly after child birth leaving the King and Bastian alone. The King mourns so deeply he grows resentful, and Bastian grows up very troubled and when he turns 18, his father passes, and he becomes a tyrant King. He attempted dark magic to increase his never quenched thirst for power, only to be cursed by a witch and turned into a beast. Stowed away in his castle, Bastian spends almost five years trying to break a curse bestowed on him before feeling that all hope is lost, and that is where our story begins.
Phew. It was a lot to take in in the prologue, but it felt so short and like it really wasn’t enough. Bastian, our cursed King, I wish I got more time to learn more about him. Sure, we know he’s cursed to be a beast until he can truly fall in love with someone and in turn have them truly fall in love with him of their own accord, but, I feel like there was so much more that could have been given to Bastian’s back story that would have added to the storyline.
On to Belle, first, I have to say when reading the first chapter involving Belle, I had to stop and read portions aloud to my husband to get his interpretation, but we BOTH, got absolute major Katniss Everdeen vibes from Belle. It truly felt almost as if Katniss had been put in witness protection, given the name Belle and been sent to live in Briar. One of my biggest qualms about this version of my beloved tale from childhood was Belle’s lack there of relationship with her estranged father. In the well known and loved Disney classic, one of my favourite things was Belle’s fierce love for her father.
I did love the nod to her love of books with the bookstore job, and I was pleasently surprised with my enjoyment of the addition of Belle having sisters. That being said, there were things that I felt were missing from the book that may have pushed this from a three star up to a four or even five star read for me.
I felt the characters, especially Bastian, needed some more back story. With the book being less than 300 pages, I felt that if a little more focus had of been put into the back story and character development I may have had more of a connection to the characters.
One of my favourite parts was the addition of the magical kitchen. Honestly, aside from the giant library, Cogsworth, Lumieré, Mrs. Potts and Chip were my absolute favourite part of Beauty and the Beast. How amazing would it be to have inanimate objects come to life and talk to you. True story, sometimes I wonder what my video game collection would sound like if it were to come to life. Despite the kitchen equipment not being able to talk, the idea of watching an entire kitchen work to create meals without the assistance of human hands leaves me bewildered.
We continue on and throughout the story we are given glimpses into Bastian and who he is, but I desperately wanted more. I was enthralled with what he went through that turned him into such a tyrant and wanted to know what finally snapped in his head to make him want to change.
I kept feeling that there was just something that could have been added, mind you I’m not sure what. I just felt I was missing something. There was magic, adventure, pain, love, loss, and loyalty, but, I couldn’t help feeling it fell a little flat for what I was expecting.
Now I would DEFINITELY purchase this novel to be in my personal library collection, so, if that says anything, I certainly didn’t hate it. I just felt myself wanting more. I enjoyed Nicole’s flow of writing style and the thought she put into her storyline. I wish there was more of an atmospheric description but all in all I was quite pleased with the story.
Again, if a Beauty and the Beast meets The Hunger Games crossover sounds like something you may be interested in, definitely take a look at reading A Curse of Thorns by Nicole Mainardi. It is one I would say deserves to be added to your TBR.
As always, may your coffee be strong, and your books transport you somewhere magical.
And remember, stay wild moon child, and creep it real, witches!
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