793F258F-F846-46A7-B83B-2C46755ED058The Thorn Queen by Elise Holland was a hard book to rate. As the story begins, we’re introduced to Meylyne, a young girl of two worlds who has been forced to live in the world below as a result of her parentage while she watches the parade above though she knows she could be in deep trouble were she to be seen. It was a fascinating start to what seemed like a brilliant story. There is a sickly prince, secret scandals, and a snake people who live beneath the below world and remain separate and are condemned by those of the other two worlds. There was so much potential in the way the worlds were built, the different places and people who lived there. Holland built a deeply intriguing setting and people for her story that I was incredibly excited to learn more.

But as the story progressed, this changed. Holland rarely took advantage of the truly enticing pieces she had created within her world, instead focusing on a hodgepodge of random characters and a quest-like adventure that branched off in numerous directions for seemingly no reason at all. The story, overall, felt incredibly disjointed. It was almost like those side quests in a video game that don’t quite have much to do with the story, but give you a little extra piece if you decide to go ahead and do them. And I felt this way throughout much of the book. Nothing ever seemed to follow a real path, but instead all of these additional mini-quests were added to detract from the story until the author decided to return to the set upon plot.

And this was irritating in itself, but forgivable as while it added some rather dull moments to the book and did hurt the reading experience, it didn’t really destroy the tale. Perhaps the most problematic issue I have with The Thorn Queen were the characters. Not a single one was interesting past the first few chapters. I found Hope supremely annoying. I felt that Blue did not really add much to the story. And then there is the matter of Meylyne who progressively got more and more annoying as the story continued. Her character never felt developed, but instead reacted to various changes and new information about her life that slowly came into focus.

Our villain, the Thorn Queen herself, was shocking in the worst possible way. There was nothing whatsoever to suggest the identity of this character and while I’m sure the author intended her identity to be a surprise, it was so out of the blue that she ended up disingenuously representing a character later on. The motivations behind the Thorn Queen made little sense, especially due to the fact that her development made a massive jump from how she was portrayed initially to what she eventually became, a jump that made very little sense in the long run. It was as though there were two completely different characters pretending to be the same one.

I found I didn’t care what happened to any of the characters and while I think that this story had a great deal of potential, I was thoroughly disappointed with the plot and subsequently the characters themselves as a result. Neither really complimented the other, but rather served to make each one less and less realistic. I think this story could have been fantastic, especially with the exceptional world building of the author. But it followed a strange path that never really managed to connect well and ultimately lost me along the way. I wish this book had avoided the entire plot of the Thorn Queen and gone in a different direction.


The Thorn Queen
by Elise Holland was a hard book to rate. As the story begins, we’re introduced to Meylyne, a young girl of two worlds who has been forced to live in the world below as a result of her parentage while she watches the parade above though she knows she could be in deep trouble were she to be seen. It was a fascinating start to what seemed like a brilliant story. There is a sickly prince, secret scandals, and a snake people who live beneath the below world and remain separate and are condemned by those of the other two worlds. There was so much potential in the way the worlds were built, the different places and people who lived there. Holland built a deeply intriguing setting and people for her story that I was incredibly excited to learn more.

But as the story progressed, this changed. Holland rarely took advantage of the truly enticing pieces she had created within her world, instead focusing on a hodgepodge of random characters and a quest-like adventure that branched off in numerous directions for seemingly no reason at all. The story, overall, felt incredibly disjointed. It was almost like those side quests in a video game that don’t quite have much to do with the story, but give you a little extra piece if you decide to go ahead and do them. And I felt this way throughout much of the book. Nothing ever seemed to follow a real path, but instead all of these additional mini-quests were added to detract from the story until the author decided to return to the set upon plot.

And this was irritating in itself, but forgivable as while it added some rather dull moments to the book and did hurt the reading experience, it didn’t really destroy the tale. Perhaps the most problematic issue I have with The Thorn Queen were the characters. Not a single one was interesting past the first few chapters. I found Hope supremely annoying. I felt that Blue did not really add much to the story. And then there is the matter of Meylyne who progressively got more and more annoying as the story continued. Her character never felt developed, but instead reacted to various changes and new information about her life that slowly came into focus.

Our villain, the Thorn Queen herself, was shocking in the worst possible way. There was nothing whatsoever to suggest the identity of this character and while I’m sure the author intended her identity to be a surprise, it was so out of the blue that she ended up disingenuously representing a character later on. The motivations behind the Thorn Queen made little sense, especially due to the fact that her development made a massive jump from how she was portrayed initially to what she eventually became, a jump that made very little sense in the long run. It was as though there were two completely different characters pretending to be the same one.

I found I didn’t care what happened to any of the characters and while I think that this story had a great deal of potential, I was thoroughly disappointed with the plot and subsequently the characters themselves as a result. Neither really complimented the other, but rather served to make each one less and less realistic. I think this story could have been fantastic, especially with the exceptional world building of the author. But it followed a strange path that never really managed to connect well and ultimately lost me along the way. I wish this book had avoided the entire plot of the Thorn Queen and gone in a different direction.

I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

🦊🦊

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