Curse of the Thorn King by Lisette Marshall is a cute, intriguing twist on the tale of Beauty and the Beast.

Curse of the Thorn King was a very enjoyable read with wonderful characters, as few as there were (hello empty castle problems) and it’s a short, yet satisfying read.

The part I loved the most is the fact that the heroine, Briannis, is not your average lady. In fact, she’s an assassin and her latest mark is the main male character of the story, the King of the Fae, as it just so happens. Having the lead female be an assassin by nature was such a fun little twist to this often retold tale. Briannis is no soft damsel to be rescued or to offer herself up on a platter. She can take a life at the drop of one of her deadly hair pins and she has done so many a time. She os clever, quick witted, and highly determined when it comes to her art. It doesn’t matter that Moridyr, the Fae King is much bigger and stronger than her. She is a force to be reckoned with and will do whatever it takes to complete her mission.

Moridyr, the beast of the story because of his half dead appearance, has one side of his body withered away for reasons unknown. He, on the other hand, finds her antics unexpectedly amusing when he discovers her and her goal of ridding him from the world once and for all. Considering Briannis was out for his blood, they had very amusing interactions and somehow played off of one another so well. I very much enjoyed the banter between these two characters and the fact that whenever they were in the same vicinity there never seemed to be a dull moment. And the fact that Moridyr just found her to be a silly human made it so much better somehow. And of course, tensions build between the two and things get steamy while they’re all alone kept prisoner in the castle by a violent wall of thorny roses, and the spice is very present.

Of course truths are revealed and things become a little less clear and simple, resulting in inner struggles for the characters and the story keeps the reader hooked with these revelations. Not to mention the tidbits revealed about the Fae, how their magic works, the mystery behind why it’s failing, and how persecuted they are by mortals. Then there is Briannis, an assassin who just wants to be a normal lady and is promised that this last job will provide her with all of the dreams her father always wanted for her. All together it was a very engaging read and I loved to see a familiar tale twisted in a new way.

The end of the book comes with revelations and Moridyr’s fate and that of the Fae is still very much up in the air as the Fae King continues to waste away, meaning if it isn’t fixed his life will soon come to an end. With this danger hanging over his head, and Briannis having to decide where her loyalty lies, things are set up to very interesting in the sequel. I can’t wait to see where this duo’s story will lead and what further revelations will be made about the curse that is leeching life from Moridyr bit by bit, and how Briannis will continue to use her assassin skills going forward.


By Danielle Plant

An avid reader and runner. I like to spend my spare time with my dogs Reese and Orion.

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