Violet Made of Thorns by Gina Chen
Series: Violet Made of Thorns #1
Expected publication: July 26th 2022 by Delacorte Press
Age Range: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Representation: East Asian MC, bi brown SC, lesbian SC
Violet is a prophet and a liar, influencing the royal court with her cleverly phrased—and not always true—divinations. Honesty is for suckers, like the oh-so-not charming Prince Cyrus, who plans to strip Violet of her official role once he’s crowned at the end of the summer—unless Violet does something about it.
But when the king asks her to falsely prophesy Cyrus’s love story for an upcoming ball, Violet awakens a dreaded curse, one that will end in either damnation or salvation for the kingdom—all depending on the prince’s choice of future bride. Violet faces her own choice: Seize an opportunity to gain control of her own destiny, no matter the cost, or give in to the ill-fated attraction that’s growing between her and Cyrus.
Violet’s wits may protect her in the cutthroat court, but they can’t change her fate. And as the boundary between hatred and love grows ever thinner with the prince, Violet must untangle a wicked web of deceit in order to save herself and the kingdom—or doom them all.
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Thank you to TBR and Beyond Tour for choosing me as one of the participants in the #VioletMadeofThorns tour. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. If you’re interested in the other tour stops, check out the schedule!
Usually, I will wait till the end to say this, but everyone must know: I need to have book two right now. Immediately. Gina Chen immersed me into the world of beasts and briars, magic and witches, fairies and glamor, love and hate. I couldn’t stop reading. I didn’t want to put down the book. This fairytale-esque setting with a love-hate relationship between the prince and the Seer who saved his life was absolutely perfect for me.
After young Violet saved young Cyrus years ago, she was brought into the palace. As the in-house Seer, Violet reads people’s threads and aids the king when she dreams of incoming danger. This entire time, Violet and Cyrus have never seen eye-to-eye. But, we all know it’s a thin line between love and hate. I enjoyed watching them go against one another, always quarreling regardless of the audience present.
Time is running out for the Kingdom of Auveny. A curse of beasts and briars is spreading quickly. Even the kingdom’s usual tactics to keep it at bay aren’t working. As per the previous Seer’s prophecy, the future depends on Cyrus’s heart, his choice of bride. Cyrus has to fall in love and marry before the curse swallows the whole kingdom. To quell the worry of the citizens, the king asked Violet to ensure everyone that Cyrus will meet his true love at the upcoming ball. What they didn’t know was the manipulation behind this “one true love.”
I liked that Violet Made of Thorns has a dark atmosphere. It made me question everything that was happening and everyone within this story, including Violet herself. Her dreams and the influence it has on her worried me a little. Regardless, I was cheering for her.
“The future isn’t always kind, but you haven’t let that get in your way.”
If there’s anything, I wish we had more world-building. Learning about the history of Seers and the kingdom or the world would be fascinating. Through Dante, a mutual friend and a scholar, or Cyrus, I believe we could have gotten more knowledge about the world. The whole story is set within the palace grounds, and the characters only went out once or twice. I would have liked it if we got a greater sense of the greater world.
Overall, I entirely enjoyed Violet Made of Thorns. The love-hate push-and-pull was fun. While the transition between not wanting to even communicate and the behind-closed-doors situation is pretty fast, I had a sneaky suspicion that Cyrus and Violet are more attracted to one another than it seems. That’s why they were always so explosive and sarcastic when they are nearby. The whole curse prophecy plot is interesting as well. It reminds me of the classic fairytale, Beauty and the Beast. Gina Chen mentioned that she was inspired by elements of some fairytales. Take a read and you shall see!
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