What an absolutely fantastic story! Dark, whimsical, and with just the right amount of humor and vitriol, Violet Made Of Thorns by Gina Chen is an epic fantasy that takes all the typical tropes of fairy tales and throws them out the window.
The book follows Violet, a very morally gray witch who is ambitious and power-hungry, struggling to save her own skin against a prophecy that threatens the kingdom with blood and doom. Throw in a sizzling enemies-to-lovers romance, and you get an unforgettable tale of fickle, hypocritical Prince Charmings, cruel and cunning kings, twisted politics of men and gods, and a powerful witch in the midst of all that frenzy.
Sounds like your cup of tea? Then make sure to pre-order Violet Made Of Thorns; this amazing fantasy debut from Gina Chen comes out this summer on July 26th, 2022.
A darkly enchanting fantasy debut about a morally gray witch, a cursed prince, and a prophecy that ignites their fate-twisted destinies—perfect for fans of The Cruel Prince and Serpent & Dove.
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 the 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.
Book Review: Violet Made Of Thorns By Gina Chen
Trigger Warnings: mildly explicit sexual content, physical abuse and violence, blood and gore
There are so many things I loved about this book! Let’s start with the world-building, cause that’s always a strong factor for me whenever I pick up any fantasy. The world-building in Violet Made Of Thorns was spectacular–everything from the stunning descriptions of The Sun Continent, The Palace, and the slums of The Moon District was so beautifully detailed that I couldn’t help but feel like I was being carried away to this fantasy, imaginary world.
The magic system was very intriguing as well. The question of fate and destiny, and the role of “gods” is a constant theme in the novel; throughout the whole book, Violet makes the reader question how much of our future is in our own hands, and how much of it is predestined by a higher power.
The characters were also incredibly well-developed. Our main protagonist Violet was unforgettable; I loved her icy cynicism, her snark, and her realistic worldview.
Her true opposite is the love interest, Prince Cyrus, who constantly tries to choose kindness over violence but ultimately ends up making decisions that are also cruel and unjust.
The supporting characters were adorable too–I loved Dante and how his story arc further explored and expanded on the themes of colonization and xenophobia that are apparent in the Sun Continent. And though I wish Camilla was given a better story than simply being comic relief, I adored every scene where she was present.
At the end of the day though, it’s the plot of Violet Made Of Thorns that will keep you turning the pages. At its heart, it’s a romantic fairy tale, but not the kind you would read to children. I loved the parallels to well-known Children’s stories like Cinderella, Beauty & The Beast, Sleeping Beauty, and even Jack And The Bean Stalk that the author incorporated; they were delightful to read and added whimsical magic to the overall story.
The ending was super clever! Not quite a cliff-hanger, the novel has an open ending that perfectly wraps up the first book while still leaving room for further sequels too.
Dark and enchanting, Violet Made Of Thorns by Gina Chen is a delightfully seductive fantasy that will have you mesmerized from page one. I strongly recommend this to everyone!
Reasons To Read Violet Made Of Thorns By Gina Chen
To sum it up, here are the reasons why you should read Violet Made Of Thorns by Gina Chen:
✔️ A beautifully vicious, seductive story.
✔️ A tantalizing enemies-to-lovers romance.
✔️ An incredible, fantastical world of magic, men & fairies.
✔️ A brash, cynical & refreshingly realistic, power-hungry anti-heroine.
Meet The Author: Gina Chen
Gina Chen tells stories about heroines, antiheroines, and the kind of cleverness that brings trouble in its wake. Violet Made of Thorns is her debut fantasy novel. For more info, visit actualgina.com and follow @actualgina on Twitter and Instagram.
Pre-order Violet Made Of Thorns By Gina Chen
If you enjoyed this review and you think this book is for you, then support the author by pre-ordering Violet Made Of Thorns. The book comes out this summer, on July 26th, 2022.
Disclaimer: I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy for this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for giving me a chance to review this book.
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