Thorn is the first book by author Intisar Khanani. This novel was first published in 2012.
In this article, you will find some frequently asked questions about this book. I have tried to answer them as best and honestly as possible.
I hope you enjoy reading these, and I hope this post answers some of the questions you may have about this book!
Since I will be answering questions about the book and it’s story, this article will contain spoilers.
Summary of Thorn by Intisar Khanani
Below is the official summary from the book:
Between her cruel family and the contempt she faces at court, Princess Alyrra has always longed to escape the confines of her royal life. But when she’s betrothed to the powerful prince Kestrin, Alyrra embarks on a journey to his land with little hope for a better future.
A mysterious and terrifying sorceress robs Alyrra of both her identity and her role as princess. Alyrra then seizes the opportunity to start a new life for herself as a goose girl.
But Alyrra soon finds that Kestrin is not what she expected. Alyrra learns more of this new kingdom. The pain and suffering its people endure, as well as the danger facing Kestrin from the sorceress herself. And the more she knows she can’t remain the goose girl forever.
With the fate of the kingdom at stake, Alyrra is caught between two worlds and ultimately must decide who she is, and what she stands for.
Does this book have romance?
Yes, there are definitely romantic elements in Thorn. Kestrin and Alyrra have a bond even more than Alyrra knows. This is because Kestrin used to visit her as the wind. He even made the request for Alyrra to become his wife.
And even though he doesn’t know that Thorn is really Alyrra, Kestrin starts having feelings for Thorn.
A lot of the decisions made by Alyrra and Kestrin are out of love. And although they don’t speak those words to each other, they do start to have strong feelings for each other.
Are there LGBTQ+ people or relationships in Thorn?
Thorn isn’t an LGBTQ+ book. Most of the relationships told in this book are between males and females.
The story is set in a time when this was still the norm. Thus, it is fitting for the story.
Who is the main love interest in this book?
As I already mentioned, there is a certain amount of romance and love between Alyrra/Thorn and Kestrin.
However, Alyrra isn’t sure Kestrin is the person she wants to marry. And she is somewhat content with the fact that she does not have to marry now that she is a goose girl. Still, she wonders about what would have happened if she was the one to have met the prince. But above all, she starts to respect and comes to like Kestrin.
Is Thorn spicy?
No there are no spicy elements in Thorn. It is a typical young adult fantasy novel. There is romance and love, written beautifully. But there are no sex scenes or anything of the sort in this book.
There are no real major spoilers for Thorn. There are however a few things that might be considered minor spoilers. The ending of the book will be explained later on in this article.
Some of the spoilers I can give you are:
- Thorn is a retelling of the Goose Girl story by the brothers Grimm. It stays very close to its original story.
- As in the original story, the talking horse Falada is killed.
- Prince Kestrin holds some magic and actually is the wind who comes to visit Alyrra.
Below you will find a list of some of the content trigger warnings of this book. This is to make you aware of what you can expect when reading this novel. With this in mind, please take note of the next warnings:
- physical abuse
- emotional abuse
- abuse by parents
- sexual assault (off page)
- violence against women
- animal death
Is Thorn by Intisar Khanani a series or standalone?
Thorn is the first part of a series. However, book two revolves around different characters but in the same world as Thorn. There are rumors that there will be a third book as well. Its release date is estimated to be in the summer of 2022.
The order in which to read the books are:
Who dies in Thorn?
Alyrra, or Thorn as she calls herself by then, makes some new friends. One of these friends is Violet.
Violet is brutally attacked and sexually assaulted. She eventually dies from this assault. When they find the men who assaulted Violet, they too are killed.
Thorn Ending Explained
Prince Kestrin had his doubts about the person claiming to be Alyrra. He met her as the wind, and she has changed a lot since arriving in his country. Then there is Thorn, the goose girl. She absolutely is not what he expected her to be. And he is sure she is hiding something from him.
At some point, he finds out who Thorn truly is, and he tries to defend her against the sorceress. But the sorceress then takes Kestrin prisoner.
Alyrra needs to find a way to free Kestrin. So she tries to make a deal with the sorceress. The sorceress lets Alyrra enter Kestrins dreams multiple times. She is disguised as the sorceress and needs to show that Kestrin is worthy of saving and that he isn’t as cruel as the men who came before him.
Eventually, Alyrra succeeds. But it costs her a lot. The sorceress releases Kestrin and they return to the castle.
The king long had his suspicions about the Alyrra imposter and believes everything his son tells him. They decide to punish the imposter, and she is sentenced to death. Once she is gone, the spell is broken and Alyrra turns back into herself.
What to Read After This Book
Intisar Khanani has a very unique way of writing. There aren’t a lot of people who can write like her. But there are many more books to enjoy if you loved Thorn. Here are a few of them:
- We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal
- Little Thieves by Margaret Owen
- Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
- These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong
- The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller
Thorn is full of poetic lines. There are so many beautiful quotes to pick from. It is almost impossible to choose. But here are some of my favorite quotes from Thorn.
- “We all need our quiet, I think. We all have our unspoken wishes, hopes we cannot mention, choices we may yet regret.”
- “It may not be pretty, but sometimes justice has to be hard to keep the rest of us straight and safe.”
- “This is how you survive: one breath to the next, refusing each thought as it comes to you. This is how you get through the worst of things.”
- “Which of us has not made mistakes when faced with more than we can handle?”
Thorn is a beautiful retelling of the Goose girl story. Intisar Khanani knows how to play with words and make you fall in love with her characters.
I hope I have answered some of the questions you may have had about this book! And if you have more questions that I didn’t answer, feel free to let me know in the comments below!