Author: Intisar Khanani
Prequels to the Dauntless Path Series
In the kingdom of Adania, everyone knows what Princess Alyrra did to earn the court’s contempt, her mother’s disdain, and her brother’s hatred.
She betrayed her own.
Yet, the truth hides another story, one of honor and honesty, of a princess gambling her own life for another’s. It’s a tale of courage and consequences, and a choice that can never be undone.
A short story prequel to her multi-starred fantasy, Thorn, Intisar Khanani’s “Brambles” gives Alyrra’s account of what really happened all those years ago, and how a few critical days turned her life into a daily fight for survival.
Brambles is the prequel novella to Thorn, which gives a background into Alyrra’s character before the events of the first novel take place. At around 40 pages, this short story gives a nice origin story to Alyrra’s initial character presented in Thorn. I believe this novella could be read before or after Thorn, but I personally chose to read it after. As a character origin story, it is a good indicator for a reader to decide to continue on in the series or not if you read it before Thorn. Princess Alyrra has a brother that treats her horribly, a mother that does not care about her in favor of her brother, and, of course, there is Valka, who is just horrible all around. It was interesting to see all of these characters interact again and it was a great character study to see the toll their actions took on Alyrra. She makes certain decisions that go against her mother and brother and she is shut down. The reader can see the build up to the schemes and events that will take place in Thorn by reading this story. Overall, it is an excellent addition to the series as it gives additional background to this interesting group of characters and the world they all live.
Rae knows how to look out for family. Born with a deformed foot, she feigns indifference to the pity and insults that come her way. Wary of all things beautiful, Rae instantly distrusts their latest visitor: an appallingly attractive faerie. Further, his presence imperils the secret her sister guards. But when the local townspeople show up demanding his blood, Rae must find a way to protect both her sister’s secret and their guest. Even if that means risking herself.
The Bone Knife introduces Rae, the heroine of The Theft Of Sunlight (March 2021).
At less than 40 pages long, The Bone Knife gives a brief introduction to Rae, who will be the main character in the next novel, The Theft of Sunlight. While not necessary if you want to jump ahead to the next story, it does give a brilliant introduction to the character and packs a lot into its short length. She was born with a deformed foot and although she has moments where she wants to be like everyone else, she is comfortable with who she is as a person. However, there are those that treat her differently and only see it as a negative. There is a lot of possibility with just this part of the story alone as it gives a lot of potential to character development within the next novels in the series. Additionally, this story’s plot has Rae, her sister, and a mysterious faerie that comes to visit them. Things become very complicated with the arrival of this visitor and many secrets are left to be revealed. Everything in this story makes me very excited to read The Theft of Sunlight!