Author: Gina Chen
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 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.
Violet Made of Thorns is the first novel in the duology of the same name. The story follows Violet, the resident Seer of Auveny. As the blurb mentions, she is also a liar. I love these types of protagonists, so Violent was one that greatly intrigued me before I even read the first page. Violet obtained her position through events involving Prince Cyrus and the two have become enemies since. While the cover and the character description of Violet, there is something very intriguing about an enemies to lovers story that I love. When a curse is revealed, the plot is set into motion along with Cyrus and Violet fighting some underlying feelings for each other.
As this is the first novel in the duology, it is difficult to have complete thoughts on the world, plot, and characters since there is a lot that could be done in the second novel. For this one, there was some world-building, but I wish there was more. The same goes for the romance as it felt a little rushed in places, but there is still a lot of potential, and I cannot wait to see how it develops. The two of them flipped constantly between love and hate, so I wish there were more exploration into each switch. For me, it was difficult to invest in this possible relationship as there did not seem to be progression into maybe they could be lasting by the end of the duology or even become complete enemies; they seemed to just hover around the center.
Along with Violet and Cyrus, I loved the side characters Camilla, Cyrus’s sister, and Dante, Violet’s friend. There is a lot more to them than initially meets the eye in different ways and I cannot wait to see how all the stories develop in the next novel. There are some fun fairy tale references throughout, and I love that the author drew inspiration from multiple instead of just one as it gave some nice variety. I also love the Chinese representation in the story as I have not read a lot with this type of plot. While there are many pieces that I wanted to be explored in greater depth, I think the general elements were all greatly enjoyable. There’s a lot left to be explored in the second novel and I cannot wait to read it!
**I want to give a special thank you to Netgalley and the publisher, Delacorte Press, for a review copy of this entertaining novel. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**