Cait’s Review of “Of Thorns and Beauty” by Elle Madison and Robin D. Mahle

By: Cait Marie

Goodreads Blurb

“You think you know the tale as old as time, but you’ve already got it wrong.
There never was a beauty and a beast, only a girl who was both.
And that girl was me.”

Zaina will never be free.

She’s forced into an arranged marriage to a Viking King in a castle full of secrets. But she carries secrets of her own, and the scars of her haunted past.

Handed off from one monster to another, she has no choice but to do her best to survive and protect her sisters.

Even if it costs her everything.

A Beauty and the Beast retelling you won’t want to miss, where nothing is what it seems and time is running out.


I don’t know where to start with this review… This book has been on my TBR for a long time, but I haven’t been able to read much fantasy this past year and a half outside of audiobooks because I just can’t get motivated or stay focused. (Yay anxiety and reading slumps!) Well, the audio version was recently released, and after binging The Lochlann Treaty series by the same authors last week (or the week before?), I didn’t hesitate to jump into this one.

And it. Was. Everything.

I’m genuinely mad at myself for putting it off so long.

Everyone who knows me knows that fairytale retellings are my thing. And I’m particularly obsessed with Beauty and the Beast retellings. This one did not disappoint. It exceeded expectations, which is saying something because I knew these two authors would do an amazing job.

Zaina is such a fierce, strong characters, whose backstory is truly heartbreaking. Einar is this warrior, ice king, who’s not as mean and cold as he appears. Both are full of secrets. Both are so well developed that I immediately loved them. The side characters are also written well.

This book has those Beauty and the Beast elements you’d expect, but it is so much more than that. It’s an original story within the familiar, and it’s set in a beautiful world full of different cultures.

I stayed up way too late, three nights in a row, just devouring this book, and then I immediately started the sequel. It’s so easy to get lost in this story. I highly recommend it!

*I received a free copy of this book and audiobook for my honest opinion, but I also own two copies of the paperback because their books are amazing and so pretty!

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