Review: Garden of Thorns
Author: Amber Mitchell
Series: Garden of Thorns #1
“After seven grueling years of captivity in the Garden—a burlesque troupe of slave girls—sixteen-year-old Rose finds an opportunity to escape during a performance for the emperor. But the hostage she randomly chose from the crowd to aid her isn’t one of the emperor’s men—not anymore. He’s the former heir to the throne, who is now leading a rebellion against it.
Rayce is a wanted man and dangerously charismatic, the worst person for Rose to get involved with, no matter what his smile promises. But he assumes Rose’s attempt to take him hostage is part of a plot to crush the rebellion, so he takes her as his hostage. Now Rose must prove where her loyalties lie, and she offers Rayce a deal—if he helps her rescue the other girls, she’ll tell him all the Garden’s secrets.
Except the one secret she’s kept for seven years that she’ll take to her grave if she must.”
I really enjoyed this story! I still didn’t get completely immersed into it in the way I do some other worlds, but I did stay up until half past 2 a.m. reading 70% of it in one sitting. The time flew by and I figured that it would be almost midnight, yet it was so much later…and I didn’t seem to notice.
The characters were fun (although Rose is a little obsessive). I thought her reaction to the abuses she faced was more realistic than most female protagonists who also have to fight the world for justice. She was scarred and readers could tell by her jumpiness and her need to save her sisters. Rayce, on the other hand, was all the wonderful things I imagine in a leader and significant other rolled into one. He was honorable, noble, trustworthy, brave, personable, talented, and can cook. While Rose’s depth came from her background and the past we know about her, Rayce’s depth came from his present and the actions and words he used to deal with the twists life sent his way.
The plot was fun, a little predictable, but gripping enough to keep me reading! There were moments that moved a little slow for me, but overall I found myself skimming down pages as action unfurled to try and take it all in as fast as I could. Although the “garden” references were strong, I thought it tied everything together in a way that kept reminding the reader of the main character’s former role and the way society had led them all to the breaking point.
I will definitely be reading the next book!
I would recommend this to fans of Victoria Aveyard or Sarah J. Maas (although the plot twists are far more obvious in this story, it has the same world-like feel).
The second book of the series just launched on today! Check it out: War of the Wilted!