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.
This book did not grip me, which didn’t surprise me coming off a book I had quite fallen in the world of. It was interesting enough that I kept reading, but I wasn’t truly drawn into the book until 2/3 of the way through. Zaina never seems like a beast at all, though she does have a tragic past. There wasn’t too much connection between this story and the fairy tale that we know and love, and I think this story may have stood better on its own.
Seeing the slow burn connection of Einar and Zaina, and how Zaina’s mother influenced so much before and after, became truly great; Einar is a very unique and patient man. That being said, this book left on a complete cliffhanger with nothing at all resolved!! I did feel that many of the “surprises” of who was whom in the past/present that Zaina was unaware of were quite obviously foreshadowed. In many parts of this book, it seems as if the easy answer to fix whatever is wrong between Zaina and Einar would be for her to open up and TELL HIM THE TRUTH. That being said, I do plan to continue on with the series.
Star rating: ✯✯✯✯
Review of Of Thorns and Beauty by Elle Madison and Robin D. Mahle