One of the best books I am reading
Court of Bitter Thorn is a fantastic start to Kay L. Moody’s new YA fantasy series. The story is paced well and grips you from the start with a young woman named Elora who longs for a life of adventure. Faced with a wedding to a man she barely knows, Elora sees the life she wants slipping away, especially after tragedy strikes her family. However, when Elora makes an agreement with a Faerie prince, she’s pulled away from her sisters and into an adventure she never expected. Elora will do whatever it takes to get back to her sisters, but whom can she trust? As she reluctantly teaches Brannick how to sword fight, she learns that things are not always what they seem in the Faerie world.
The author’s talent in creating a vivid and fascinating world is evident throughout the book, from the intricate world-building to the well-developed characters. I love the incredible amount of world-building that went into this book. First in the human realm and then in the Faerie realm, the author’s skillful use of imagery and sensory language creates a captivating and immersive setting. Filled with faeries, magical powers, dryads, courtship intrigue, and curses, this world is as original and defined as the characters.
Elora is a fantastic protagonist. She’s resigned to the fact that she must marry to ensure her and her sisters’ financial stability and feels a strong sense of responsibility to her younger sisters. This sense of responsibility compels many of her actions. That doesn’t stop her from connecting with the characters she meets in the Faerie world, especially Brannick.
I admit I am a sucker for romance, and I really enjoyed the slow-building romance between Elora and Brannick. It was a subtle addition to the story, and I loved the gradual development of their relationship. If you read Heir of Bitter Thorn, the prequel to this story, you’ve already witnessed the amazing chemistry between Elora and Brannick. (If not, no worries. Elora and Brannick can’t remember their first meeting either.) I love their chemistry-laden interactions and their resistance to the ever-growing feelings between them, and I can’t wait to see how their relationship develops in future books.
Okay, I found my words. This book is amazing. I love books like this where the girl is whisked away to Faerie by a prince/king fae and forced into a bargain, but this book breaks many of the stereotypes of the genre.
First of all, Elora is anything but helpless against the Fae. She is a master swordswoman and can hold her own.
Second, Brannick is not overly cruel (although he is self serving, he isn't frustratingly so).
Third, there are hints about Elora's past that are subtle enough that I still don't know what it is. It's so hard for authors not to be heavy handed with the hints but Moody did an amazing job.
Fourth, the side characters are rich and developed enough that they stand out and aren't just Plot Development Devices.
I assumed it would be like every other fairytale and was beyond pleased with it when I started reading. Was stoked that it’s clean romance and had several twists and turns that I wasn’t expecting. This was her first book that I read and I promptly bought the next one as well!
This is such a fun read! I loved Elora and her adventures in Faerie. I loved Brannick is such a great character. I loved the world that she finds in Bitter Thorn. There is so much emotion in this book and I found myself feeling all the emotions along with Elora and feeling fully invested in her part of the story. The end left we wanting to keep going to know what happens.