Thank you to Intisar Khanani and Netgalley for the review copy in exchange for an honest review. This does not change my opinion in anyway.
Book: Brambles (Dauntless Path 0.5) by Intisar Khanani
Release Date: 8 December 2020
Tags: Young Adult | Short Story | Prequel | Family | Fantasy
Trigger/Content Warnings: Abuse
Other books in this series I reviewed
In the kingdom of Adania, everyone knows what Princess Alyrra did to earn the court’s contempt, her mother’s disdain, and her brother’s hatred.
She betrayed her own.
Yet, the truth hides another story, one of honor and honesty, of a princess gambling her own life for another’s. It’s a tale of courage and consequences, and a choice that can never be undone.
Full disclosure. I beta read this story a while back for Intisar along with a few other readers. So I already read this story before I got it for review. This is why you’ll find my name in the acknowledgments. Though I am not at all proud of that. Nope.
So now you know that going into this review. Brambles is the prequel story to Thorn. It tells us why Alyrra is so despised at court but loved by the servants. I think it does that well. Its clear in the story that her mother and her brother don’t much seem to be good family to Alyrra before everything happens, and as such the change after the disgrace feels very realistic. It shows the start to the physical abuse that Alyrra has to endure from her brother. But I think he was already on the borderline of emotional abuse before that.
It is certainly a great short story to pick up after you have read Thorn to get a little bit of extra background on Alyrra and her life before Thorn. It helps to fill in the little pieces of what happened before.