Print Length 370 pages
Publisher Entangled Teen
Published March 6, 2017
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.
The Garden is almost like a traveling circles, with no animals. Humans perform, and if they do badly the Wilted are the ones who are punished. Every Garden has a star flower, and Rose happens to be that flower. Fern is the Wilted that belongs with Rose and one day a mistake was deadly. Rose knew then that she would have to escape. Only she escapes with the one man that the emperor dreads and the townsfolk gossip about.
Rose has a secret that could change the world, yet due to circumstances beyond her control she became a slave in the Garden. She was content in the Garden with Fern but once Fern was done she realized she had to help the other girls escape as well. She was strong-willed, and loyal to a fault. A planner she was not, as she often tried to do things by the seat of her pants. This could get quiet annoying.
Rayce has a secret too, one that could also change the world. If only he could find a way around the emperor. A lot of people depend upon him, and he takes this responsibility to heart. If one of his people gets hurt, he is right there with them. He hates what he has to do, and the difficult decisions he has to make. He does them time and time again. His sense of purpose and responsibility is a thing of beauty.
The chemistry between these two is thick. There were times where I wanted to shake both of them and give them a Gibbs slap on the head. I refrained but only barely. They both feel the connection but fight it tooth and nail due to their responsibilities. While this is noble at times, I just wanted them to kiss.
Garden of Thorns is a good start to an interesting series. It combines fantasy with a bit of mystery and comes out winning in all of these areas. It is extremely fast-paced and could leave you feeling as if you got whip lash from all the back and forth in the romance department.
My Rating 4 out of 5 stars
Favorite Quote “Deception wins wars with the least amount of casualties.”
Fern- Rose’s Wilted
Oren- mentor to Rayce
Arlo- Rayce’s bestie
Marin- Arlo’s sister