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Brambles

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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. A short story prequ 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. A short story prequel to her multi-starred fantasy, Thorn, Intisar Khanani's "Brambles" gives Alyrra's account of what really happened all those years ago, and how a few critical days turned her life into a daily fight for survival.


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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. A short story prequ 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. A short story prequel to her multi-starred fantasy, Thorn, Intisar Khanani's "Brambles" gives Alyrra's account of what really happened all those years ago, and how a few critical days turned her life into a daily fight for survival.

30 review for Brambles

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    ARC received in exchange for an honest review 🍇 The story of a princess who, through one act of kindness, finds herself at the mercy of her cruel and merciless brother. This is pitched as a prequel of sorts to Thorn, which I haven't read. I don't think that took anything away from my reading experience however, as I found Alyrra to be a well rounded protagonist who has strong moral values. For such a short read, I felt drawn to her as a character and wanted her to escape her brother's wrath. I co ARC received in exchange for an honest review 🍇 The story of a princess who, through one act of kindness, finds herself at the mercy of her cruel and merciless brother. This is pitched as a prequel of sorts to Thorn, which I haven't read. I don't think that took anything away from my reading experience however, as I found Alyrra to be a well rounded protagonist who has strong moral values. For such a short read, I felt drawn to her as a character and wanted her to escape her brother's wrath. I could also see the early formation of loyalty and friendship between Alyrra and her servants. She's kind, and honest and good. Everything you should want in a princess, but not in this kingdom. In this kingdom, it pays to be cruel. We get hints of world building, and it really had me intrigued to read Thorn with all the talk of political machinations and alliances that dictate how the court and outside kingdoms work. It was very easy to read too. I flew through this little story in under an hour, and was hooked in from the start. A great introduction to a fascinating fantasy fairy tale with strong villainous characters and a sweet protagonist.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Alaina

    I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I'm actually really happy that I started this series with the novella. It's just kind of rare for me to do that and I'm surprised at myself. That being said, I adored getting to meet Alyrra in Brambles. Her life kinds of sucks in this short book and trust me - I hated so many people. Namely her family and Valka. I'm not even sorry about it. Now knowing how cruel the people close to her were, well I'm beyond excited to dive i I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I'm actually really happy that I started this series with the novella. It's just kind of rare for me to do that and I'm surprised at myself. That being said, I adored getting to meet Alyrra in Brambles. Her life kinds of sucks in this short book and trust me - I hated so many people. Namely her family and Valka. I'm not even sorry about it. Now knowing how cruel the people close to her were, well I'm beyond excited to dive into this series. At first, I thought she was going to be somewhat like her mother and be constantly underestimated. In some ways, she is and was. Yet, after meeting her mother - I just don't want her to be like her. She was cruel and definitely favored her brother more. Even if he is supposed to be the heir to the throne, he is a little shit that needs to be destroyed. I can't wait for Alyrra to prove everyone wrong and continually surprise them. After that forest scene, I have so many questions and now I have to dive into these books and figure it all out.

  3. 4 out of 5

    John Gilbert

    It's been a while between drinks for something new by Intisar Khanani, so this will have to do. Very short story taking place two years before Thorn begins. A nice teaser while awaiting something more substantial. Only for affectionados. It's been a while between drinks for something new by Intisar Khanani, so this will have to do. Very short story taking place two years before Thorn begins. A nice teaser while awaiting something more substantial. Only for affectionados.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    I had the first book in this series for a while now but I never took the time to read it. So when I saw the author came out with a prequel, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to dive into this series. It also helped that we were buddy-reading it. Brambles was a pretty quick read that follows Princess Alyrra and we see in a few pages how her family treats her and that she's still trying to help a servant when she can. I loved seeing her standing up for someone else against her brother and Valk I had the first book in this series for a while now but I never took the time to read it. So when I saw the author came out with a prequel, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to dive into this series. It also helped that we were buddy-reading it. Brambles was a pretty quick read that follows Princess Alyrra and we see in a few pages how her family treats her and that she's still trying to help a servant when she can. I loved seeing her standing up for someone else against her brother and Valka who were cruel and deserved to be punished. I don't know what will happen next but I'm curious to find out. I only hope that Alyrra will be able to stand up for herself next. (Thank you for letting me read and review an ARC via Netgalley)

  5. 4 out of 5

    Marquise

    I received an ARC from the author in exchange for a review. When we meet Alyrra in Thorn, she is an unloved princess and an outcast in her own castle, and we wonder what she may have done that earned her such scorn, because she's a lovely girl. Did she commit some huge faux pas that she's not been forgiven for? Turns out she decidedly did. But, as this prequel short story will reveal, it was for a cause worth the consequences.Brambles is a story about how far someone would go for doing the right t I received an ARC from the author in exchange for a review. When we meet Alyrra in Thorn, she is an unloved princess and an outcast in her own castle, and we wonder what she may have done that earned her such scorn, because she's a lovely girl. Did she commit some huge faux pas that she's not been forgiven for? Turns out she decidedly did. But, as this prequel short story will reveal, it was for a cause worth the consequences.Brambles is a story about how far someone would go for doing the right thing no matter the cost, without pounding the reader over the head with a moral they should get. Alyrra is no self-righteous do-gooder, she doesn't plan to act like she does. She simply is. And, because she simply is a good person, she lets her charitable nature conduce her to commit treason in her family's eyes. This being a short story, it's hard to say more without being spoilery, so I'll only add that it's a nice little story that fans of Thorn should enjoy, in part for nostalgia (it's been a while since!), and in part because it provides a fitting answer to a couple of plot points in the main novel.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sakina (aforestofbooks)

    Absolutely loved this glimpse of Alyrra’s life before Thorn. It’s honestly so sad and heartbreaking reading how Alyrra’s mother and brother treat her. It makes me just as angry as I was reading Thorn. That people that evil and heartless and selfish can exist, and that they actually experience joy when they hurt someone else. It’s awful. This short novella really shows the power in the found family. Family is not just blood, it’s people who make you feel safe and cared for, it’s people who you ca Absolutely loved this glimpse of Alyrra’s life before Thorn. It’s honestly so sad and heartbreaking reading how Alyrra’s mother and brother treat her. It makes me just as angry as I was reading Thorn. That people that evil and heartless and selfish can exist, and that they actually experience joy when they hurt someone else. It’s awful. This short novella really shows the power in the found family. Family is not just blood, it’s people who make you feel safe and cared for, it’s people who you can be yourself around, and it’s people who you can depend on to not leave you behind when times are tough.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mridula Gupta

    Princess Alyrra, scorned for her honesty, finds herself amidst dirty court politics-one that pushes her farther away from her mother, the court and her beloved Kingdom. Alyrra, being the innocent flower she is, doesn't understand why betraying one's own comes above righteousness. Firm in her choices, she tries hard to find a way to leave her home behind - one that reeks of abuse and neglect, covered in muddy footprints of politics. . 'Brambles' is the prequel to 'Thorns' by Initisar Khanani. Princ Princess Alyrra, scorned for her honesty, finds herself amidst dirty court politics-one that pushes her farther away from her mother, the court and her beloved Kingdom. Alyrra, being the innocent flower she is, doesn't understand why betraying one's own comes above righteousness. Firm in her choices, she tries hard to find a way to leave her home behind - one that reeks of abuse and neglect, covered in muddy footprints of politics. . 'Brambles' is the prequel to 'Thorns' by Initisar Khanani. Princess Alyrra gets a backstory, one that fits well as we see her journey in 'Thorn'. Alyrra's character is fascinating and the author doesn't create a sympathetic diversion to affirm our faith in this young and promising character. Intisar's writing feels intimate to me for some reason, could be the themes or her words but she has my attention now.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tilly

    4 stars I loved Thorn and so I was so glad to get this advanced ebook of this novella. Brambles shows us Princess Alyrra as a younger girl and the events that lead her to some of the events in Thorn. Although rather short, I really enjoyed this little glimpse into her childhood and the nastiness of her family and others around her. It was also nice to see her first interaction with wind and the context behind it. I cannot wait to read the second book in the series! Please note that I was gifted th 4 stars I loved Thorn and so I was so glad to get this advanced ebook of this novella. Brambles shows us Princess Alyrra as a younger girl and the events that lead her to some of the events in Thorn. Although rather short, I really enjoyed this little glimpse into her childhood and the nastiness of her family and others around her. It was also nice to see her first interaction with wind and the context behind it. I cannot wait to read the second book in the series! Please note that I was gifted this book in exchange for an honest review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca | Velvet Opus

    Oh my giddy aunt. I do like a good novella. Particularly one that introduces a new character or world that I fall in love with. Brambles did that with a strong, compassionate young heroine and a hint of magic on the winds. It's a prequel to Intisar Khanani's multi-starred fantasy series Thorn which I am SO excited to read now. Release date 7 December, full review to come! Thanks to the author for a review copy via Netgalley! Oh my giddy aunt. I do like a good novella. Particularly one that introduces a new character or world that I fall in love with. Brambles did that with a strong, compassionate young heroine and a hint of magic on the winds. It's a prequel to Intisar Khanani's multi-starred fantasy series Thorn which I am SO excited to read now. Release date 7 December, full review to come! Thanks to the author for a review copy via Netgalley!

  10. 5 out of 5

    The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori)

    Full Review on The Candid Cover Brambles by Intisar Khanani is a novella in the Dauntless Path series that fans of the first story, Thorn, will want to read. This short story gives an in-depth look into the events that take place before the first story begins. If you are impatiently waiting to read the next instalment in the series, this book will definitely whisk you back to Adania. Although, this story is a mere 40 pages, quite a lot is packed into this one. It is a must-read for those who have Full Review on The Candid Cover Brambles by Intisar Khanani is a novella in the Dauntless Path series that fans of the first story, Thorn, will want to read. This short story gives an in-depth look into the events that take place before the first story begins. If you are impatiently waiting to read the next instalment in the series, this book will definitely whisk you back to Adania. Although, this story is a mere 40 pages, quite a lot is packed into this one. It is a must-read for those who have read the first book. If you have yet to try this series, there is enough detail in this little novella to get a feel for the beautiful writing and intriguing world that Khanani has created. Some extra context surrounding Princess Alyrra’s relationships with her family and friends is given in the book that sets the tone for Thorn. Also, it is a really nice flashback for those needing a little refresher before reading the second book. ❀ A BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN STORY The novella, Brambles, by Intisar Khanani is a beautifully written story that introduces the reader to the Dauntless Path series. It also makes some interesting connections for those already familiar with the story. If you enjoy YA fantasy, this is one series to try.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Aly

    This was short, but it got me really excited to read the next book! Alyrra seems smart, caring, and not afraid to stand up for what's right, even against her family. She doesn't have many people who support her, but she's strong and people underestimate her. I can't wait to continue this series! I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review This was short, but it got me really excited to read the next book! Alyrra seems smart, caring, and not afraid to stand up for what's right, even against her family. She doesn't have many people who support her, but she's strong and people underestimate her. I can't wait to continue this series! I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

  12. 4 out of 5

    Eustacia Tan

    If you enjoyed Thorn, you need to read Brambles because it provides context for how Alyrra's situation at home came to be. I mean, I knew what happened from reading Thorn, but it's so different to read about how it happened - I honestly felt like I was there. My only 'complaint', if it counts as one, is that the story is really short. It's about five chapters and I finished it in about 15 minutes? I kind of wish I waited a bit longer to read this because I'm still on the post Theft of Sunlight H If you enjoyed Thorn, you need to read Brambles because it provides context for how Alyrra's situation at home came to be. I mean, I knew what happened from reading Thorn, but it's so different to read about how it happened - I honestly felt like I was there. My only 'complaint', if it counts as one, is that the story is really short. It's about five chapters and I finished it in about 15 minutes? I kind of wish I waited a bit longer to read this because I'm still on the post Theft of Sunlight High and don't need a fix right now. Well, I guess I'll just have to reread this (and the other two books) whenever I want to meet Alyrra again!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Prabhat

    The story is an amazing overtake on the politics of the mediaeval period. The way princes and kings were ruthless and how having the throne to themselves is all they care about. The narration is done perfectly and all the details are to be loved. I am really overwhelmed by the authors work in this piece of work.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mary T

    Princess Alyrra is not loved by her mother, the queen nor her brother, . He and Valka, the daughter of the powerful and wealthy Lord Daerilin, are two very mean and nasty people who only care for themselves. When Alyrra defends a servant against false accusations, She is scorned by her family and abused by her brother. She makes friends with the spirit of the wind. And so the story of 'Thorn' starts. Princess Alyrra is not loved by her mother, the queen nor her brother, . He and Valka, the daughter of the powerful and wealthy Lord Daerilin, are two very mean and nasty people who only care for themselves. When Alyrra defends a servant against false accusations, She is scorned by her family and abused by her brother. She makes friends with the spirit of the wind. And so the story of 'Thorn' starts.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Annette

    Khanani has a beautiful writing style. She already proved that in the first book in this series and she proves it once more in this short prequel novella. I personally read the first book already quite some time ago, so I read this as a prequel, but I dare to say that this book gives you a great impression of the main character, the world and the setting of this story if you read it first. It's a perfect way to determine whether or not this series is something for you. Since I already read the fi Khanani has a beautiful writing style. She already proved that in the first book in this series and she proves it once more in this short prequel novella. I personally read the first book already quite some time ago, so I read this as a prequel, but I dare to say that this book gives you a great impression of the main character, the world and the setting of this story if you read it first. It's a perfect way to determine whether or not this series is something for you. Since I already read the first book I already vaguely knew what was coming in this story. We've heard about this incident and we've seen what it caused and where it eventually leads, but it's still quite different to actually live it. For some reason this story really touched me. At some point I had the tears burning in my eyes and I was so incredibly emotionally invested. For the biggest part the book has a depressive vibe. It's not very cheerful and the main character has to endure quite a lot. Since we're in her head, we really feel her pain, her doubts, her shame and all the other painful emotions she's dealing with. However, in the end we also get a little bit of hope, something positive. If you read this prequel before the first book, the story prepares you for what's to come. If you already read the first book before reading this one, this prequel will be an emotional return to the beginning of the story.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Meisha

    To be transparent, I have not read Thorn yet. But this is suppose to be a prequel so I felt this was a good place to start. As it was! I love this authors writing style and pacing. Even when there wasn't any magic or anything like that going on, it still felt very old fairytale-esque. It kept me engaged through the whole thing and finished it in one sitting! The ending definitely captures your attention and will have you wanting to pick up Thorn. However, what I will say is that I think people w To be transparent, I have not read Thorn yet. But this is suppose to be a prequel so I felt this was a good place to start. As it was! I love this authors writing style and pacing. Even when there wasn't any magic or anything like that going on, it still felt very old fairytale-esque. It kept me engaged through the whole thing and finished it in one sitting! The ending definitely captures your attention and will have you wanting to pick up Thorn. However, what I will say is that I think people who have already read Thorn will probably get more out of this prequel more than someone like me, who has not. That being said, I found this very enjoyable and will be picking up Thorn. Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for the arc!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Faith

    First of all, thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this book! I really, truly loved the writing style of this book! I have not read Thorn (Brambles is the prequel to Thorn) but it has now be added to my TBR because of this book. The writing reminded me of Gail Carson Levine’s writing in books like Ella Enchanted and Fairest, which were some of my favourite books growing up. This prequel really hooked me from the first page! The writing comforted me and I felt like I was reading a First of all, thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this book! I really, truly loved the writing style of this book! I have not read Thorn (Brambles is the prequel to Thorn) but it has now be added to my TBR because of this book. The writing reminded me of Gail Carson Levine’s writing in books like Ella Enchanted and Fairest, which were some of my favourite books growing up. This prequel really hooked me from the first page! The writing comforted me and I felt like I was reading another lovely fairytale. I loved the main character, who’s struggles were written so well. The villains in this short novella were also well written. Overall, a great short read that I highly recommend you pick up!

  18. 4 out of 5

    The Clever Reader

    Such a great short story. I love this world and can't wait for more from Intisar! Such a great short story. I love this world and can't wait for more from Intisar!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Cameron

    Aaah! I loved this glimpse into Alyrra's past! I read Thorn earlier this year, and seeing the events that led to Alyrra being so hated and dismissed by the court, yet so loved with the servants, was wonderful. It made me like her character even more and also showed that even before her honesty cast her as a traitor in the eyes of the nobles, she was treated pretty horribly. It made it even easier to understand why she is so meek and self deprecating when we meet her in Thorn. I hate her brother Aaah! I loved this glimpse into Alyrra's past! I read Thorn earlier this year, and seeing the events that led to Alyrra being so hated and dismissed by the court, yet so loved with the servants, was wonderful. It made me like her character even more and also showed that even before her honesty cast her as a traitor in the eyes of the nobles, she was treated pretty horribly. It made it even easier to understand why she is so meek and self deprecating when we meet her in Thorn. I hate her brother with a burning passion and I hope terrible things happen to him in future books.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Cocobookaddict

    4/5 I would like to thank NetGalley for giving me an ARC of this book to review. . I absolutely loved this little introduction of the series! I still haven't read Thorn but it has been on my TBR for a little time now. And this little introduction really caught my attention, and now I'll just go take Thorn out of my TBR! We have a good aspect of the characters here, and I'm already so angry with Allyra's brother... and mother. And friends? Haha I really have to read Thorn, Brambles was not enough!!! 4/5 I would like to thank NetGalley for giving me an ARC of this book to review. . I absolutely loved this little introduction of the series! I still haven't read Thorn but it has been on my TBR for a little time now. And this little introduction really caught my attention, and now I'll just go take Thorn out of my TBR! We have a good aspect of the characters here, and I'm already so angry with Allyra's brother... and mother. And friends? Haha I really have to read Thorn, Brambles was not enough!!!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Marilisa

    It's very difficult to rate a short story, especially one that fits into a larger series. When I requested this e-arc, I didn't realise this was the case, so it's my fault. I got so intrigued by the description, the fantastic setting, and political intrigue, that I didn't realise it was a sort of prequel. while I was not already familiar with these characters, the story felt quite interesting and intriguing and I might go on to read the full-length novels soon, lets see! #NetGalley It's very difficult to rate a short story, especially one that fits into a larger series. When I requested this e-arc, I didn't realise this was the case, so it's my fault. I got so intrigued by the description, the fantastic setting, and political intrigue, that I didn't realise it was a sort of prequel. while I was not already familiar with these characters, the story felt quite interesting and intriguing and I might go on to read the full-length novels soon, lets see! #NetGalley

  22. 4 out of 5

    arwen

    i received an arc! this is was really good, i haven't read thorn yet but it definitely convinced me to read it i received an arc! this is was really good, i haven't read thorn yet but it definitely convinced me to read it

  23. 5 out of 5

    Bookphenomena (Micky)

    Brambles is a prequel novella to the full length and wonderful Thorn (you can see my review here). This story finds Alyrra quite a bit younger and back in time in her original lands. This really is a brief origin story about why Alyrra found herself on the end of Valka’s wrath and how the plot for Thorn eventually unravels. I hated Alyrra’s brother and Valka in Thorn so this wasn’t the nicest company to be keeping in this novella. These two were bullies in Alyrra’s life, manipulating and controll Brambles is a prequel novella to the full length and wonderful Thorn (you can see my review here). This story finds Alyrra quite a bit younger and back in time in her original lands. This really is a brief origin story about why Alyrra found herself on the end of Valka’s wrath and how the plot for Thorn eventually unravels. I hated Alyrra’s brother and Valka in Thorn so this wasn’t the nicest company to be keeping in this novella. These two were bullies in Alyrra’s life, manipulating and controlling. Alyrra’s mother wasn’t much better either. I always hated that Alyrra didn’t have any allies at the beginning of Thorn and this is what we see in Brambles. BUT this was still a very engaging world to be in. Reading about villians can still be fulfilling! The world created in this series is intruiging, pretty fresh and as a collective, I’ll alwaysbe happy to read in this world. If you aren’t aware, the second book in the series The Theft of Sunlight is coming in March 2021 and I couldn’t be more excited about it. Whilst Brambles is not essential reading to the series, it’s a welcome snippet and insight into the grand story. Thank you to the author for the early review copy. This review can be found on A Take From Two Cities Blog.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Neelam

    I loved Thorn so much and it was wonderful being back in this world and especially being able to see exactly what happened which led to to the events in Thorn. Despite it being a short story it gave the main character a lot more depth and we can see why later she would be so conflicted about things. It's a great story and i highly recommend reading this after you read Thorn. I loved Thorn so much and it was wonderful being back in this world and especially being able to see exactly what happened which led to to the events in Thorn. Despite it being a short story it gave the main character a lot more depth and we can see why later she would be so conflicted about things. It's a great story and i highly recommend reading this after you read Thorn.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kate Ramsey

    Finally! We get to hear the story that caused THORN to start with such a bang. Since Alyrra's unpopularity in court is briefly summarized in THORN, there aren't any huge surprises here but I very much wanted to hear that story in more detail and BRAMBLES definitely enriches Alyrra's backstory. We get to experience more of the conniving and vengeful Valka, see the beginnings of the (gloriously nameless) brother's abuse, and meet the wind for the first time. The unfortunate reality is that standin Finally! We get to hear the story that caused THORN to start with such a bang. Since Alyrra's unpopularity in court is briefly summarized in THORN, there aren't any huge surprises here but I very much wanted to hear that story in more detail and BRAMBLES definitely enriches Alyrra's backstory. We get to experience more of the conniving and vengeful Valka, see the beginnings of the (gloriously nameless) brother's abuse, and meet the wind for the first time. The unfortunate reality is that standing up for what's right doesn't always result in immediate justice. It's often unpopular (especially with those in positions of power) and frequently punished, as anyone who has done it can likely tell you. I love that illustration here, as well as the tender beginnings of Alyrra's relationship with the more vulnerable working class people with whom she shares such genuine camaraderie throughout THORN.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sheila

    Brambles is what actually brought me to Netgalley in the first place, so I was excited and thrilled to have been approved for an ARC of the short story. I read Brambles just after finishing Thorn, Sunbolt, and Memories of Ash by Intisar Khanani. I was a little bit removed from Thorn because the Sunbolt and Ash books are a separate series, but it's still been less than a week, so the plot of Thorn was still fresh. And that's how I'd recommend reading Brambles. It's a beautiful, heart wrenching min Brambles is what actually brought me to Netgalley in the first place, so I was excited and thrilled to have been approved for an ARC of the short story. I read Brambles just after finishing Thorn, Sunbolt, and Memories of Ash by Intisar Khanani. I was a little bit removed from Thorn because the Sunbolt and Ash books are a separate series, but it's still been less than a week, so the plot of Thorn was still fresh. And that's how I'd recommend reading Brambles. It's a beautiful, heart wrenching mini backstory that precedes the events of Thorn, so while it can certainly be read on its own, some of the emotional punch is delivered by familiarity with the characters and events of Thorn (particularly Valka and the Wind sprite). Brambles tells the story of how Alyrra lost all favor in her home and inspired the hatred of her brother, mother, and Valka. It was a little heartbreaking, in truth, but I loved reading it and I'm so excited to follow Intisar Khanani's future work as well. I particularly enjoyed the little hints of Alyrra's wits sparking through when she felt safe in rare moments, to see her immutable kindness, and her youthful curiosity even as she was trodden down. A content warning is in order: this story does deal with themes of physical and emotional abuse and gaslighting from the main character's close contacts, though she does earn the kindness of others around her as well; since this short story tells the tale of how she landed up in that position, the abuse is only at the end, but potentially vulnerable readers should be aware. A short, four chapter read that I'd recommend to anyone already familiar with Thorn or who might consider reading in the future!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lara

    Charming little Novella showing us the events leading to the fallout between Valka and Alyrra. We know from Thorn that Valka stole a gem and was called out by Alyrra but this shows a more vivid picture of her cruelty especially when she gangs up with Alyrra’s brother the Prince. The sense of entitlement and pettiness is astounding, and not as pronounced in Thorn which is why she felt a little flat in that book. This story also gives a lot of insight into the family dynamics and why Alyrra is so Charming little Novella showing us the events leading to the fallout between Valka and Alyrra. We know from Thorn that Valka stole a gem and was called out by Alyrra but this shows a more vivid picture of her cruelty especially when she gangs up with Alyrra’s brother the Prince. The sense of entitlement and pettiness is astounding, and not as pronounced in Thorn which is why she felt a little flat in that book. This story also gives a lot of insight into the family dynamics and why Alyrra is so often mistreated. I didn’t get it at first and couldn’t understand the mother’s attitude or anyone else for that matter. I also loved the first introduction of “The Wind” and how it saved Alyrra from her brother. Definitely a cute story and one I would recommend if you’ve read Thorn.

  28. 4 out of 5

    La La

    A perfect short story prequel to Thorn! This short prequel to the Dauntless Path story, Thorn, fills in some of Alyrra's past relationships with family and friends, and tells of how she came to be endeared to the servant staff of the royal household. Knowing about this earlier segment in her life will have you loving the little princess in Thorn even more. A perfect short story prequel to Thorn! This short prequel to the Dauntless Path story, Thorn, fills in some of Alyrra's past relationships with family and friends, and tells of how she came to be endeared to the servant staff of the royal household. Knowing about this earlier segment in her life will have you loving the little princess in Thorn even more.

  29. 4 out of 5

    MF Barry

    Brambles, by Intisar Khanani, is a prequel short story to Thorn, book 1 of the Dauntless Path series. Not having read Thorn, I went into this short story with no preconceived notions - and loved it. The story hints at magic and demonstrates some interesting events that make you believe that Princess Alyrra is gifted but the reader isn't quite sure yet. Feeling a bit like a fairy tale, I was immediately taken in by love-to-hate them royals and the kind Priciness who will only suffer at the hands Brambles, by Intisar Khanani, is a prequel short story to Thorn, book 1 of the Dauntless Path series. Not having read Thorn, I went into this short story with no preconceived notions - and loved it. The story hints at magic and demonstrates some interesting events that make you believe that Princess Alyrra is gifted but the reader isn't quite sure yet. Feeling a bit like a fairy tale, I was immediately taken in by love-to-hate them royals and the kind Priciness who will only suffer at the hands of her cruel mother. Intrigued, I will be ordering Thorn on my kindle so I can follow the rest of the story. Thank you to NetGalley for the advanced reader copy. Brambles is published on December 7th.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Marian

    Lovely. Ms. Khanani is such a fine writer, to make me care about the princess and her story in just a few pages. Now I'm going to have to re-read Thorn, which was also excellent. Lovely. Ms. Khanani is such a fine writer, to make me care about the princess and her story in just a few pages. Now I'm going to have to re-read Thorn, which was also excellent.

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