Review – Brambles by Intisar Khanani

**Disclaimer: I was given a free e-ARC in exchange for an honest review from the publisher via NetGalley.**

Title Brambles

Author Intisar Khanani

Description from Amazon

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.

Release Date December 7, 2020

Initial Thoughts

I love a good novella so I was super excited to see this one from Intisar Khanani. I love seeing extra scenes or getting a little more background to a story.

Some Things I Liked

  • Length. I love a novella. This story was just the right length to capture the story of how Alyrra ended up on her journey in the beginning of Thorn.
  • Justice as a theme. I loved seeing a glimpse of the Alyrra we see in Thorn. She’s basically the only character with any sense of conscious here so I was glad to see her use it to dole out some justice.

One Thing I Wasn’t Crazy About

  • I didn’t love the abuse that Alyrra had to endure. Essentially, I didn’t love that the plot basically revolved around how terribly everyone treated her. Since I have already read Thorn, I know that this is a prequel to explain how she got into her awful situation in that book, but I just don’t love a story that revolves around bullying and mistreatment.

Series Value

There is strong series value here. I have already read the next book but I have book 2 in NetGalley right now and am excited to continue the story. I like the world building and am hoping for a lot more in the romance department.

I liked that this novella sets the reader up for the first book and can be read before or after.

Final Thoughts

I enjoyed this novella. It was a quick read and gave me backstory to an event that was crucial to the plot of Thorn.


Recommendations for Further Reading

  • Thorn by Intisar Khanani – if you read this series out of order, and read the novella first, try reading the companion novel next.
  • The Theft of Sunlight by Intisar Khanani – this title isn’t out yet, but again, if you enjoyed the writing, try the spin-off story.

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