This is one of my most anticipated reads of 2022 and it did not disappoint! Thank you to TBR and Beyond Tours for allowing me to participate in this tour. Be sure to check out tour schedule for the other tours posts this week!
Violet Made of Thorns by Gina Chen
Published: July 26, 2022
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genre: YA Fantasy Romance
A darkly enchanting fantasy debut about a morally gray witch, a cursed prince, and a prophecy that ignites their fate-twisted destinies—perfect for fans of The Cruel Prince and Serpent & Dove.
Violet is a prophet and a liar, influencing the royal court with her cleverly phrased—and not always true—divinations. Honesty is for suckers, like the oh-so-not charming Prince Cyrus, who plans to strip Violet of her official role once he’s crowned at the end of the summer—unless Violet does something about it.
But when the king asks her to falsely prophesy Cyrus’s love story for an upcoming ball, Violet awakens a dreaded curse, one that will end in either damnation or salvation for the kingdom—all depending on the prince’s choice of future bride. Violet faces her own choice: Seize an opportunity to gain control of her own destiny, no matter the cost, or give in to the ill-fated attraction that’s growing between her and Cyrus.
Violet’s wits may protect her in the cutthroat court, but they can’t change her fate. And as the boundary between hatred and love grows ever thinner with the prince, Violet must untangle a wicked web of deceit in order to save herself and the kingdom—or doom them all.
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I have been looking forward to reading this book since it was first announced and I was so excited to review it for this tour! Included are some of my favorite quotes and this book had so many, it was hard to narrow them down!
The best part about being Seer isn’t the tower or the amenities or the access to the king. It’s how easily everyone believes what you say.
For starters, Violet is a morally-grey protagonist, which are my favorite kind. I love a good vs. evil book, but morally grey characters that choose to do good, or maybe bad, things are so much more fun. And Violet made this book so much fun! I loved every scene with her and she read like a teenager. Someone looking out for herself in a cruel world that could very easily get rid of her.
There are kind people, like Dante, who know how unfair life is and somehow hold on to their compassion. I’m not kind either. Kind people get eaten alive in this world.
I also loved her relationship with the other characters – Prince Cyrus, Dante, and Princess Camilla. We can see the friendships she built with Dante and Camilla and her time in her tower. And at the same time, we can see the rivalry between her and Cyrus – their clear enemies status and how they refuse to trust each other. We get a clear picture of everyone’s relationship to each other and I loved every interaction between Violet and Cyrus! But, I wish we got more time with Dante and Camilla. We get some good scenes with them, but their relationships with Violet were so entertaining, I wanted to see more of them.
The Fates don’t walk this earth – beasts and witches do.
In addition to great characters, we have great world building. While we only know some details about the world and their beliefs, and how they’ve changed, it’s clear that the gift of Sight is something special and gives them a clear connection to the Fates. And how they’re revered as gods. I do wish we got a little more information about the world and why everything changed, especially the relationship to the Fairywood, but there are some good inferences and ideas left behind by the author.
I will survive destiny by my own means.
And the plot? Top tier. I was hooked in by this book so quickly, I couldn’t put it down. I’m someone who gets car sick easily and I was fine with making myself ill to read this book on a road trip with my family. I can sacrifice my lunch for five more minutes with this book, it’s definitely worth it!
A prince and a peasant, like the tales, delighting in each other’s company. The sight should be a brightness in the gloom, not a bitter stew in my gut.
Also, the romance? Enemies to romance. Absolute gold. The evolution of the romance and its progression through the book was excellent and literally perfect. We don’t go from enemies straight to lovers and I enjoyed seeing the awkward love-hate moments Violet and Cyrus had. Plus, there’s a lot of pushing and pulling in their relationship which made it even more perfect. If you’re a fan of enemies to lovers romance, you’re going to die for this couple!
Love is a fickle thing traded by fools, but lust is exactly that – no promises. It’s as hungry as any starving creature but honest in what it wants. And I want him.
Overall, this book was perfection for me. I’m so glad I could read an early copy so I can yell at everyone I know to read it. It’s so good and I’m so happy its out for everyone to read. I would highly recommend reading this as soon as possible because it’s such a good story. And while it wraps up at the end nicely, I really, really hope there’s a sequel or a spin off!
To be remembered as someone good, you have to do good. To be remembered as someone great, you have to get elbow-deep in bullshit and come out looking spotless. King Emilius will be remembered as someone great.
CW: death, blood, self harm, murder.
Gina Chen tells stories about fantastic worlds featuring heroines, antiheroines, and the kind of cleverness that brings trouble in its wake. A self-taught artist with a degree in computer science, she generates creative nonsense in all forms of media and always has a project stewing. Violet Made of Thorns is her debut fantasy novel. For more info, visit actualgina.com and follow @actualgina on Twitter and Instagram.
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