I really don’t like the whole Romeo and Juliet thing, so I was hesitant to request this book. It looked like another revamp of a tired storyline. I’m so glad I put my misgivings aside. The Thorn and The Sinking Stone has a lot more to offer than star-crossed romance. As a matter of fact, this didn’t read like a romance, but more like an action adventure. These characters find that the ties that bind are sometimes the ones that form when you find someone who knows what it feels like to be you. If you’ve liked any of the newest books featuring girls with swords and conflicted loyalties, you should consider giving this one a try.
Valencia has a special and forbidden gift that is going to put her family ahead in the street war that they have been fighting for a hundred years, but when she recognizes the man she is meant kill is the boy who’s kindness saved her as a child, family loyalty and her warrior’s training may not be enough. Feuding families, forbidden attraction, and a future society thriving in the ashes of humanity’s mistakes make for a nice reboot on an old theme. The plot is fast paced and action-packed. I was expecting more romance, but I’m not really disappointed that these characters were motivated by personal responsibility rather than love at first sight. There is attraction, but the book takes a more believable approach, especially considering the values instilled in the characters by their families. While it began with a hint of Romeo and Juliet, it turned in to something much more engaging and surprising. I enjoyed this book and I think it will be a big hit with many of my readers. The dual narratives and action sequences make it a read I can recommend to both genders. The language and situations are appropriate for middle and high school readers. The violence inherent in a book about dueling street gangs is not graphic, and there is a clear message about the uselessness of mindless violence and revenge . I wouldn’t hesitate to put it in my high school classroom library.
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.