Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Book Review: The Firethorn Crown by Lea Doue

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Title: The Firethorn Crown

Author: Lea Doue

Series: Firethorn Chronicles #1

Genre: Fantasy/Fairy Tale Retelling

Audience: Young Adult


Princess Lily, the eldest of twelve sisters and heir to a mighty kingdom, desperately seeks a break from her mother's matchmaking. Tradition forbids marriage with the man Lily loves, so she would rather rule alone than marry someone who only wants the crown.

Fleeing an overzealous suitor, Lily stumbles into a secret underground kingdom where she and her sisters encounter a mysterious sorcerer-prince and become entangled in a curse that threatens the safety of her family and her people. Lily can free them, but the price for freedom may be more than she's willing to pay.

The Firethorn Crown, a re-imagining of "The Twelve Dancing Princesses," is the first in the Firethorn Chronicles, a series of stand-alone novels inspired by fairy tales and other stories. Follow the sisters on their adventures in a land where sorcery is feared, women can rule, and dragons fly.

**5 stars**

Eeeeeee! I loved it! SO MUCH!

You all know how much I love retellings of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, right? Well, I realized I've read eight retellings of this classic fairy tale, and The Firethorn Crown by Lea Doue definitely ranks as one of my favorites. (It actually reminded me somewhat of Entwined by Heather Dixon, which is my favorite The Twelve Dancing Princesses retelling fairy tale of all time!)

Lily is the crown princess of Ituria, a land filled with dragons (big and small), overeager suitors, eleven younger sisters, and sometimes, unfortunately, ... sorcery. In hopes of evading a particularly annoying admirer, Lily and her sisters stumble into a dark trap that not only threatens their entire kingdom, but also further ensures that Lily cannot marry the secret love of her heart.

Fantasy mixed with fairy tale is perfection. Dragons and princesses? Excitement, action, and tender romance? Yes, please! ^_^ I loved the fantastical kingdom of Ituria and the twelve endearing sisters! Lily was sweet and brave and lovely ... trying to do the right thing amidst brutal circumstances. She does her best to be strong, and also realizes that oftentimes we need our family and friends to stand alongside us. All the younger sisters were interesting and humorous and cute. I just adore tales like this! One of the reasons I love The Twelve Dancing Princesses so much must be because of all those sisters! (I'm an eldest sister myself ... have four younger sisters.) So yes, I just related to Lily in some ways and loved her character!

In fact, all the characters in The Firethorn Crown were delightful! Excepting the villain and some of the overeager admirers, that is. Three young men in particular, (you'll know who they are) were completely lovable and perfect and endearing and sweet and strong and protective! *all the heart eyes* I love these big brotherly characters who care so tenderly for the twelve sisters! It simply delights my heart.

Yes, yes. Can't say enough for these lovely fictional peoples. Fantastic job, Lea Doue, in your character-creating and world building! I was swept away ... kept on the edge of my seat ... intrigued and breathless ... muchly concerned for my dear characters ... and finally, satisfied and happy! ^_^ And, I had to chuckle many a time! *grins*

There was no Christian allegory/symbolism to speak of, but Lea Doue is a Christian and I felt there weren't any elements to be concerned about in her book. Besides some edgy gowns that the sisters are forced to wear, and sorcery being wielded by the villain (who also gets a little too close to Lily—but no kissing), I have no other cautions. I would recommend to middle to older teens and adults who enjoy this type of book.

I am utterly intrigued by this tale, and can't wait to continue the FIRETHORN CHRONICLES with The Midsummer Captives!

Lea Doue, you offically have another fan! Thank you for writing such amazing fairy tale stories!


  1. Okay, now I MUST go and read this book! I have it on my kindle... but sadly have not had time to read it yet *crying now* I must remedy that. Right now! (especially since I already really Really wanted to read this book!)
    Thank you so much for this review Shantelle! I am now a book-deprived-mess ;p Don't worry, I will fix that. I will read this book the first opportunity I get! =D

    1. Yes, you must, Polaris! :D You're welcome! Get that Kindle out! ;)

    2. *Snaps to attention* "YES MA'AM!" *goes to get Kindle out* =D

  2. Excellent review Shantelle and I must say get comfortable when you read Midsummer Captives because you won't want to put it down. It amazes me how Lea can write a book with a story totally different from the 1st book that is as equally enthralling, possibly even more. Enjoy. :)

    1. Thank you! :) Okay, I definitely will! ;D So excited!!