Storyhelix Review 018: The Firethorn Crown

Fairy tales are a staple to the healthy mind of a reader and a writer. Even G. K. Chesterton said that it was chess players who go crazy, not poets. With danger, romance, and the eternal, irrevocable impact of our choices, fairy tales often present a simplified perspective on what is really important in our lives. The Firethorn Crown by Lea Doue is no exception to this.

Princess Lily of Ituria is faced with a dilemma. Having reached her 21st birthday, she is getting a lot of attention from potential suitors, especially the cunning and devious Lord Runson.

With her 11 sisters of varying ages by her side, Lily seeks to make peace with her mother over her decision to rule the throne alone and dodge the relentless Runson. As he is chasing her through the Weaver’s Maze – an intricate garden at the Palace – Lily and her sisters find themselves in a mysterious world underneath the castle, where a prince, Prince Tharius, is captured by a sorcerer’s spell. He enchants them so they must return each night, and never speak of their curse, telling them only Lily can break the spell by being true to heart and have her beloved – Eben, the palace guard who had watched over her since childhood – love her in return.

When Lily is forced to make a decision, she can only pray everything will right itself upon her father’s return.

Favorite Fairy Tale Aspects: 

  1. Retelling of 12 Dancing Princesses. With dragons, spells, castles, and the fate of the crown all rolled in, this book has a lot of fantastical elements to keep you interested in the story and in the world around the characters.
  2. Great Characterization. Lily is a gentle woman, who is learning to take charge. She is nicely contrasted with her many sisters. She is a true feminist hero – not overly strong in physical form, but one who embraces bravery, compassion, and gentile characteristics. Eben is a flawed hero, poor but rich in his affection for Lily. Runson is crafty as he is powerful, and Tharius is tragic as he is deceptive.
  3. Book 1. All good stories in a fairy tale are wrapped up at the end, but with Doue’s series, it’s just the beginning. She promises me she is working on Book 2. Each book is supposed to be a stand alone book, too, highlighting the individual character and the myriad of trials a person can face, and how diverse the call to courage and good faith can be.


Check out The Firethorn Crown and her other work here.


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