Title: The Thorn and the Sinking Stone
Author: C.J. Dushinski
Release date: March 2015
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Length: 313 pages
Book Description via Goodreads:
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About the Author:
While attempting to navigate life as a responsible human being, CJ graduated from university with a B.Comm and worked her way along as marketer, copywriter, and graphic designer to earn a paycheck while pursing her passion for creating fantastical stories set in dark and wondrous corners of the world. Born amongst the wheat fields and open skies of the Canadian prairies, CJ’s imagination has always run wild, taking her on adventures across the world from modeling in Seoul, South Korea to backpacking through Europe and surfing (poorly) in Hawaii.
After wandering through ancient cities and civilizations, learning from diverse cultures, and surrounding herself in new experiences, CJ was inspired and began work on her debut Young Adult novel THE THORN AND THE SINKING STONE, to be published by Entangled Publishing 2014/15. CJ currently resides in Calgary, Alberta Canada – home of the Canadian Rockies – and keeps one hand on her passport and pen at all times, ready to pick up, see the world, and weave her experiences into stories.
CJ is represented by Marlene Stringer of the Stringer Literary Agency LLC
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Cowboys? Katanas? Forbidden love?
The moment I read the synopsis for this book, I knew I had to read it. And boy, was my instinct right. I really enjoyed The Thorn and the Sinking Stone.
This book is a really intriguing blend of dystopian, romance, fantasy, fairy tale, scifi, and urban fantasy. I know that sounds like a lot of genres but oddly, it somehow works. I can't explain how. The chapters are written in two alternating points of view, from both Sebastian and Valencia who are in rival families. This brings a nice layer of character (and plot) depth to the "Romeo and Juliet" trope of fighting families and forbidden love, because we are able to read what each character is going through and feeling. This made them all the more relatable, and allows the reader to see both sides of things- that means villains are not truly villains, and heroes are not always heroes. Valencia and Sebastian are given unique, independent voices that are easy to separate while switching chapters.
I really liked watching the main couple's past become clearer, and their feelings towards one another develop. I hate the term "book boyfriend", but I definitely loved me some Sebastian. He's caring and protective and torn in half about his life. I also really liked how strong and kick ass Valencia was. She's a fierce sword wielder who knows how to swallow her fears and seize opportune moments. Reading them together was really interesting, seeing how they handle the world that seems to be against them.
The writing was very descriptive and well done. It was easy for me to get swept up in the scenery among the characters and play the scenes out like a movie in my head. The one thing that I wish had been developed more was the historical context/dystopian dynamic. This book takes place in the future when a city was reclaimed, but we are only really given a nutshell version of what happened and why their lives/cities are this way. I would have appreciated some more world building in that respect, because I think it would have helped me to better grasp why the four houses/families act the way they do.
I recommend this book to young adult fans who like any combination of forbidden love, fantasy, princesses, scifi, Romeo and Juliet, curses, weapons, or dystopia. This book does deal with violence and contains some profanity, so take note of that if that's undesirable to you. I sincerely look forward to reading the next book in (what I think and really hope) is a series.
I received a copy from YA Bound Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.
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