Brambles (Dauntless Path #0.5) by Intisar Khanani ★★★★
“’I’ve got a secret,’ Valka says, stepping up beside me. We stand at the edge of the roughly cobbled courtyard before the hall, mud sticking to our boots and our cloaks flapping in the chill spring breeze.”
I really enjoyed this little novelette. I’ve been wanting to start Khanani’s Thorn for months now, but I’m always too busy with other books. Brambles showed me what to expect in Thorn and I love it. I felt so bad for poor Alyrra. Her brother, mother and Valka are the worst. I would suggest first reading Thorn and then this novella because I didn’t really have a bond with the characters yet. It did intrigue me enough to wanting to start Thorn and I will as soon as things get a bit calmer.
I really love Khanani’s writing style. I’ve spotted some words like “shan’t” which made me smile a little. Brambles has a nice fast pace. It was only 40 pages but gave a great look into Alyrra’s past.
In the kingdom of Adania, everyone knows what Princess Alyrra did to earn the court’s contempt, her mother’s disdain, and her brother’s hatred.
She betrayed her own.
Yet, the truth hides another story, one of honor and honesty, of a princess gambling her own life for another’s. It’s a tale of courage and consequences, and a choice that can never be undone.
A short story prequel to her multi-starred fantasy, Thorn, Intisar Khanani’s “Brambles” gives Alyrra’s account of what really happened all those years ago, and how a few critical days turned her life into a daily fight for survival.