Title: The Thorn and the Sinking Stone
Author: CJ Dushinski
Series: Thorn & Dagger
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
Publication date: March 10th 2015
Format: Kindle | 313 pages
Warring families. Forbidden love. And danger they can’t escape…
Daggers. Roses. Cowboys. Boat Men. Survivors of Earth's Last War, four “families” vie to rule the dreary streets of Rain City through violence and blood.
Valencia Hara, Princess of the wealthy Black Roses, is raised in warrior ways with sharpened steel. But she is no ordinary Rose. She is Cursed—tainted with the ability to see seconds into the future…
To avenge his father's death, Sebastian Leold, of the rival gang Two Daggers, must face off against the Black Princess, he with his dagger, she with her katana sword. Yet a secret from a shared past leaves him unable to kill beautiful Valencia; nor can she kill him. For they once knew each other beyond their blood feud…and they have more secrets in common than they know.
But in a world filled with vengeance and violence, there can be no room for love…
This book reminded me a lot of Romeo and Juliet. I have a feeling a lot of people will read this and think the same. There's two clashing families and a forbidden romance, it's just set apart by the more paranormal aspect of 'Curses' - an extraordinary ability - and the more dystopian, futuristic feel to the settings of the story.
I liked this read. It was very quick, simple and enjoyable. The plot wasn't as complicated as I might have liked and it was a little predictable, but it was full of great action, and that's always a plus for me. There was no chance for me to get bored with all that was going on - something was always happening and it was always something relevant and important to the plot. It was a very, in your face, here's what happens sort of read. And sometimes, that's just what I need.
What stood out to me most though, was Sebastian. I loved his simplicity as a character, and I don't mean simple in the sense that he had nothing to him aside from his backstory. He was still a well rounded character in a way, it's just he wore his heart and thoughts on his sleeve. I think the novel being written in first person helps, but I loved knowing what he was thinking every step of the way. He never lied to himself or kidded himself about his identity as a huge member of the Daggers and I really appreciated that. He stood up - at the very least in his own mind - and decided to be different to the rest and try and change as many minds, and protect as many people as possible. In my eyes, that makes a very strong, unwavering, hero to the story. Loved him.
So I liked the plot, the action, one of the main characters and I also liked the rival families and gang aspect of the story. What really let me down was Valencia. She was basically the polar opposite to Sebastian. Everything I loved about him, Valencia had all the same attributes but it just didn't work for her. What happened in the plot went against her thoughts and feelings she was displaying throughout the read.
Val was very confident in the beginning of the read and I loved it. She was this fierce warrior for her family, ready for her calling and looking forward to it. But throughout the read she fell incredibly flat. Instead of a warrior and protector, she became a damsel in distress, even though she had this awesome ability to see seconds into the future and she'd worked so hard to become this bad girl fighter. It became really annoying.
I do have a feeling that Val will feature more in the second read and grow into a better character and I'm interested to see where it goes from here.
My rating: 6/10