Author: C.J. Dushinski
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: March 10th, 2015!
*eARC kindly provided by Entangled Publishing, LLC via NetGalley*
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…
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! The Thorn and the Sinking Stone was not at all what I was expecting, which was such a pleasant surprise. It was fun and engaging and had an excellent Romeo and Juliet vibe with the main characters.
Valencia Hara, the Black Princess of the Roses, puts loyalty to her family above all else. She is tough, grew up in a harsh household, and determined to become a part of her brother's gang. To be accepted as one of them. Even if that means killing a boy who saved her as a little girl. I thought Valencia was such a strong character, one who doesn't show her emotions and one who doesn't let weakness or fear stop her from doing what is necessary. But she also had a quiet vulnerability; she's still a teen, still a girl who feels something for a boy she shouldn't. I loved that she made her own decisions and got out under the toxicity of the Rose household. Was that selfish? To her family. Was I completely rooting for her anyway? Hell yes!
I was also rooting for Sebastian Leold. He's had a much easier life than Valencia, but he doesn't like how the gang operates. And he's dealing with grief over the loss of his father, too. But he wants so much more out of life than revenge and fighting. However, it's hard to let go of something that you've been taught your whole life. It's hard to fight against family. And it's hard to think for yourself when people are whispering in your ear about what is right and what you should do. But ultimately, Sebastian opened up his mind and heart to new ways, and to the girl he’s not supposed to be thinking about.
I would have liked a bit more romance development, though I thought they were so cute together. Great banter, a playfulness that comes with familiarity, and a shared important memory that convinces the both of them that what they've been told is not always right, or good. They both had a lot of growing to do, and I was so happy when they grew together.
Valencia's family kind of sucks. There is no lost love between them. They are hardened criminals who think revenge is always the answer. They are led by Valencia's brother, who is such a bastard for throwing his sister out to the wolves and making her fight for her life. Sebastian's older brother did the same, but I wasn't as mad. Because I know that Kane cares for his younger brothers and only wants them to be safe. But this is how it goes, they can't back down from a fight, and Sebastian understands that. Plus the relationships with Sebastian and his brothers is full of love, respect, and loyalty, which is more than I can say for the Roses.The plot was very entertaining, and I loved the superhero power aspect! I'm definitely intrigued for more of this post-apocalyptic series. I really liked the characters, and I’m excited to see where they go and where the sequel takes this story-line. :) The Thorn and the Sinking Stone was a cute, fast-paced Romeo and Juliet style book with superpowers.