ARC Review: Court of Bitter Thorn by Kay L. Moody

Title: Court of Bitter Thorn

Author: Kay L. Moody

Series: The Fae of Bitter Thorn (Book 1)

Page Length: 354

Publication Date: Aug. 18, 2020

Publisher: Marten Press

Synopsis: Faerie wasn’t supposed to be real.

Tricked by a fae prince, Elora is stuck in the Faerie realm far from her young sisters who depend on her for survival. Under the terms of her bargain, she can’t go home to the mortal world until Prince Brannick becomes the next High King.

Or until he’s taken out of the running…

Sabotaging Brannick’s chance at the crown will be much faster than helping him win. The fae prince may be charming, powerful, and wickedly handsome, but that won’t stop Elora from selling his secrets to the highest bidder.

By day, she uses her master sword skills to train the prince, while ignoring her growing attraction to him. By night, she conspires with a rival king in a nearby court whose plans could destroy half of Faerie.

If she gets caught, Brannick will kill her. But what’s life without a little bit of danger?

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LINKS:     Goodreads    |       Amazon    

My Review:

Court of Bitter Thorn is a fantastic start to Kay L. Moody’s new YA fantasy series. The story is paced well and grips you from the start with a young woman named Elora who longs for a life of adventure. Faced with a wedding to a man she barely knows, Elora sees the life she wants slipping away, especially after tragedy strikes her family. However, when Elora makes an agreement with a Faerie prince, she’s pulled away from her sisters and into an adventure she never expected. Elora will do whatever it takes to get back to her sisters, but whom can she trust? As she reluctantly teaches Brannick how to sword fight, she learns that things are not always what they seem in the Faerie world.

The author’s talent in creating a vivid and fascinating world is evident throughout the book, from the intricate world-building to the well-developed characters. I love the incredible amount of world-building that went into this book. First in the human realm and then in the Faerie realm, the author’s skillful use of imagery and sensory language creates a captivating and immersive setting. Filled with faeries, magical powers, dryads, courtship intrigue, and curses, this world is as original and defined as the characters.

Elora is a fantastic protagonist. She’s resigned to the fact that she must marry to ensure her and her sisters’ financial stability and feels a strong sense of responsibility to her younger sisters. This sense of responsibility compels many of her actions. That doesn’t stop her from connecting with the characters she meets in the Faerie world, especially Brannick.

I admit I am a sucker for romance, and I really enjoyed the slow-building romance between Elora and Brannick. It was a subtle addition to the story, and I loved the gradual development of their relationship. If you read Heir of Bitter Thorn, the prequel to this story, you’ve already witnessed the amazing chemistry between Elora and Brannick. (If not, no worries. Elora and Brannick can’t remember their first meeting either.) I love their chemistry-laden interactions and their resistance to the ever-growing feelings between them, and I can’t wait to see how their relationship develops in future books.

Court of Bitter Thorn is an interesting and immersive story that I thoroughly enjoyed! Readers who like young adult fantasies with well-developed and unique characters, fascinating political intrigue, messages of strength and resilience, and dynamic world-building will enjoy this captivating story. Thanks so much to the author for a copy of the book in exchange for my fair and honest review.


Favorite Parts:

  • Elora. She’s a fantastic protagonist!
  • The well-developed characters.
  • The Faerie world!

Favorite Lines:

You will always be a piece in someone else’s game, but you will never play your own.

Breaking through the shields she didn’t know she had put up, clarity hit her like it never had before.


If you liked this book or want a little more backstory, check out Heir of Bitter Thorn, The Fae of Bitter Thorn prequel novella!

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