Thorns of Gold: A Sleeping Beauty and King Midas Retelling by Celeste Baxendell (Bewitching Fairy Tales book 8)
Rosalia activated her curse, fully knowing the only one who could break it would kill her in the process. But it was time for her to sacrifice herself to her people, instead of the other way around. And if it ensured her kingdom’s sovereignty, then it would be worth it. She just didn’t expect to be aware of what was going on around her while she slept.
Midas knows he’s the one who can wake Rosalia and the rest of the city. After all, he loves her wholly. But waking her means killing her; unless his own curse can be broken, she’ll turn to gold the second he kisses her.
Aerona hadn’t wanted to believe her sister was still alive, hadn’t wanted to hope. And now Rosalia’s asleep, and Aerona has to hope she can be the one to wake her — because losing her sister again is not an option.
Their worst fears are realized when they discover the Scholar wasn’t affected by the curse. They don’t know when he’ll attack, but they do know the cost will be unacceptable.
“Don’t lose hope. Because that’s the most damaging part of a curse.”
Like many Sleeping Beauty retellings, the theme of Thorns of Gold is hope. Hope that the curse can be broken, that all is not lost. Baxendell wields it skillfully, promising and denying that hope to her characters, and by proxy, to the reader.
I love that we got to see more of Aerona and Chasen. They’re one of my favorite couples and I knew that Aerona had more growing to do. The hurt she carries from all her past trauma is never going to be easy, but Chasen loves her unconditionally.
Rosalia’s and Midas’s curses add layer upon layer of heart-breaking complications, and twists that left me flailing in reader-angst.
Thorns of Gold was everything I could have hoped for in completing this series. I’m far from ready to let go of this world though, so I’m excited there might be a spin-off series coming!
Five roses – Had me reading long into the night!
No swearing on the page