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The Thorn and the Sinking Stone (Thorn & Dagger)

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  120 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
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 th
Kindle Edition, 247 pages
Published March 10th 2015 by Entangled Teen (first published March 9th 2015)
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Rating details
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Apr 06, 2015 rated it did not like it
DNF at 23%

Reason #1: I’d known since I was a child that I was different from the other girls.

Why, oh why, do authors keep writing this kind of annoying, cheap, cliché and overused sentence? I prefer realizing by myself how ‘‘special’’ a heroine can be and not be told so because, let’s face it, that’s what the author meant to say.

Reason #2: At first I thought it was just the shock of seeing someone you knew as a child now as an adult, and then realizing they were probably the most beautiful gi
Paula M. of Her Book Thoughts!

"Our reality was this: we were enemies caught in our parents' war, trapped in a desperate situation where desperate people did desperate things. I wanted to trust him. I wanted him to trust me. But neither of us can do it blindly"

That was a.. surprise. I didn't expect to love the book so so much. After the last page of my eArc, I was so ready to make a huge fandom for this book and I already asked the author if there's gonna be a sequel and thank the book gods that there will be because my
Donna {Book Passion for Life}
As soon as I heard about The Thorn and the Sinking Stone I was immediately curious about it. I have to be honest when I say I hadn’t seen it around the blogging world and for that reason I was hesitant. But no matter what my curiosity go the better of me and I decided to take a chance on the story. I wanted to love this book – I did. But sometimes taking chances doesn’t always pay off and unfortunately this was the case for me and The Thorn and the Sinking Stone.

I had really high hopes with the
Feb 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley, arc
2.5 stars: It was okay! I bumped it up to 3 stars because it was the authors first novel. Nice job!

Short version: An inventive world, and an interesting concept washed down with a horrible plot, terrible character attributes and dialogue, and a forced love story.

Long version: First off, I absolutely loved the concept of this story. It reminded me of a gritty, modern version of Romeo and Juliet meets The 100 (in fact Valencia, our main character here is strikingly similar to a character from The
Feb 19, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-teen
Thanks to Netgalley for a copy of this novel in return for an honest review

I haven't seen it marketed as such, but this book is clearly based on Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet'. It involves rival gangs, and star-crossed lovers (sort of), but also has a paranormal element, smarter characters (no one fakes a suicide) and is actually part of a dystopian world.

Though it's never really made clear what happened, this book is actually set in the future, after some sort of war that appears to have de
I received this from Netgalley for my honest review. Publisher: Entangled Publishing LLC

This story had real potential. I had high hopes for it. Turns out it couldn't deliver.

This story felt like a mix of dystopian and fantasy to me. It takes place in a futuristic city, Rain City and is centered around two gangs, the Roses and the Daggers. It felt very Romeo and Juliet or A West Side Story, only with out the drama and flare. Don't get me wrong, plenty of drama takes place in this book; it just wa
Feb 27, 2015 rated it it was ok
Science & Fantasy Kings Review: Your Kings for what's cool in the world of nerds.

Pirates (boatmen), Cowboys, Samurai's (Black roses)--and a post apocalyptic world with a section of the population slowly becoming mutants? What could be better?... How about a good story?


When I received this book for review I had high hopes. Really high hopes. It sounded fantastic, but each page I trekked the more and more I wanted to throw things. Because it had potential, but the author threw it all away f
Emmeline (The Book Herald)
I kindly got this ARC via Entangled teen Publisher

AH, This Book was Freaking awesome!!!! So glad I got this ARC!

Rating- 4.5

I truly enjoyed it, it was action packed and made me reminiscent of the book 'Young Elites' by Marie Lu.

"Finn 'Lucky' Leold was dead. My Father was dead. Murdered by a Black Rose."

Rain City is divided by four gangs, two of these gangs- The Black Roses and the Daggers hate each other and yearn to annihilate one another.

There is a genetic mutation in Rain city that gives
Mar 10, 2015 rated it did not like it
**DNF** this is a did not finish book for me guys. I got about 40% in and I just can't read anymore. The main characters are hard to relate to. I found the world building incredibly slow and boring. I wish I could've liked this book enough to finish it especially because it had such an amazing synopsis. But sadly it just wasn't for me.
Jennifer (Bad Bird Reads) At A Glance
I like that it was twist on Romeo and Juliet but the execution was meh.
The Good
Rival gangs, forbidden lovers, paranormal aspects, all set in a dystopia world. Pretty freaking awesome idea, right? I thought so too, that's what drew me to The Thorn and the Sinking Stone. A twist on Romeo and Juliet. I couldn't pass it up.

The violence and grit of this world appealed to me. You would have to be a hard person to live in it. There was nothing soft
Solid dystopian with some slight paranormal twists. Enjoyed the characters, but I'd have preferred a little more world building. Good set-up for volume 2.
*eARC kindly provided by Entangled Publishing, LLC via NetGalley*

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 a
kariny v
Feb 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
*I received a free ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*


After the war, four families have risen to power and taken control over the lands of Rain City. The east bank was taken over by the Hara house-known as the black roses or thorns. The west bank by the Daggers, the south warf by the cowboys and the north by the Boat Men.

The roses and the daggers hate each other from generations back and when the daggers killed Valencia's father, her brother and his men got revenge and
Mar 11, 2015 rated it it was ok
I just cannot recommend it...

Retellings of classics and fairy tales seem to be really hot right now and I am 110% on the bandwagon. I love them and have loved them as long as I can remember. But, if I'm honest, I getting really sick of seeing Romeo and Juliet retold. Its' theme is one I enjoy seeing but outright retellings have begun to lose any freshness. Sadly, THE THORN AND THE SINKING STONE had the elements in place to be really good. Your Juliet and Romeo are from rival Japanese and Irish i
Originally posted on: Book Scents

Basically, in this dystopian-esque world, there are four different groups (also called gangs or families) that exist and they're all kind of enemies. The two we focus on in particular are the Daggers and the Roses. I like this concept of rivalry but with the rivaling families I guess I should've known that it would take a Romeo and Juliet spin. Unpopular opinion: I'm not a big Romeo and Juliet fan. I think the main thing that irritated me here with the R&J fe
Feb 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Wortmagie by: 357

„The Thorn and the Sinking Stone“ ist der Debütroman der kanadischen Autorin CJ Dushinski. Wie schon Red von Alyxandra Harvey bekam ich auch diesen Roman als ARC von Entangled Teen zur Verfügung gestellt. Als ich den Klappentext las, sprang mir sofort die grundsätzliche Ähnlichkeit mit Shakespeares „Romeo und Julia“ ins Auge. Sie ist ja auch schwer zu übersehen. Obwohl dieser Stoff schon zur Genüge wieder und wieder verarbeitet wurde, war ich wild entschlossen, mich nicht davon stören zu lass
Confession time! I was ensnared by the dramatic cover right away. Black, red, that grim rose behind the intriguing title. As I read the synopsis, it looked like my cup of tea, a remake of Rome and Juliette, wow. I assumed it would be set in the past, but to my surprise the story has a modern setting. Anyway, the truth is that it makes an interesting contrast between the semi-fantasy and the modern world. There are even some paranormal elements thrown in thanks to the figure of the main female ch ...more
Feb 22, 2015 rated it liked it
Full review up on the blog:

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 mig
Mar 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
3.75 stars
~A kind thank you to NetGalley and Entangled Teen for providing me with a copy of The Thorn and the Sinking
Stone in exchange for an honest review. ~

Romeo and Juliet develop powers and meet a dystopian society. That is probably the simplest way that I can explain this one to you dear readers. And quite frankly, it was rather awesome.

Set years into the future four ‘families’ vie to become the leaders of Rain City. There is a death for a death mentality between two of the waring families,
Angelique The Gilded Pages
Originally posted on

***Thank you to NetGalley and Entangled Teen for providing me with a copy of The Thorn and the Sinking Stone in exchange for an honest review. ***

As far as debut novels go, this was not bad. The story was an interesting take on Romeo and Juliet, albeit with a different outcome for the star crossed lovers. The characters were well developed. The only bad thing was the poor world building and the annoying overuse of the title metaphors, which thankf
Feb 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
And the surprise of the month goes to this book because if NetGalley had not proposed it, I think Iwould have missed this nugget.

This book is clearly a mix of several gender and classic, the war between the family make me think of clearly Romeo and Juliet, there is a bit of dystopia with the watchmen, the poverty, the insecurity and finally a touch of magic and/or paranormal with the psychic abilities of our characters named Cursed because of it. This mix gives a very nice universe, not necessar
Laura Z
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

The first time that I read the summary for this book; I realized that it was one that I wanted a copy of ASAP.

My first thoughts were that it was a futuristic, dystopian re-telling of Romeo and Juliet - which I see lots of other reviewers saying they thought the same thing - even though this book isn't marketed as such. Personally, I feel that I'd have picked this one up without a second thought if it had been mar
Feb 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
I didn't care for this book. Hours after finishing it, still fresh in my mind I'm not sure if it was the story or the writing that irritated me to the point of apathy. It wasn't dreadful, I have read far worse, and I can see why some people like it, but I couldn't get passed all the the bad force-fed analogies and terrible word choices. We get it, The Thorn and the Sinking Stone is an analogy. You don't have to beat us over the head with it every chance you get. Perhaps that is why I didn't car ...more
Feb 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
I had a hard time following the book at the beginning but thank goodness it got better! This book is very much like Romeo and Juliet except for the deaths, so it's not a huge tear jerker but it is set in the future where people who have been born into abilities are captured and mostly killed by the watchmen (government of sorts) . Then there are also gangs feuding ex daggers/stones vs black roses /thorns which have been at each other for ever. Now u get the Romeo Juliet bit. Overall I enjoyed th ...more
Feb 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Oh, such a great book! I enjoyed it so much, such great characters! And everything came together so well!
Alexa Nichole Demers
Mar 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Thorn and Sinking Stone is CJ Dushinski’s debut novel and what a novel it was. When I read this synopsis was got me was the forbidden love. The rest just added to the mystery. To be honest I haven’t really heard this book talked about in the blogging world and that is disappointing. This book was a lot better than I thought it was going to be after the first couple chapters. Once I really got into it I couldn’t put it down, the story sucked me in and kept me there until I finished the story. ...more
Book Swoon
Feb 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Thorn and the Sinking Stone is the first book in CJ Dushinski's Thorn and Dagger series and reminded me a lot of Romeo and Juliet with its rival families, only it's set in a futuristic dystopian world and has a surprising touch of the paranormal in the mix.

I enjoyed the atmosphere of Rain City and thought it was well done. It felt dark and gritty, and you had the sense that it was once a beautiful river city before the Last War destroyed so much. I kept picturing something along the lines of
Sasha Hibbs
Feb 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *

Thank you Entangled Teen and Ms. Dushinski!

It’s been a while since I’ve had a novel pull me in quite like this one. The Thorn and the Sinking Stone, I kind of imagine, would be like if The Gangs of New York and Romeo and Juliet had a baby. This novel wasn’t something I devoured overnight, rather, it was something that I savored, stretched out over the course of 5 days to fully appreciate all that was going on in this dark world/gem of a Y
Melissa Robles
Feb 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Actual Rating: 3.5 ⭐

First off, I must say that I'm absolutely in love with this book's cover and title. I love the black rose and the blood red font, as well as the dagger in the word "Stone". It's so dark and beautiful, yet simple, which I think fits perfectly to the book. Also, the title has an intriguing ring to it that it's what caught my eye in the first place, even before seeing the stunning cover. Both of these promise a good story, a mysterious tale of love, revenge and magic.

I was prett
See this review and more on my blog, Lilybloombooks

“O Romeo Sebastian, Romeo Sebastian, wherefore art thou Romeo Sebastian?"

Looking at the blurb now, it's so obvious The Thorn and the Sinking Stone has a Romeo and Juliet vibe. I obviously didn't pick up on that. Had I, I might have gone into this book with different expectations. Never the less; The Thorn and the Sinking Stone had such an interesting premise, because HI families at war = organized crime. YES.

Plus, if a book starts off at a funer
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