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Ten Thousand Thorns

(A Fairy Tale Retold #5)

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4.26  ·  Rating details ·  53 ratings  ·  26 reviews
What if Sleeping Beauty was a martial artist?

For a hundred years, Princess Morning Light has meditated in a hidden temple surrounded by ten thousand thorns. Could her long-lost sword skill be the key to stopping the Vastly Martial Emperor?

Rebel leader Clouded Sky doesn’t believe in the old legends of Ten Thousand Thorns Temple. But as bounty hunters and imperial guards
...more
Kindle Edition, Second edition, 115 pages
Published November 30th 2017 by Bocfodder Press
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Average rating 4.26  · 
Rating details
 ·  53 ratings  ·  26 reviews


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Suzannah
Oct 21, 2017 marked it as my-books  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
I had ridiculous amounts of fun writing this action-packed Sleeping Beauty retelling. Can't wait to share it with you all on November 30th!
Intisar Khanani
I have a new favorite indie fantasy author to watch. Three cheers for Suzannah Rowntree! I've previously read her short stories / novelettes (of which Death Be Not Proud was my favorite!), and this month I snapped up her novella Ten Thousand Thorns. (A Sleeping Beauty retelling set in ancient China with a heroine who's a martial arts champion?! Sign me up yesterday!)

Three things you should know about Rowntree:

- Her writing is crisp and clear and changes--every story I've read by her so far has
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Hayden
Oct 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Goodness, this book was a fun ride!

I know admittedly little about Asian culture, and there are sadly few fantasy books that utilize this setting. So when I saw that Suzannah Rowntree was writing a retelling of Sleeping Beauty set in China, I was excited and begged to beta read it. (Okay, Suzannah is a very nice person and didn't actually make me beg. But I would have, had it been necessary.)

What I love about Ten Thousand Thorns is how entertaining the fights are. I love action movies, but have
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Christina Baehr
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favourite fiction wins at several levels: it is entertaining, and able to communicate big ideas with simplicity. This novella succeeds at both levels.

I thought at one point this novella might have bitten off more than it could chew. But no. It’s got extraordinary thematic richness, but never loses its “lightness skill” (kind of like its heroine). Like the Narnia books, people will read it because it’s just fun and satisfying. But also like those books, it is asking and answering huge
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Marquise
For a fairy tale I'm not particularly fond of, Perrault's Sleeping Beauty in the Wood has inspired (and keeps inspiring) some extraordinarily creative and gorgeous retellings, that invariably end up in my favourites shelf.

Rowntree's is one more. It's a rather short, but by no means incomplete, reworking of the tale set in a land called All-under-heaven that is very obviously Imperial China round the 12th century or thereabouts. The plot involves the fugitive third-in-command of a failed
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J.M. Stengl
What a delightful story this is! I know little about Chinese fantasy other than having watched Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon long ago, yet this novella totally charmed me. (The names of the martial-arts stances sometimes cracked me up--they were so fun!)

The setting is richly drawn, the characters grow and deepen, the martial-arts action scenes are magnificent, and clever plot twists enhanced my enjoyment of this story!

A story that entertains as well as challenging a reader to think is well
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Schuyler
Apr 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Meditation coming Tuesday to the blog. ;) Such love. Such beauty. Such richness.
Hanna-col
She has done it again. If you have followed my blog for any amount of time, you know I am a huge fan of Suzannah Rowntree’s fairytale retellings. I have little background in fairytales, except the ones Disney made famous, but Suzannah not only introduces me to the ones I am unfamiliar with but delivers a new spin on the familiar. Ten Thousand Thorns takes Sleeping Beauty to China in an exciting spin as a martial arts epic. It is beautiful, epic, adventurous, and thoughtful.

Following the journey
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Anna Mussmann
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I knew I would like this story, so I kept reading it even though the first chapter or two made me feel as though I might not be part of its target audience. Ultimately, I was glad I did.

The author's choice to retell "Sleeping Beauty" as a story told in the style of a Chinese Wuxia adventure poses a number of challenges. The genre, best known to most Americans through films like *Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon* isn't something most of us are accustomed to reading. Ms. Rowntree chooses to tie her
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Ness Kingsley
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ah, I really enjoyed this one.

The writing is clear and crisp, and it truly draws you in; almost as if you are watching a movie - seeing the shadows, hearing the clash of weapons, and watching the action.

Some of the descriptions were quite perfect: ‘she moved as lightly as a dandelion seed blowing on the wind’ for example. The characters are delightful (apart from the villains, of course), the heroine in particular. And it was obvious that Rowntree has done her research into the historical
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Fiona Akkerman
An empire entangled in civil war. Martial arts warriors torn between allegiances. A legend of a princess who wields indomitable power, meditating for a thousand years until she is woken…

Our hero is a warrior forged by his sect to uphold justice and freedom as heaven’s mandate. His highest calling is to surpass the material realm and attain enlightenment, but his duty is also to serve and protect his people. In these increasingly tumultuous times, and following the death of his brother, Clouded
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Camillea
Fairytale retellings can be one of the trickiest to write about; still, a lot of authors find inspiration from these stories and rewrite them from a new perspective. To me, it’s not about how true to the original fairytale the story should stay but the ability of the author to flesh out beloved characters and twist the fairytale into a story that will leave readers knowing more about the characters’ backstories, their motives, and their downfalls.

Ten Thousand Thorns does exactly that. This novel
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Maurice Jones
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful adaptation of "sleeping beauty" with plenty of action and characters,who were playful and thoughtful! written so well,didn't catch the "fairytale" subplot till near the end..It was an enjoyable read.
Heidi
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you are like me and have never read anything in the style of a Chinese martial arts epic before, this novella is the perfect introduction to the genre. Here is an author who clearly loves wuxia, and wants you to love it, too. It was so much fun to read - exciting and picturesque, with compelling character development. And a couple of really great Easter eggs, too.
Jared Abbott
Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It started a little slow, but really paid off. Fairy tales generally teach a moral lesson. This tale teaches a powerful message of victory for those who have ears to hear, or perhaps "eyes to read."
Kimia Wood
Nov 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
Some books just “sing”.

Others…don’t work for some people.

What if Sleeping Beauty was a martial artist?

For a hundred years, Princess Morning Light has meditated in a hidden temple surrounded by ten thousand thorns. Could her long-lost sword skill be the key to stopping the Vastly Martial Emperor?

Rebel leader Clouded Sky doesn’t believe in the old legends of Ten Thousand Thorns Temple. But as bounty hunters and imperial guards close in, the martial princess may be Clouded Sky’s last hope.

Who can
...more
Filip
Originally reviewed over at the The Grimoire Reliquary.
This one, I was surprised by. I purchased it as a part of the recent Asian-inspired Fantasy Sale. Took me a while to get used to the setting, the way the characters addressed one another but about 15-20% in, I was all in. Fun characterisation, a somewhat predictable plot twist (though no lesser for it), good action scenes, this is a great retelling of Sleeping Beauty.

A few things struck me about it: this is most definitely a great
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Kim  Gregory
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't sure what this story was going to be like - an oriental version of Sleeping Beauty - hmmm? I loved it. I started it and I couldn't put it down.

The players in our story all had names that took me awhile to get used to - our heroine was Iron Maiden, a premier martial artist; and our sleeping beauty was Morning Light (and several other titles of honor), and our hero was Clouded Sky. Eventually his name made sense to me, especially nearer the end of the story when he had choices to make.
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Cela Day
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great read from Suzannah Rowntree! Not only is Ten Thousand Thorns a page-turning adventure - filled with mystery, suspense, terrific action scenes, a lot of humor, and sweet romance - but it features an endearing reluctant hero and a smart, battle-ready heroine. I was completely taken in by a plot twist I didn't see coming (always a great moment for a reader!). All this - and it's also one of the most creative retellings of Sleeping Beauty I've come across. But you don't need to be a ...more
Elizabeth
This was a very nicely told twist on Sleeping Beauty. I really liked Clouded Sky's development and Morning Light was fun and refreshing. Watching the way they related to each other change over the course of the story was the best part for me. Not having much familiarity with martial arts-type books didn't stand in the way of my enjoyment.

I really wasn't expecting some of the twists and turns. I appreciated that the main characters were multi-faceted. Not every single thing is wrapped up within
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Bonnie Parker
Sep 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
It's decent! I expected something more, but it's not like it failed to deliver. Worth reading, but not rereading in a while. For me personally, to many crazy names. I got lost sometimes, what is what, who is who. Nevertheless, short and entertaining.
The book is a retelling but if it wasn't stated in the synopsis I wouldn't have guessed it's a retelling. I wouldn't have made that connection at all. Asian culture is full of rich and magical and fairy-tale-like stories so this one sounds just like
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Amber  Christiansen
Interesting

I enjoyed reading this Sleeping Beauty retelling. The world was imaginative and the characters relatable. There was lots of action, though I struggled to imagine most of the martial arts moves since they were named rather than described. Things like Heaven-Relying Dragon Slaying Sword Skill. It leaves a lot more work for the reader to see the action than if the details of what the move looks like were included.
Philippa Mary
Jul 31, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5
Elizabeth Rowntree
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My favorite of the novellas. Loved the Chinese setting and the story!
Karen
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was both excellent and awesome. While not terribly long, it read like a full length novel. Very absorbing. I will most definitely be looking into the author's other works.
Julie Bird
rated it it was amazing
Apr 29, 2018
♥Tiffany♥
rated it it was amazing
Dec 04, 2019
Fliss
rated it liked it
May 20, 2018
Sara
rated it really liked it
May 29, 2018
Sarah Elizabeth
rated it it was amazing
Dec 10, 2017
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Hi! I live in a big house in rural Australia with my awesome parents and siblings, writing historical fantasy fiction. You can visit me online at https://suzannahrowntree.site

If you like the mythic fantasy of Stephen Lawhead, S. A. Chakraborty or Naomi Novik, you'll probably like my stories too!

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A Fairy Tale Retold (6 books)
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  • The Prince of Fishes
  • The Bells of Paradise
  • Death Be Not Proud
  • The City Beyond the Glass