Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Thornwood” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.77  ·  Rating details ·  47 ratings  ·  31 reviews
This middle grade debut is Sleeping Beauty like you've never seen it before, about a girl who lives in the shadow of her older sister and the curse that has haunted her from birth.

For years, Briony has lived in the shadow of her beautiful older sister, Rosalin, and the curse that has haunted her from birth--that on the day of her sixteenth birthday she would prick her fing
Published April 1st 2021 by Harvey Klinger
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Thornwood, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Thornwood

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  47 ratings  ·  31 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Thornwood
This is a Debut Middle Grade Book, and this is the first book in the Sisters Ever After Book series. This is a Sleeping Beauty retelling. This book is told from the point of view of Briony who is the sister of the very pretty Princess that is going to sleep from 100 years. I really enjoyed this book, and I found this story fun to read. This was a short middle grade book, but I found it to be well-written. This book was a super quick read from me. There was a couple of twists in this book, and I ...more
When I finished reading this out loud to my older son this morning, he let out a happy sigh and said, "Wow. We have been REALLY lucky with books lately, haven't we?"

Yes. Yes, we have! And this book was wonderful - an incredibly creepy and ominous reimagining of the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale, told by the younger sister of Sleeping Beauty...who wakes up to find her sister being kissed by a stranger who calls himself a prince. Everything should be all right now - but when she looks out the windows
Feb 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Review coming soon.
Dec 15, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
Thornwood is a retelling of the Sleeping Beauty Fairytale from the point of view of the younger sister. It is a very average book. I gave it three stars. The older sister is supposed to 16, which is not delt with at all as still being very young, and any attempt to give the younger sister agency is undermined by the treatment of the older one. She is also rather unbearable. Everyone reads a bit flat, and the ending feels rushed. The epilogue is stuck on and feels really, really rushed. It is har ...more
Mary Bronson
Thank you Netgalley and the publishers for sending me an e-ARC of this book. It comes out April 2021.

I thought this was such a great retelling of the classic Sleeping Beauty fairytale. I love the twist that the story is from the sister's preceptive. Briony is the younger sister that everyone forgets about. All everyone cares about is her older sister Rosalin. The one who is cursed. On the eve of Rosalin's sixteenth birthday she pricks her finger on a spinning wheel she and anyone else in the ca
Deva Fagan
Jan 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2021-read
I loved this fun, exciting, fairy-tale retelling focused on Sleeping Beauty's younger sister. It's full of adventure, dangerous thorns, dubious princes, fairy magic, resourceful girls, and a wonderfully complicated and real pair of sisters. ...more
Pine Reads Review
“The fairy tales don’t mention me. They wouldn’t. The stories you’ve heard are all about my sister, Sleeping Beauty…. So I’m going to tell you what really happened.”

Eleven-year-old Briony has never been the princess people noticed. That would be her older sister Rosalin, the princess who’s been cursed to prick her finger on a spinning wheel on her sixteenth birthday, sending the whole castle to sleep for one hundred years. No one can stop the evil magic, but when Rosalin is kissed by a prince an
Apr 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I first posted the following review on my personal blog:

Briony is the lesser-known younger sister of Princess Rosalind, better known as Sleeping Beauty. When Briony suddenly wakes up on the floor of a room with a spinning wheel, she immediately knows that the curse has come true and Rosalind has pricked her finger, sending the entire castle into a century-long nap. But why did Briony wake up before her sister? And after the foretold Prince kisses Rosalind, why is the castle still surrounded by
Feb 10, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, middle-grade
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read an ARC of this book!

Thornwood is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty, told from the perspective of Sleeping Beauty's forgotten younger sister, Briony. Briony has a complicated relationship with her older sister, Rosalin, and when she wakes up from the so-called 100-year curse, things get even more complicated. The curse ends up not being as straightforward as one may have thought, and Briony has to figure out how to stop t
Sarah (Unqualified Reader)
Mar 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Thornwood is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty told from the perspective of Sleeping Beauty's little sister. I love a good retelling, but sometimes they are hard to come by. This book was such a unique and refreshing take on the story we all know and love.

I love the idea of a book being told by the "forgotten sibling" of the protagonist. I identified with Briony (the little sister) a ton, but also foun
Kasey Giard
Apr 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From the first I heard of this book, I was super excited about it. I read a couple of Leah Cypess’s YA books and loved them, so I felt pretty sure I’d adore this one, too. Plus, it’s a book about sisters! I love those! And a reimagined fairytale. I love those, too!

The voice in the story was spot-on. I believed in Briony from the very first line, and loved her fun, determined personality. The sisters have a lot of conflict between them, and it’s really clear that especially for Rosalin, at least
Alley W.
Dec 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thornwood is a book full of adventure and mystery. The story begins with the introduction of two princesses m, Rosalin, who is perfect in every way and her younger sister Briony, Everyone of course knows Rosalin, she is the one that needs to be protected from the curse an evil fairy placed on her. The curse being that she will prick her finger on a spinning wheel and fall into a deep sleep until a prince awakens her with a kiss. Of course with all the fuss surrounding Rosalin, Briony is left fee ...more
Julia Pika
Mar 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
Rosalin is Sleepy Beauty, cursed to sleep for a hundred years when she pricks her finger on a spindle. Oh, there's her sister Briony too, but she's not as important. Kidding, Briony is the narrator of this story, what is *her* story? How does she handle constantly being in THE Sleepy Beauty's shadow 24/7?

This is more of a different take on the classic story and I like how it includes other fairytales in the process. Plus, Briony is a pretty snarky narrator. People may not like how abrasive she
Jan 09, 2021 rated it liked it
More reviews and book-ish content @ AndreaRBooKs on FB, AndreaRBooKs on IG & Andrea RBK

Thornwood by Leah Cypress was a new spin on Sleeping Beauty. While I love a re-imagined fairy tale, I haven't read many focused on this one. Briony is the lesser known sister of Rosalin. As the story goes, Rosalin is put to sleep as part of a curse. When the kingdom wakes up, Briony wants to get to the bottom of what's really happening. She wants to help save her family's kingdom. This is one that had some twi
Mar 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
Everyone knows all about Sleeping Beauty, but no one's ever heard of Briony, her younger sister. When the curse is broken, nothing goes to plan, and it's up her to figure out how to save everyone in the castle from their impending doom.

Thornwood is charming and fun, full of twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat. The plot was well-constructed, the characters interesting, the emotions packed, and the twists bendier than the thornwood itself. It can be difficult to find a fresh take
Mar 31, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
Thornwood is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty (Roslin) from the point of view of her sister (Briony). Briony wakes up first from the hundreds year sleep and from there on odd things happen.

The castle is covered in thorns, the fairy godmothers aren't really helpful, and the people in the castle are afraid and angry with the royal family (especially Roslin aka Sleeping Beauty).

With the help of the Prince and a common boy the team tries desperately to save the kingdom from encroaching Thornwood and
Apr 04, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actual rating 3.5

This was a fun reimagining of Sleeping Beauty. I really did love that our main character is the younger sister whom nobody is really concerned with, and never shows up in the stories. I loved that she knew something was wrong after they awoke from the spell. And it was up to her to figure it out.

However, I felt that there were parts of the story that dragged. I really felt that the characters had multiple times to figure things out but were being obviously obtuse. Also, the reve
Thornwood is a completely different take on the Sleeping Beauty story. At first, this felt a lot like E.D. Baker's The Wide-Awake Princess, focusing on the younger, not cursed, sister of sleeping Beauty. But Leah Cypess takes the reader on a very different journey with warring fairies and a curse that hasn't fully run its course. Younger sister, Briony, is set on figuring out why the Thornwood continues to attack the castle in this unusual middle grade novel.

While an interesting story, the char
Apr 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
[I received a free electronic review copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.]

4 stars = Great! Might re-read.

Enjoyed this fresh take on the Sleeping Beauty story. I liked Briony and Edwin from the start. I did not enjoy how dismissive everyone was of Briony - not just her ability to make an impact on the problems they were having, but dismissive of her as a person. I get the need to have middle grade protagonists save themselves, but I prefer th
Apr 06, 2021 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ashley Dang
A reimagining of the classic Sleeping Beauty story told from the perspective of her little sister, Briony. All her life Briony has been stuck being in her sister’s shadow. When the curse finally happens and when everyone is awoken again, things are not as they seem. The “prince” is not a prince and has many secrets, the curse is still happening and trapping everyone inside the castle, and fairies are at war with one another. This was an interesting take on the original story but I found that I r ...more
Feb 20, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs, children
I received an eARC courtesy of Delacorte Books for Young Readers/Random House Children's via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

This book is considered Middle Grade, but I would be inclined to say it reads lower than that just a bit. The pacing is fine for kids and while there is certainly some dark themes, nothing is too intense. While this was certainly not in my list of favorites in the world of retellings, I think there is a lot here for kids to appreciate: a castle surrounded my a f
I received an electronic ARC from Random House Children's through NetGalley.
An interesting twist on Sleeping Beauty. Cypess tells the tale from the younger sister's perspective. Readers get to see the story behind the fairy tale and how the central plot point affected far more than one person's life. Several plot twists may surprise readers as they watch the Briony, Rosalin, Edwin and Varian take on the overgrown briars that actively attack the girls and work to solve the puzzles within the puzz
Feb 08, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this retelling of Sleeping Beauty told by her younger sister. I thought it was really cute and sweet story focusing on sisterhood. It was a quick easy read and it kept my attention pretty much all the way through. I did think the writing was a little repetitive at times but overall thought it was written pretty well. The characters were okay as well. Rosalin could be annoying at times but I almost think that was the point. Overall, I was entertained and didn't think the couple hours it ...more
Meghan Bohn
Feb 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
This is a gorgeous, dark retelling of Sleeping Beauty, focusing on sisterhood and saving your own self and family, rather than waiting for someone to do it for you. Illusions abound and the encroaching thorns genuinely creeped me out. There's twists and turns and lost memories, and whoever said fairy godmothers had to be good? I definitely recommend this for fairy tale lovers who can handle darkness and danger, and I look forward to the author's next book.
Thank you to NetGalley and Random House
Alexis (The Book Democracy)
3/5 Stars

** I received this as an E-ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review, Thank you!**

I enjoyed reading this book. I enjoyed the interesting spin on sleeping beauty. I also really enjoyed the fact that this author kept fairies to manipulative creatures, I think worked well in this story. I will say it felt a little too short for me, but perfect for intended age range. It was a very simple read and would for sure recommend to young readers wanting to read a fant
Dec 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This book is a treasure! This book did a stunning job on worldbuilding and writing, but I felt like some of the characters were annoyingly bratty and almost unlikeable. Other than that, the author did a marvelous job with this book, and I definitely recommend this book if you enjoy fantasy/fairytale retellings or books about siblings.
Jan 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is such a fun retelling. I meant to just read a few chapters to start it out and ended up reading it all in one sitting. The story has some great twists and I loved the setting. The two sisters Rosalin and Briony are well written and I enjoyed their relationship. They don’t always agree but their fierce protectiveness of each other was wonderful. The book also has a great message and overall is just a wonderful book.
S Tondra
Thornwood takes readers on a new twist of an old fairy tale. Did you know Sleeping Beauty had a little sister, well neither does anyone else in the castle or kingdome as she is pretty much ignored by everyone but Sleeping Beauty and her parents. I think middle grades 3-6 will enjoy this retelling as the curse doesn't really end with Sleeping Beauty being woken by the kiss.

Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for letting me read this eARC for an honest review.
Agatha  Gavaldon
Nov 24, 2020 rated it liked it
I love reimagined fairytales, but this one missed the mark for me. The idea seemed really great, the siblings of fairytale characters who were left out of the story, but there were missed opportunities, and the climax left me with more questions than answers.

I really wanted to like it, but I have to leave an honest review and give it 3-stars.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Go the Distance
  • The 12 Days of Book-Club-Mas
  • Amari and the Night Brothers (Supernatural Investigations, #1)
  • Cathedral of Bones
  • Pumpkin Heads
  • The Accidental Apprentice (Wilderlore, #1)
  • Pride and Premeditation (Jane Austen Murder Mystery, #1)
  • Eventide
  • The Pack
  • The Story of a Seagull and the Cat Who Taught Her to Fly
  • The Faerie Hounds of York
  • Before the Ever After
  • The Hidden (Shadowed Wings, #1)
  • Secrets of Camp Whatever Vol. 1
  • The Boy Who Sneaks in My Bedroom Window (The Boy Who Sneaks in My Bedroom Window, #1)
  • Always You (Best Friend, #1)
  • Free Falling  (Best Friend, #2)
  • The Oracle Code
See similar books…
I wrote my first story in first grade. The narrator was an ice-cream cone in the process of being eaten. In fourth grade, I wrote my first book, about a girl who gets shipwrecked on a desert island with her faithful and heroic dog (a rip-off of both The Black Stallion and all the Lassie movies, very impressive).

However, I took a few detours along the way to becoming a full-time writer. After selli

News & Interviews

Ciannon Smart has been holed up in her England home since the pandemic began a year ago, but by no means has she been idle. She’s been on...
31 likes · 6 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »