Garden of Thorns
After seven grueling years of captivity in the Garden—a burlesque troupe of slave girls—sixteen-year-old Rose finds an opportunity to escape during a performance for the emperor. But the hostage she randomly chose from the crowd to aid her isn't one of the emperor's men—not anymore. He's the former heir to the throne, who is now leading a rebellion against it.
Rayce is a wanted man and dangerously charismatic, the worst person for Rose to get involved with, no matter what his smile promises. But he assumes Rose's attempt to take him hostage is part of a plot to crush the rebellion, so he takes her ashis hostage. Now Rose must prove where her loyalties lie, and she offers Rayce a deal—if he helps her rescue the other girls, she'll tell him all the Garden's secrets.
Except the one secret she's kept for seven years that she'll to take to her grave if she must.
Kindle Edition, 370 pages
Published March 6th 2017 by Entangled: Teen
Two girls a flower and a wilted. Rose is the gardener's prize possession. She is a beautiful, talented dancer who shines brightly on stage. Her companion is Fern. The gardener is a cruel man who takes Girls and bends them to be his puppets. He has two sets of girls; the flowers who dance and the girls who keep them in line. The wilted are the girls that take the punishment if a flower steps out of line. No one wants to see an imperfect dancer, so their closest friend takes the blame for any mistakes. The gardener has the perfect blackmail to get the girls to do what he likes. Rose is about to find out how brave, Fern her best friend/non-biological sister is, but the cost will be high. Rose is about to be given the chance to escape but she knows the others will suffer. As she takes to the stage, a plan is formed and a hostage is taken. Little does Rose know, the man she has chosen is no random. He is the leader of the rebellion and their link is more than a passing whisper. Rose is a stage name and her true identity is a closely guarded secret. The gardener has taught her many things but the most important is to trust nobody. Rose is to become more wanted than even the rebel leader himself.
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Rayce is the rebellion leader. He is on a rescue mission when Rose intercepts his plan and reveals him to the enemy. The two need to get out of the city and fast. Rose wants to save her sisters but Rayce knows it's too dangerous. His plan may be foiled but his new friend is a great prize. He wants to help people and Rose isn't just an ordinary girl.
There are some really great characters in this book. I love the dystopian world Amber Mitchell has created. Rose's identity is pretty obvious from the start but the story kept me entertained throughout. I really liked all the rebellion characters. From the untrusting grumpy one to the father of knowledge. The action was thrilling. The gardener and his men were the perfect bad guys and the fallen kingdom was given a slither of hope. Book 2 is out soon but I felt this can be read as a standalone with a happy ever after. There will be questions at the end of the book but it's basically more of a what next rather than what's happening.
This book is great. 5 stars out of 5. I loved it! I bought this book on sale and I'm lucky enough to have an ARC of War of the Wilted which is out 1st October 2018.