Thorn


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For Princess Alyrra, choice is a luxury she’s never had … until she’s betrayed.

Princess Alyrra has never enjoyed the security or power of her rank. Between her family’s cruelty and the court’s contempt, she has spent her life in the shadows. Forced to marry a powerful foreign prince, Alyrra embarks on a journey to meet her betrothed with little hope for a better future.

But powerful men have powerful enemies—and now, so does Alyrra. Betrayed during a magical attack, her identity is switched with another woman’s, giving Alyrra the first choice she’s ever had: to start a new life for herself or fight for a prince she’s never met. But Alyrra soon finds that Prince Kestrin is not at all what she expected. While walking away will cost Kestrin his life, returning to the court may cost Alyrra her own. As Alyrra is coming to realize, sometime the hardest choice means learning to trust herself.

 

~ About the Writing ~

Thorn is my first novel, a culmination of ten years of thinking, revising and, honestly, taking breaks. I wrote the complete first draft during my senior year in university (while also holding down a 20 hour a week job, taking part in various student groups, and taking extra credit hours in order to complete my major–what was I thinking??). I had always wanted to write a novel, so I challenged myself to write a chapter a week. I decided to use one of my favorite Grimm’s fairy tales, “The Goose Girl,” as the basic storyline and optimistically set to work writing. I didn’t think it would be that hard to write a novel if I already had the plot. Ha! Shows how much I had to learn. I remember sitting down to read my completed first draft and nearly falling asleep. Suitably chastened but undaunted, I spent the next ten years on revisions and rewrites. I worked through about 13 drafts before deciding to publish. (Don’t worry, I wrote six or seven other manuscripts in the breaks between revision rounds, so those ten years saw more than just the one story!)

 

~ Media Kit ~

1. Thorn Comprehensive Info (Blurb, book links, author bio, etc.)

2. Cover file

3. Author photo

4. Teaser Quotes: One, Two, Three and Four

 

~ Pay it Forward ~

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Thorn will be donated to Heifer International. Through gifts of geese, sheep, and other livestock, and by training families in sustainable agriculture, Heifer helps communities achieve greater self-reliance. The gift multiplies as recipients around the world give some of their animals’ offspring to other families in need. To find out more, click here.

 

~ Cover Design ~

This gorgeous cover was designed by Jenny of Seedlings Design Studio. I love what she’s done and how well she’s captured the “feel” of Thorn. I can’t recommend her enough!

  • WOW! I am in love with your writing, Intisar. I try a lot of YA fiction for my escape from work, and yours is completely addictive. But some kinds of fiction I enjoy but I don’t respect myself for enjoying – you know what I mean? A lot of fiction is so precious and overdone. Yours is so well-written and the prose is at the same time lyrical and unpretentious. I will be looking to read your next books!

    • Thanks so much, Shabana! I am so honored that you enjoyed Thorn so much 🙂 It was definitely a labor of love (and long, long hours). I’ve been reading YA since I was a young adult–it’s such a great “escape” literature. I love that YA isn’t afraid to delve into hard questions; things that adults aren’t always willing to revisit. I’d love to hear what you think of my other stories if you get around to them.

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  • barriss

    The link to the sample chapters no longer works 🙁

    • Oh no! Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I’ll try to get updated links posted in the next day or two. In the meantime (and I realize this might not be ideal), each of the books does have an excerpt available to preview on Amazon…

      • barriss

        Thanks! I saw that and ended up buying the book on Amazon to read the whole thing. It’s amazing! I can’t wait for your next book to come out!

        • Yay! So glad you enjoyed it! I’m hoping to release the next book in the Sunbolt Chronicles some time this summer. Thanks so much for stopping back to tell me what you thought of Thorn!

  • CK

    Any chance of a sequel? I would love to hear how Thorn & Kestrin`s relationship has grown.
    You’re very talented, please keep writing 🙂

    • I’m afraid not directly… I have a companion trilogy I’m working on that is set in the same world, and Rae (the heroine of my free short “The Bone Knife”) does end up working for Alyrra. So you get to see their growth through her eyes. 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by, and for your support!

      • Sierra Van Winkle

        OH! This sounds like a lovely idea!! I loved how naturally the book ended, but I was EXTREMELY curious as to how everything turned out! It will be awesome to see how the characters have grown together, and have a whole new series and character cast to fall in love with! :3 Keep being awesome!

        • LOL – thank you! I have a feeling I’m going to have a hard time leaving this world alone, but I’m hoping to visit it in discrete intervals with different story lines and main characters. Because I do so love them all. 🙂

  • Maria

    Dear Mrs Khanani, thank you so much for your wonderful “Thorn”! I really enjoyed its dark magic and almost piercing psychological analysis. I read now many fairy tales retellings for my master’s thesis, but your book definitely stands out!

    • Thank you so much, Maria! Thorn was a very special book to me, one that stayed close to me for the ten years it took to go from initial draft to final publication. I am so glad that you felt some of the same magic from it that I did!

  • Christina

    This is one of the most beautifully written books I have ever read. The searing emotional intensity reminded me of Deerskin by Robin McKinley. I also really, really loved how you chose to humanize even the “villain” of the story, and in so doing, illustrate how the cycle of vengeance just keeps on going and going and going with no end in sight. The Lady’s background story was heartbreaking. The relationships between all of the characters, whether they were destructive or constructive, were also beautiful and beautifully messy. Thank you so, so much for this beautiful, beautiful book!!!!!

    • Of all my books (and by that I mean the dozen or so manuscripts lying about somewhere in my computer), Thorn is the one I have shed the most tears writing, and I mean that quite literally. It’s a story that continued to get deeper and deeper for me with each revision, and I am so, so grateful that that depth came through to you. And yes! I love relationships that are a bit messy in books, because they’re so true to life. So few relationships are simple and straightforward; even the wonderful ones have a bit of tension involved! Thank you so, so much for reading, and for taking the time to come here and comment. It means so much to me–when you send a book out into the great wide reading world, you don’t have any idea, truly, of what people will take away from it. Hearing something like this makes me grateful to be a writer (and sends me back to my current draft with doubled fervor!). Thank you!

      ps Deerskin was one of my favorite books in high school. *beams*

  • Meg

    I absolutely loved Thorn!! I have read another reimagined version of the
    Goose Girl, and while I still love that author’s take on it, yours
    seems…fuller and more complex and I love the internal struggle that
    Alyrra goes through to become the hero in the end.

    More
    specifically, I love how you focused on her lack of language skills and
    her journey to overcoming it. You prefectly capture what it’s like to
    be thrust in a situation without the proper linguistic skills, and the
    feelings of helplessness but also the incredible high that comes with
    understanding one more word or sentence was spot on. A lot of
    authors just take the easy way out by making neighboring countries speak
    the same language, or a trade language, or don’t even address the
    issue. But that fact that you did make Thorn’s character, as well as
    the world that you’ve built, seem more realistic, which drew me into the
    story even more. Keep up the awesome work!! 😀 <3

    • Thank you so much, Meg! I am so honored that you enjoyed Thorn so much. And yes to the language challenges! I’ve traveled so much through my life that it always struck me as odd that so many of our fairy tales have people traveling and never having a moment’s trouble with languages. Especially since, while there were a few trade languages historically, it’s hard to imagine that that always worked out for the characters in question! Poor Alyrra gets the short end of the stick there. 😉 I am so glad that her experiences rang true for you there! Thanks so much for commenting! 🙂