The Thorns Remain

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Pub Date 02 May 2023 | Archive Date 23 May 2023

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From the Sunday Times bestselling historical fantasy author of THE SHADOW IN THE GLASS comes a tour-de-force of faerie bargains, perfect for fans of THE INVISIBLE LIFE OF ADDIE LA RUE, MEXICAN GOTHIC, and TEN THOUSAND DOORS OF JANUARY

A dance with the fae will change everything

1919. In a Highland village forgotten by the world, the young people who remain after war and flu will soon head south to make something of themselves.

Moira Jean and her friends venture to the forest for a last night
of laughter before parting ways. Moira Jean is being left behind. She too planned to leave once – but her lover died in France and, with him, her future. The friends light a fire and dance. But, with every twirl about the flames, strange new dancers thread between them, music streaming from the trees.

The Fae have joined the dance.

Suddenly Moira Jean finds herself all alone, her friends spirited away.

For the Fae feel left behind and forgotten too. Led by the darkly handsome Lord of the Fae, they are out to make themselves known once more. Moira Jean must enter into a bargain with the Lord to save her friends – and fast, for the longer they spend with the Fae, the less like themselves they will be upon return. If Moira Jean cannot save her friends before Beltane, they will be lost forever…

Bewitching, threaded with Highland charm, and sparkling with romance, this fairy tale will carry you away.

From the Sunday Times bestselling historical fantasy author of THE SHADOW IN THE GLASS comes a tour-de-force of faerie bargains, perfect for fans of THE INVISIBLE LIFE OF ADDIE LA RUE...

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ISBN 9780008603168
PRICE $17.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 108 members

Featured Reviews

I was graciously given an ARC copy of this book by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I need a hardcover copy in my hands! I absolutely love the vibes of this book. I feel like this was more of a character driven then plot driven book. Goodness I loved this book! I feel like this author has such a unique take on more fairytale type of books. I adored The Shadows in the Glass which gives slightly different vibes then this one. I feel like the characters where well written and the plot was exulted with such grace.

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I enjoyed this book. The story was fun, the mythology familiar, and it was altogether a great read. It was well-written and I loved the characters in it.

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the chance to read this eARC. Mild spoilers ahead.

Dark fairy tales where the heroine has to see through the splendor and magic in order to save the day? Sign me up!

This was my first JJA Harwood book and I am a big fan. The pacing was a little slow at first, but once I got about a third of the way in, I was hooked.

After the Dreamer was introduced, I was afraid that there was going to be more romance involved based on the description of the book. While the Dreamer does try to change, they are still a problematic character that I would be uncomfortable with reading a "happy ending". I enjoyed how the story played out and how it was resolved.

There were a few things I felt were a miss for this book. The lack of chapters was hard; instead the book was split into 5 sections.

I felt the pacing at the beginning was so slow that it caused some more interesting parts to be glazed over at the end. What exactly was the Tithe? Why did Moira Jean not seem to care about what happened to everyone at the end when she was trying desperately to win her friends back throughout the story?

The biggest thing that bothered me, especially during the first third of the book, was that Moira Jean lives in a remote part of the Scottish highlands in the early 1900s...and she doesn't know ANY fairy lore? I would expect her village to be at least moderately well versed in the fair folk and at least somewhat superstitious. But no, only one old woman in the entire village knew what was happening and had to teach Moira Jean how to make deals with the fae.

Overall, it was extremely enjoyable. I give it a solid 3.75 stars. An entire star removed because the lack of chapters or more frequent, well defined sections really made me struggle.

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Enchanting with a sinister edge. It's very much a fantasy, but rooted in the consequences of WW1 Scotland. And the fairies are definitely not sparkly flower fairies. If you liked Jonathan Stange and Mr. Norell, you will love this

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This was my first read by JJA Harwood and I will definitely be reading more by this author.

What worked for me

- Dark fantasy with slow building to its tension
-Use of sections instead of chapters reminded me of my favorite book (practical magic by Alice Hoffman
-Problematic characters that don't just change and get a hundred percent redeemed.

What didn't work for me as well
-Our lady has a startling lack of fey lore knowledge for the time and location she is living in.

Who I would recommend this book for

The Thorns Remain is a perfect read for dark fantasy fans looking for fairy tale vibes merged with atmospheric writing .

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It took me a few days to compose my thoughts after reading this book. I went in expecting a romantasy book since those are all the rage right now. You know the type - the scary fae lord ends up being the perfect match for the plucky teenaged villager, and through trials and tribulations, they live happily ever after.

That did NOT happen in this book. The Thorns Remain is a more classic take on fae/human interactions. The Dreamer is cold and calculating. He has no human emotions and isn't looking for his destined mate.

That doesn't mean he doesn't develop emotions after time. In fact, watching him do just that is my favorite part of this book. He knows the words pain, hurt, and love, but has no basis for what they truly mean. He's like a large, powerful child trying to operate within their confines with no guidance, and I adore him for it.

The Thorns Remain is deceptively slow in the beginning, but once it picks up, it ensnares you and doesn't let it go!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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I could not put this down. This was total enchanting. I loved this so much!!
I just reviewed The Thorns Remain by JJA Harwood. #TheThornsRemain #NetGalley
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I didn’t think I needed to read this but it turns out that I did. I loved the classic faerie and human interaction.

What an incredible read. Drop any expectations that you have for books containing faeries and romance. I wasn’t really sure what to expect at first but was pleasantly surprised. The story follows Moira Jean who lives in a remote Scottish village where traditional life is heavily impacted by the social upheaval post WW1 and the influenza epidemic.

This book weaves in Scottish folklore, magic and suspense. There are themes of grievance, edgy relationships, tangled dealings, and coming to terms to difficult situations. The Fair Folk (fae) in this book really make this a successful dark fairy tale. They are much different than humans in that they are very intolerant of the ways of humans and do not process human emotions. I honestly loved that they were not humanlike in the slightest. Also, I kinda really lived the little brownies…

The Dreamer brought out so much emotion - curiosity, joy, anger, and empathy. The constant yearning to learn and understand human ways had me turning pages quickly.

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Thank you NetGalley as well as the publishers for allowing me to read this wonderfully written novel.

I am a sucker for Fae and Dark Romance so I immediately was sucked in to this outstanding piece of art, J.J.A Harwood did wonders writing this and I will happily recommend this to all of my book girlies!

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Thank you to Harper 360 and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

When I saw that the author of The Shadow in the Glass had a new book coming out, I knew that I had to add it to my TBR list right away! The Thorns Remain by JJA Harwood is a dark adult fantasy hidden behind a whimsical, farm-like setting. The story revolves around Moira Jean, who lives in a village in 1919. She is dancing with her friends one day when they are taken away by Fae. It's up to Moira Jean to make a deal with the Lord of the Fae to save her friends. But when she gets to know the gender-fluid Lord of the Fae, who can change appearances and genders, she starts to fall in love.

Here is a gripping excerpt from the Prologue:

"The sun was shining on the day that the village of Brudonnock disappeared. The sky was a blazing blue, bright as topaz, and no one walked beneath it. The wind trailed its fingers through the forest, rustling through birch leaves and pine needles. The smithy ticked quietly as it cooled; spiders crawled across the kirk door.
Slowly, a figure came into view, limping along the dusty Aberdeen road. It picked its way across the path, shoes in hand. Long, curly, mushroom-brown hair shifted in the breeze, and a long skirt swept up clouds of dust in its wake. The girl came closer – hungry, sunburned, swaying – and shaded her eyes, staring at the village.
Even from the path, she knew that something was wrong."

Overall, The Thorns Remain is an absolutely amazing adult fantasy that will appeal to fans of ACOTAR and Howl's Moving Castle. One highlight of this book are the "in love with a monster" and "enemies-to-lovers" tropes. Both tropes are also subverted to various degrees. Another highlight of this book is how dark it is. At first, I missed the morally grey heroine and general darkness of the author's previous work The Shadow in the Glass. But then, I realized that although our heroine isn't morally grey, she doesn't experience a great character arc. This story also has its own darkness and crept up on me. I totally wasn't expecting it. By the end, I was fully on board and loved this book just as much as the author's previous book. If you're intrigued by the excerpt above, or if you're a fan of fantasy books in general, I highly recommend that you check out this book when it comes out in May!

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I enjoyed this book much more than I initially thought I would. The beginning felt a little slow-paced with a lot of information. The writing felt off at times but I think that was more of a personal stylistic preference than anything else. The story didn’t immediately grab me but, wow, once it got going I was hooked. I LOVE books with the more traditional take on fae, which this delivered well.

It felt really refreshing and provided a unique take on romance. I expected one thing, and was pleasantly surprised with the opposite. Loved the dynamics between the Dreamer and Moira Jean, especially her growth throughout.

How the main character processes her grief, isolation, and unhealthy relationships also felt genuine and well done. Would definitely recommend this book!

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The Thorns Remain is a thrilling, fantastical story following Moira Jean, a nineteen-year-old girl who lives in a small village in 1900's Scottland. The Spanish Flu is upon them, and so is the Lord of the Fae. After a dance in the woods causes the disappearance of her friends, Moira Jean is forced to make a bargain with the Lord of the Fae in order to get her friends back. Her detailed descriptions of the settings transport you through time to follow Moira Jean as she rushes to save her friends. If you are looking for a book that does not romanticize and water down the Fae, look no further. JJA Harwood provides realistic, terrifying portrayals of the Fair Folk. The only concern I had with this book was the slow pacing at the beginning, but other than that, I was enthralled.

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4/5 stars! THIS COVER! A darkly beautiful tale of love and loss. The story did take a bit to get going, but once the pace picked up, I fell in love with this world. I really enjoyed Moira Jean's story and would definitely read more by this author. I find the author's works to be a slightly darker and slightly more immature writing style similar to Margaret Rogerson. Would read more by this author.

I received an advance review copy for free through NetGalley, and I am leaving this review voluntarily

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You all know how much I love stories involving the Fae. You’ve seen me shout about it enough that it should be obvious at this point. But regardless — The Thorns Remain wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. At this point, almost all the Fae stories I’ve read leaves the main character thoroughly in love with a member of the Fae. To be honest, those stories have been getting a little stale. Thankfully, The Thorns Remain takes a new approach — one that I haven’t personally seen yet in a book like this — the Fae are actually the villains. Now, not all of the fae we see are evil, but…most of them aren’t exactly friendly. If we take it way back to old school stories like these, the Fae are usually not something to mess with. It is so refreshing to actually have that be the case here.

Our main character is Moira Jean. She’s sassy, stubborn, and soooo sad. Mourning her lost fiancee is just soaked in her bones, and throughout the whole book she never really turns away from him. She doesn’t forget him and move on, she mourns, and mourns, and mourns and I was happy, honestly, that she doesn’t just suddenly get over him. It wouldn’t have made sense for her character, and I’m really happy that Harwood didn’t shoe-horn in some half-done romance here. (That’s right, there’s no romance in this book, IDC what the promotional material says. Moira Jean never really comes close to falling in love.) Moira Jean’s friends get taken by the Fae, and it is up to her to bargain for them back. She does everything in her power to get her friends back, but in doing so, she messes with The Dreamer.

The Dreamer is the big bad Fae at the heart of this story. Everything that happens to Moira Jean is ultimately his fault. The nice Fae that she meets end up being either sent to her by The Dreamer, or are acting on his orders. The Dreamer wants to know more about Moira Jean, and about humanity in general. He bargains with Moira Jean, but twists and turns those bargains around to mess with her. He’s cruel, but he’s trying to be kind. He does not really succeed. He’s terrifying because you really don’t know what he’s going to do next, or how he’s going to mess with everyone back in the village. You really feel for Moira Jean, because she is truly stuck between a rock and a hard place. She has no help. Everything is really up to her, and it was so hard watching her try everything she could while literally everyone and everything worked against her.

I do have a few complaints, unfortunately. There are no chapters in this book — it is simply broken up into four parts. It made it hard to find a good place to stop reading, and I hate that. Next, the villagers turn against Moira Jean like…on a switch. They’ve known her literally her entire life, and they turn on her at the drop of a hat. It felt maybe unrealistic? Maybe? IDK, it bothered me more than a little. Unfortunately, the confrontation towards the end of the book felt a little rushed. It could have really been stretched out a bit longer, so we could have learned more about The Queen. Instead, she’s a shadowy, vague figure and that’s it. Still, I really did enjoy this. It was a nice refreshing take on a Fae story. Four stars.

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Ah, a book that speaks to my soul and spirit. I grew up in Sweden and I've always had a big fascination with the "little folk". Folklore is heavy where I come from and so it seems to be in Scotland and Ireland too.
This book is about Moira Jean who is about 19 and lives in a little village close to Invarness, by Aberdeen road. Her friends plough the earth and help everyone left to survive. Her mom is the only doctor. It seems like the story is happening around early 1900s with the war and flu. They are all barely making it.
For some reason Malcolm is removing horse shoes that they had over their doorframe. (This is/was a common practice in Sweden too, to keep the fairy folk out. Swedes even leaves rice porridge outside in a bowl overnight for the farm gnome, for good luck and such.)
One day Moira Jean wants to have a party in the woods and the young ones sneak out. They get a little buzzed with whiskey but then strange things starts happening. Next morning she's the only one of her friends that is still there but all her friends are gone. Here is where her journey with the supernatural starts.

This book was a thrill to read. I highly recommend this one. An easy 4 stars. It's more of a 4.5 star read

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"From the Sunday Times bestselling historical fantasy author of The Shadow in the Glass comes a tour-de-force of faerie bargains, perfect for fans of The Invisible Life of Addie La Rue, Mexican Gothic, and Ten Thousand Doors of January.

A dance with the fae will change everything.

1919. In a Highland village forgotten by the world, the young people who remain after war and flu will soon head south to make something of themselves.

Moira Jean and her friends venture to the forest for a last night of laughter before parting ways. Moira Jean is being left behind. She too planned to leave once - but her lover died in France and, with him, her future. The friends light a fire and dance. But, with every twirl about the flames, strange new dancers thread between them, music streaming from the trees.

The Fae have joined the dance.

Suddenly Moira Jean finds herself all alone, her friends spirited away.

For the Fae feel left behind and forgotten too. Led by the darkly handsome Lord of the Fae, they are out to make themselves known once more. Moira Jean must enter into a bargain with the Lord to save her friends - and fast, for the longer they spend with the Fae, the less like themselves they will be upon return. If Moira Jean cannot save her friends before Beltane, they will be lost forever...

Bewitching, threaded with Highland charm, and sparkling with romance, this fairy tale will carry you away."

I'm always here for a tricksy faerie bargain!

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Thank you NetGalley as well as the publishers for this eARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

I am a sucker for anything with Fae and dark romance so this was perfect for me. It felt more character driven than plot driven, which I personally am a fan of! I highly recommend this.

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In all honesty, I was not familiar with the fairytales and folklore that this novel was based on. Coming in, I thought that it would be a fantasy/fairytale about how a fae helped Moira Jean find her friends, and maybe they would fall in love (I have been reading a fair number of fantasy romances lately, so...). But what I ended up reading was so much more, and infinitely better, than I had initially expected.

Moira Jean and her friends are working to get by, daily, in their small village. She is mourning the loss of her love, Angus. She feels like she has to stay in the village for her mother, and no longer dreams of leaving as she once had. In a moment of fun, she and her friends dance by the fire in the woods, and then everything changes.

To win back those that she lost, Moira Jean has to enter into a series of bargains with The Dreamer. He offers her everything, promises to take her away, and in the process, steals from her life in a game that only The Dreamer really knows the rules of. In her journey, Moira Jean learns how quickly those she thought friendly can turn on her, and how far a dark Lord will go to convince her that he is the only thing that can save her. When in truth, maybe Moira Jean is really the only one that can save herself.

This is dark, and the end is more bittersweet than anything, but also hopeful. And maybe that sort of ending marks some of the best fairytales.

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The Thorns Remain by JJA Harwood, a good telling of almost the classical fey warnings, DON'T TRUST THE FEY!
When things start to go topsy turvy and you are emotionally compromised just remember - DON'T TRUST THE FEY!

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Book Name: The Thorn Remains
Author: JJA Harwood

Thank you to Harper 360 and Netgalley for an ARC of JAA Harwood’s The Thorn Remains

Stars: 4
Spice : NA

Slow Paced
Single FMC POV
Low Fantasy Folklore Adventure set in 1919

Similar to the recently published novel “Emily Wildes Encyclopedia of Faire” by Heather Fawcett and "An Enchantment of Ravens" by Margaret Rogerson

- Topics
- Grief & Letting Go
- Folklore & Fae
- Finding Your Place in the World
- Mother Daughter Relationships
- Toxic Relationships
- Tropes
- Miscommunication and Secrets
- Tam Lin “retelling”
- Bargains and Riddles
- One sided love
- Enemies to lovers (ish)
- Thoughts.
- Cozy Vibes (not quiet a cozy fantasy)
- Random Bi Representation (70 ish percent in)
- Pacing Issues
- Not exactly HEA but compelling end

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Finally, a book about the Fae like I’ve never read before! If you’re looking for a story about a young mortal woman being whisked away into the Fae realm to live happily ever after… this book is not for you.

Historical, Fantasy, dare I say a bit of a thrill? I rather enjoyed our strong main character Moira Jean. This story follows Moria Jean’s life, living in a tiny Highland village in 1919 with dreams of moving onto something bigger. Her dreams were crushed by the death of her fiancée and she is currently in the midst of her grief and trying to keep up with her normal day to day.

Moria Jean and her friends decide to gather around a campfire in the woods after a long days work. A bottle of whisky, and some conversation later they decide to dance… and the Fae join them.

Moria Jean awakes in her bed, and later finds out that her friends never returned from their late night rendezvous and everyone in the village has fake memories. She realizes she’s going to have to do everything in her power to save her friends.

I loved reading a Fae book that was so unlike the others. One thing that threw me off was the “chapters” in this book. They were actually parts and were all very long. It took me a little bit to get into this book because of that, to me it felt like I didn’t have a stopping point in the middle of the parts. I am someone who prefers to stop on chapters, so it took me a while to get through this book because I had to make sure I had uninterrupted time to finish each part. Once I was able to make time to sit and read this part for part without interruptions, I was hooked. I read until my eyes got so tired that I had to stop. The writing was very descriptive, beautiful and it kept me hooked.

I want to say a big Thank You to Netgalley, JJA Harwood and Harper 360 for providing me an ARC of this book.

#booksta #bookstagram #reader #ereader #arcbook #arc #advancedreadercopy #fantasy #historical #romanceish #book #bookworm #arcreader #bookreview #review #netgalley

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A story about folklore and Fae? Sign me up! This book was refreshing. This isn't a romance, although there is loss and mourning of a loved one. This is simply about old-school Fae messing and bargaining with humans, and I loved it. A wonderful read that I will recommend to young adults, adults, and highschoolers who love folklore and Fae!

From the Publisher
From the Sunday Times bestselling historical fantasy author of THE SHADOW IN THE GLASS comes a tour-de-force of faerie bargains, perfect for fans of THE INVISIBLE LIFE OF ADDIE LA RUE, MEXICAN GOTHIC, and TEN THOUSAND DOORS OF JANUARY

A dance with the fae will change everything

1919. In a Highland village forgotten by the world, the young people who remain after war and flu will soon head south to make something of themselves.

Moira Jean and her friends venture to the forest for a last night
of laughter before parting ways. Moira Jean is being left behind. She too planned to leave once – but her lover died in France and, with him, her future. The friends light a fire and dance. But, with every twirl about the flames, strange new dancers thread between them, music streaming from the trees.

The Fae have joined the dance.

Suddenly Moira Jean finds herself all alone, her friends spirited away.

For the Fae feel left behind and forgotten too. Led by the darkly handsome Lord of the Fae, they are out to make themselves known once more. Moira Jean must enter into a bargain with the Lord to save her friends – and fast, for the longer they spend with the Fae, the less like themselves they will be upon return. If Moira Jean cannot save her friends before Beltane, they will be lost forever…

Bewitching, threaded with Highland charm, and sparkling with romance, this fairy tale will carry you away.

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Thank you, Magpie and NetGalley, for the advanced copy of The Thorns Remain.

Let me start by saying that fantasy is not always my cup of tea. It has to really draw me in, and I need a bit of realism in my fantasy. This did that for me. It was well-written, and the characters were well-rounded. The story did seem to drag in certain areas, and I felt that some things were repeated, but overall, it was an enjoyable fantasy read. I am debating whether to add the hardcover to my collection. It is such a beautiful book, and I could see myself re-reading this one.

Moira Jean is our protaganist. She lives in a highland village in 1919 which has been ravaged by war and flu. Her boyfriend being a casualty of war derails her plans of leaving the village. On a night following a day spent working hard in the fields, Moira and her friends decide to have a get-together in the nearby forest. Unbeknownst to the group, the fae are watching and the Lord of the Fae is ready to take the spirits he needs to pay tribute to the Queen. In order to save her friends, Moira Jean must make a deal with the Lord and follow through before the Fae holiday of tribute. With a village against her and only the village outcast truly there for her, will she be able to save her friends or lose them forever?

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Thank you to NetGalley and Harper 360 for this arc.

The Thorns Remain was an absolutely beautiful story. From the rich language to the character building, I was hooked instantly. In truth, I did not have high hopes for this book, but as I continued reading, I felt myself rooting for The Dreamer. Moira Jean was fierce, strong, and quick-witted in her interactions with him and by the end I was left hoping for sequel.

I look forward to reading more from the author!

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I was expecting this to be a historical romance with some fantasy. But that was not at all what I was expecting! It was more of folklore horror. Something in the vein of Holly Black (but more creepy sinister).

This was so good. Starts out a touch slow, but picks up momentum. The ending seemed a little lackluster after all the tension build-up, and fever-dream climax. But not bad, definitely on a happy note.

The folklore was excellent. And I want more stories like this one. I don't know The Ballad of Tam Lin well enough to tell if this is a retelling, or just a nod in that direction.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an advanced copy of this book for review!

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I really enjoyed this book! I thought the writing style was captivating and well paced. The main character, Moira Jean was easy to relate to and I really enjoyed reading her inner dialog and learning more about her as the story went on. I thought the folk lore like stories were a nice touch through out the over all story. The Dreamer was also super well written, at points I was scared of him but at others I felt myself drawn to him just like Moira Jean was. Overall the story was incredible, my only wish was that it was little longer. I felt like I wanted to know more about the Queen at the end and more about what happened to the Dreamer. Looking forward to more from JJA Harwood!

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"The Land Under the Hill is full of dreams. Real things are worth more."

I don't think I can properly put into words how much I loved this book, and how eager I am for its publication so I can put it on my shelf.

Admittedly, I had different expectations when I requested an eARC of this. From the cover and the blurb, I'd assumed this would end up a love story. You know, in the way many fae x mortal stories have gone, just with less human-like representations of the fae. I suppose, in a way, this story still is a love story, the lesson being more about self-love, at least for the FMC. Our FMC, Moira Jean, has to learn that she needn't sacrifice herself for love; The Dreamer, on the other hand, has to learn that love doesn't come without self-sacrifice. One sacrifices too much in the name of love; one sacrifices too little. Will they learn to help each other figure out how to balance these two extremes in order to find true happiness? Or will they be each other's downfall?

So, you see, this book has some rather heavy themes. The cover might convince you this is a light read, but that's a bit misleading. If you're wanting a story about a mortal woman who gets saved by a handsome fae and whisked off to a better world, that's not this story. But it's no less moving. I laughed and I cried. I loved Moira Jean and her strength and her charm and her fire. I loved the memory of Angus, with her, for all that he brought her joy. I even felt Moira Jean's dedication to her village, despite how awful they could be to her. In the end, I empathized with The Dreamer, who, for all his faults, really wants to learn to be human, or just to be better than he was.

As for other aspects of the story: The settings were vivid- both the real and the fantastical. Some of the fae were endearing, others downright creepy. The relationships between friends and neighbors felt realistic.

I have a couple complaints, but that's just me being nitpicky. The ending left a couple loose ends. I won't go into detail because I don't want to spoil anything, but I don't feel like I've gotten total closure with how it all ended. That said, it was still a mostly-satisfying ending, and strangely heartwarming. Bittersweet is the word I'm looking for.

In a way, this book is everything I wanted 'The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue' by VE Schwab to be. There are similar themes and concepts.

If you like your FMCs headstrong and full of heart, villains with redemption arcs, stories about healing and growth, all while reading about characters who are equal parts charming and irritating, this is the book for you.

Thank you to NetGalley, JJA Harwood, and the publisher for my eARC. This review is left voluntarily and all opinions are my own.

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I really enjoyed this book. I hope the author continues to write more books in the future. I can't wait to see what this author releases in the future.

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This book was so good! I really enjoyed that it was based on more traditional fairy lore with the mischievousness and cruelty and was able to have character development while still maintaining those aspects

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I was provided an arc from NetGalley, this review is my own.

“The village was as soft and familiar as an old blanket, and it was only since the war that she had started to notice how faded and worn it was becoming.”

From the beginning of Thorns Remain the author does a wonderful job of wrapping you up in this secluded village. The familiarity, the smells, the rhythm and the characters of the novel wraps around the reader like a warm blanket. Then the frayed edges begin to show. The jealousy of others, the judgment, and the losses all culminate in moth ridden holes in our warm blanket but still, even with the holes, it’s comforting because of its familiarity. I think anyone with an imperfect family can relate to that. You love them but there’s always a but…

“There was an itch under Moira Jean’s skin. It was not enough. She needed more.”

Moira Jean has suffered the loss of her childhood sweetheart and watching her deal with the trauma and sadness of that was another layer of this novel. So when the Dreamer is introduced I was torn between being intrigued of him as a love interest and wanting Moira Jean to hold onto her childhood love forever.

Possible spoiler coming up:

“”It is not a game”, the Dreamer said, his voice low.”

I did love the back and forth of Moira Jean and the Dreamer quite immensely and while I was hopeful of their relationship I will say it was never meant to be. I love love stories. I especially love enemies to lovers and this has the delicious start of that. But the Dreamer never learned to change and Moira never let Angus go enough to be open to him.

I’m rating this 4 out of 5 stars and would recommend it for those looking for a fae fairytale retelling and wants the fae to learn a valuable lesson which he desperately needed …

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This story follows Moira Jean whose fiancée died during the war and now seems unsure about her future. One evening, along with her friends in their village, they go out to drink and dance around the fire, when suddenly more people, or beings, appear that Moira Jean realizes are the Fae. And then she suddenly wakes up and wonders what happened and whether it was a dream, when she finds out her friends have been spirited away by the Fae and now it's up to Moira Jean to get them back.

This is a lush and dark fantasy. Darker than I was expecting, especially with Moira Jean and the loss she is clearly still grieving. The Fae are also darker than you would read for example in ACoTaR. And so I would definitely term this as a lush gothic fantasy.

I overall enjoyed this book aside from it having a rather slow start and me being a bit confused about everyone's past and just little details like that. If you love dark gothic fantasies with Fae, then this one is for you!

Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for the free digital copy to read. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Thank you to the Author for allowing me to view the Arc of this book. I have recently found my love for Fantasy and I always look forward to reading a new one. I liked the synopses of this book and that's why I found this story intriguing. This book follows a girl named Moira who lives with her mother. When she and her friend go into the forest to hang out, strange things are afoot. The head fae from a strange world takes her friends and Moira has to bargain with him to get them back. At first it was a little slow but the more I got into the story I was intrigued. By the time it ended I was hooked by these Characters. I really liked it. I gave it 4 stars on good reads. I would be interested in reading more from this Author.

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Love the setting in the Highlands during war time in a small remote self sufficient town. Moira Jean is the only one of her friends who everyone remembers after a night in the forest. The deals she has to make are tricky and I swear I would fail miserably in the same situation. Things I've learned wear iron for protection, make sure to give offerings to the forest, be careful what you trade away, and don't join in the fairy dance. Enjoy!

Thank you @netgalley and @tlcbooktours for the arc for my honest and voluntary review.

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This started out as a cover pick but quickly turned into an obsession from the minute I started the first page. I'm pretty confident that this will make it into my top 10 books of 2023.

It hit everything I'm looking for in a light fantasy:
1. Folklore (bonus points for Irish and Scottish)
2. A strong main character that I can get behind
3. Worldbuilding that completely intrigues me

The vibes it gives is dark cottagecore and it's the vibe I'm always on the hunt for. I will have to say though that Moira as our MC was what really hit the spot. She was hard working, caring and someone we, as the reader, could imagine ourselves being. Just this ordinary girl trying to grieve a loss, save her friends and to survive.

If you're into a great fantasy rich with Scottish folklore and amazing world building this is for you.

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I had a lot of fun reading The Thorns Remain. I'm a sucker for a fairy-bargain and a dark romance. The world building was amazing, just wish I could have stayed in there longer.

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I love stories that deal with the fae and fair folk. You will enjoy this book if you're a Holly Back and Maggie Stiefvater fan. It was a compelling story, not only because of the magic in it but also the way it humanizes grief and growth in early adulthood. Moria Jean is not a perfect person, but that is what makes her so likable and relatable. I wish the story had more romance, but I was hooked on the fae realm alone. I recommend this book if you're a fan of folklore and fairies.

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I'm gonna give this book 3.75 stars. Overall I enjoyed it a lot. I loved the setting, Moira Jean was an entertaining protagonist, and much smarter than I.
The beginning of the book for me was a little on the slower side, and I didn't get engaged until about halfway through. Although when I did get hooked, I was HOOKED. The second half the book was very good and I greatly enjoyed it.
I think I was more satisfied with the ending than I expected, I personally would have caved to The Dreamer. I felt like the pacing was the main issue with the book, sometimes it felt too slow, and other times it felt like it sped past things way quicker than it should have. I also wished it had leaned more into the horror of the Fae, but that might be more personal preference.
I did enjoy the book a lot, and I thank Harper Voyager for the e-ARC.

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The Thorns Remain by JJA Harwood is a unique tale that combines folklore and fairytales with a new set of characters. Moira Jean is an interesting girl who fights for her friends with wit and tenacity. The different descriptions of the fae are so cool and creepy but I really Love the Fae Lord. The Dreamer is aloof and crafty but also seems to have a genuine interest in the human girl. Their back and forth dance is intriguing and I thought the ending was very satisfying. I will say that the townsfolk were terrible though and definitely brought to life how prejudiced and rude people can be when they don't understand something. Overall this was an interesting YA fantasy that I would recommend to people who love classic fae stories and celtic lore.

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If you love the Fae then this one is for you! This was a mash up of a few different things that felt like retelling elements to me. But by the end it became all its own story and it was so good. I won't get into it to much because I don't want to give spoilers by accident but this one was so freaking good.

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Based on friend's reviews, I did not think I would like J.J.A. Harwood. But, color me surprised - their writing is beautiful! I was highlighting passages on every other page. I am so thankful I got an ARC to try out Harwood. This is only their second novel, and I am very excited to see how they will grow in the fantasy space.

Rather than writing a forgiving and submissive heroine, Harwood bodly writes a novel when romance doesn't come first. "She did not want to teach The Dreamer what it really meant to love someone, or the real value of truth and kindness. She had her own life to lead."

Some of my fav quotes:
"You have made everything else seem hollow, faded – everything but you is a shadow, Moira Jean! What is that, if not love?’"

"But you showed me that they were all hollow. You showed me what is real and what is true. You showed me how the world had changed, how much was waiting for me to discover. Everything else is empty, next to you! You have pulled my world apart and shown me that there is nothing inside it – nothing! Do you call that a game?’"

"She papered over the cracks and now, the hollow centre of her was hidden from view."

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3.75 stars — When I first picked up The Thorns Remain by JJA Harwood, I wasn't sure what I was in for, and I certainly didn't expect I'd have so many feelings and thoughts by the time I set it down. However, The Thorns Remain and its heroine are slow burners and all the more satisfying for being so.

In the Scottish highlands of 1919, still reeling from the devastation of World War I and the influenza, six young friends go into the forest for a night of illicit fun — and five are stolen by the fae. Moira Jean is the only one left, protected only by the iron medal of her late fiancé. More sinister still, she's the only one in the village who realizes something is wrong. To get her friends back, she must deal with the Dreamer, a capricious lord of the fae who demands an ever higher price. As the boundaries between mortal and fae, friend and foe, blur, how much will Moira Jean sacrifice? And will it be worth it in the end?

In the beginning, Moira Jean's life seems mundane, even in its sorrow and drudgery, but as the book progresses and the web tightens around her, she proves she's not as ordinary as she first appears. She's generous, stubborn, and loyal, and she is incapable of giving up on doing what's right, even when the personal cost is devastating. And when she finally stops playing the game by the Dreamer's rule, I think I fell in love a little bit.

The Dreamer himself is a fantastic antagonist, in more than just the obvious way. He is casually cruel and selfish, treating humans like toys for his amusement. But he's also compelling, and through his obsession with Moira Jean, he acquires traits that give him the occasional appearance of something like humanity, trapping the reader as effectively as he traps Moira Jean. His character growth only adds to his mystery and appeal, and while it doesn't mean he isn't a villain, it does make one question the exact nature of his villainy.

This is very much a fairy tale in the ancient sense, with tricks and terrors, but it's grounded by the historical setting. I was drawn in by the ever-increasing suspense and moved by the explorations of love and courage, fear and grief. And while there are no easy answers in this story, I walked away satisfied by a good story and happy to ponder the questions on the my own.

My thanks to NetGalley and Harper 360, Magpie for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

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I’ve been pleasantly surprised by most of the books I’ve read recently that contain more traditional Fae elements, and The Thorns Remain was no exception. Though I was originally drawn in by the stunning cover, the story that developed was just as stunning. The blend of realism and the fantastical set against a backdrop of World War I and the Spanish Flu was so intriguing and kept me hooked from the start.

I loved that the fae in The Thorns Remain were morally gray and that they had tendencies that leaned more in towards them being tricksters instead of the love interest fae that have been emerging more in recent fantasy. This felt more like folklore and I absolutely loved the little bits of actual folklore that were added in. Those bits added just a little extra to the story.

It was a little hard to keep all of the characters straight at the very beginning because we were introduced to so many people, but once I could hold all the characters in my head, it was much more enjoyable.

Thank you to NetGalley, Harper 360/Magpie, and JJA Harwood for the e-arc of The Thorns Remain in exchange for an honest review.

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Thank you very much for the opportunity to read this book early! I really enjoyed it. I thought the writing was very well done, and the story kept me interested. I believe my students/patrons would also love this book and will be acquiring it for the library!

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"The Thorns Remain" took me on a journey that defied my initial expectations. In an era where romantasy books dominate the literary scene, this novel offered a refreshing departure from the usual formula. It isn't about a plucky teenage villager finding her perfect match in a scary fae lord; instead, it offers a more classic exploration of fae/human interactions.

The Dreamer, a key character in the story, is anything but the typical fae love interest. He is cold and calculating, devoid of human emotions, and certainly not seeking a destined mate. However, what sets this book apart is its focus on the evolution of emotions in characters who were previously emotionless. The transformation of the Dreamer, as he grapples with the concepts of pain, hurt, and love, is the book's most captivating aspect. His journey is akin to that of a powerful child navigating the complexities of emotions without any prior understanding, making him an endearing and multi-dimensional character.

"The Thorns Remain" may start deceptively slow, but once it gains momentum, it captivates you and refuses to let go. While the pacing could deter some readers initially, the gradual development and depth of the characters ultimately draw you in. The story's strength lies in its ability to explore human and inhuman emotions, providing a fresh perspective on the fae-human dynamic.

In summary, "The Thorns Remain" offers a unique and thought-provoking take on the romantasy genre, deviating from the typical trope of destined love. While it may take a bit of patience to get through the slower beginning, the character development and emotional exploration make it a rewarding read. If you're looking for a novel that challenges your expectations and leaves you pondering the intricacies of emotions, this book is well worth your time.

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I enjoyed this book way more than I thought I was going too! This is my first Fae book and I went in not knowing what to expect at all. There were definitely times I was confused or had to look up what words meant but overall I thought it was put together well.

The story flowed. There weren’t really any parts that I wished we’d rush through or parts I wanted to move along faster. I was actually pulled in pretty quickly and couldn’t put it down.

Now Moira Jean should have checked her local villagers earlier than she did and I know her Mom was busy and tending to everyone but MAAM!!! How do you not see what’s going on around the village!?! This is really the only part that drove me nuts.

In the end, Moira did her thing and didn’t fall into the trap I thought she was going too. She cared about The Dreamer but the fog cleared for her and she stuck to her guns. GO HEAD MOIRA JEAN!

This was not one of those Fae love stories (like I mistakenly thought) and I think I enjoyed it more because of it. It felt like I was getting to experience and read through the lenses of another culture just from the dialect used and world that was painted. Now let me find another Fae book to read because I think I’m hooked!

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This was such a good read I loved it and was completely hooked from the first page. Definitely recommend

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