13 July, 2021

[Review] How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse by K. Eason

Cover image from the goodreads website.

Series or Stand Alone:
Thorne Chronicles #1
Release Date: 8 October, 2019
Publisher: Daw Books
Genre: Science Fiction/Fairytale Formula/Space Opera/Fantasy
ISBN: 9780756417499
Edition: Paperback/Audio (also available in Hardcover and eBook) Rating:
Review Written: 22 March, 2021
Warnings: Confinement, Violence, Kidnapping, Bullying, Child abuse, Physical abuse, Sexism, Xenophobia, Blood, Cursing, Death, Medical content, and Medical trauma
Now in mass market, the first in a duology that reimagines fairy tale tropes within a space opera--The Princess Bride meets Princess Leia.

Rory Thorne is a princess with thirteen fairy blessings, the most important of which is to see through flattery and platitudes. As the eldest daughter, she always imagined she'd inherit her father's throne and govern the interplanetary Thorne Consortium.

Then her father is assassinated, her mother gives birth to a son, and Rory is betrothed to the prince of a distant world.

When Rory arrives in her new home, she uncovers a treacherous plot to unseat her newly betrothed and usurp his throne. An unscrupulous minister has conspired to name himself Regent to the minor (and somewhat foolish) prince. With only her wits and a small team of allies, Rory must outmaneuver the Regent and rescue the prince.

How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse is a feminist reimagining of familiar fairytale tropes and a story of resistance and self-determination--how small acts of rebellion can lead a princess to not just save herself, but change the course of history.

See more by K. Eason at her website.
I won't lie, I loved this book. I enjoyed the challenge of Rory and her poor decision making. That said, is it really a multiverse if you're only including a small portion of the galaxy?

Rory Thorne is the first daughter in the Thorne line in 10 generations. As such, her father doesn't really know how to react to her birth. It doesn't help that when she's supposed to be christened, the thought to be mythos fairies show up and start bestowing gifts. While most are mostly benign (like skilled harp playing, kindness, etc); one gift allows Rory to know when she's being lied to. A gift helpful for one destined to be queen.

Except during Rory's sixth birthday, her father is caught in the crossfire of the assassination of his peer and the father of Rory's betrothed. Skip to when she's 16, and Rory is shipped off to her new planetary home (it's a space station with two very uninhabitable planets nearby). Now Rory has to figure out how to survive. I loved seeing the juxtapose between what someone said to Rory and what they really meant.

Rory is a smart and mostly collected individual who has a very good knack for surviving. Even though she spends portions of the book confined to her rooms, Rory doesn't let herself be idle. She constantly plots how to reach her end goal, though she doesn't exactly know what comes next after her goal is achieved.

Overall this novel was a fun read, and great fun to see a lot of tropes turned on their heads. I will say that the title is a bit misleading. Multiverses often make me think of overlapping dimensions or worlds accessed through various means (i.e. Doors in the Thousand Doors of January). Still, this story was fun and I can't wait to read the sequel.

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