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How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse

by K. Eason

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Thorne Chronicles (1)

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4321958,671 (3.78)43
Fantasy. Fiction. Science Fiction. 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.… (more)
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» See also 43 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
It was fine. And I really wanted something to listen to. I'm kind of over fairy tale shenanigans, unless they are written by T. Kingfisher. I wanted more from this somehow -- more cleverness, more action, more plotting? The characters were pretty good, but I can't say that I care a great deal about them or want to know what happens next. Sorry, meh appears to be my main feeling, even though there's nothing fundamentally wrong with it. I did not like the use of Earth terms for things -- the Turing terminals, the Tesla lights. Cute, in theory, but it felt off for me, since this isn't an Earth based story. ( )
  jennybeast | Aug 22, 2023 |
This is a cute version of Sleeping Beauty done with a bunch of SF- mostly Star Wars like- tropes. Rory Thorne is a princess who received fairy blessings at her birth and at 16 years old she must learn to usefully adapt these to help her escape political captivity.
The characters of this book are not well developed but the world-building is interesting and the alternate sciences are creative, Imagining arithmancers instead of physicists etc.

library book read 4/3/2023 ( )
  catseyegreen | Apr 4, 2023 |
Spring 2020 (April);
- Sarah's BookClub for March

This book was not bad, and neither were the character, or the plot, or anything. But it just missed having any oomph to it, as well. It really won't end up being at all memorable to me. Shout out to only things I deeply loved, and will remember:

1. Anything of the funnier prosaic sayings about The Multiverse.
2. The plant that changes colors with your emotions. Get me one of those. ( )
  wanderlustlover | Dec 26, 2022 |
Young Adult is a marketing category, not a genre; Rory Thorne is marketed as an adult SF/F book, so it is, ipso facto, not YA. I understand that. What I don't understand is why it wasn't, in fact, marketed as YA. It really seems like the marketing copy and professional reviews have to put a lot of spin on it--and carefully omit the fact that the protagonist is sixteen--to make it seem like it's aimed at adults, and surely it would be easier to just be up-front about the content and sell it to the group of teenaged girls who have an insatiable thirst for narratives about teenaged girls who are Incredibly Special and Unique coming of age and coming into their own. I was one of those once, and I would probably have loved this then, but I have a lot less patience for those tropes now.

You could argue that factors like the protagonist’s age and the fact that swearing almost exclusively happens in indirect dialogue (e.g. “she said some words her mother wouldn’t approve of”) doesn’t necessarily make it not an adult book, but my question is, what does make it an adult book? There’s nothing here that seems inappropriate for teens, in terms of either content or reading level. The politics aren’t any more complicated than those of, say, The Hunger Games--there are technically more factions, sure, but for most of the book only two of them are relevant, and then a third one becomes important about ¾ of the way in. Every other political entity that’s mentioned can be immediately forgotten about without any negative effect on your ability to understand the plot. (Especially the aliens. The aliens were terribly underutilized and I’m not really sure why they were in this book at all.) I think I would call both the politics and the rest of the worldbuilding not so much complex as busy--there’s a whole lot of stuff thrown in, but most of it doesn’t actually matter, so the number of things that it’s actually important to keep track of is small.

My other main issue with the book was that Rory is so good at everything that it robs the book of any real tension. Sure, she’s a bit impulsive and a bit short-tempered, but any trouble this might cause her is more than offset by the fact that she’s brilliant, charming, and insanely good at magic space hacking. And I think her magical ability to “hear” what people are really thinking when they lie was detrimental to the political intrigue aspect of the plot--she never has to wonder whether she can trust someone or not, and it’s very easy for her to get information out of people. This kind of Being Really Powerful and The Best At Everything isn’t uncommon for YA protagonists, and when I was younger this worked for me as a sort of power fantasy. But as an adult I find it hard to project onto a sixteen-year-old for wish-fulfillment purposes, and if you’re not relating to this kind of protagonist in that way, they’re just not very interesting.

All of this also made the romantic subplot of “we have to pretend we’re dating so people don’t realize we’re actually plotting treason” fall flat for me--the external pressure doesn’t seem real, and the usual “oh no, I have Real Feelings now, but does the other person, or are they still just pretending?” conflict is completely absent. I will admit that m/f romance doesn’t usually hold my interest, but this felt especially lukewarm.

I’m being very hard on this book; overall it’s pretty harmless, and I do think that circa age fourteen, I might have loved it. But it’s like getting an oatmeal raisin cookie when you were expecting chocolate chip. Even if you don’t mind oatmeal raisin, even if you’ll sometimes eat them willingly, it’s not what you thought you were going to get, and now you’re just annoyed and disappointed. ( )
  xenoglossy | Aug 17, 2022 |
Felt like an attempt to capitalize on the success of Gideon the Ninth—knowing/contemporary tone; universe mixing magic and high tech; dynastic struggles of a princess given only partially helpful fairy gifts at her birth celebration. It didn’t do anything for me. ( )
  rivkat | Mar 25, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
K. Easonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Poole, NicoleNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tierney, JimCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Fantasy. Fiction. Science Fiction. 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.

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