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Peek Inside The Thorn and the Sinking Stone

Four “families” emerged to rule the streets of Rain City. Valencia Hara is a daughter of the Black Roses, raised in wealth and by deadly steel...and Cursed with the ability to see seconds into the future. When Valencia is called forward to fight, she must face off against Sebastian Leold, a member of the Two Daggers gang. For they once knew each other beyond their blood feud...and they have more secrets in common than they know. But in a world filled with vengeance and violence, there can be no room for love.

The Thorn and the Sinking Stone

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Warring families. Forbidden love. And danger they can’t escape…

Daggers. Roses. Cowboys. Boat Men. Survivors of Earth’s Last War, four “families” vie to rule the dreary streets of Rain City through violence and blood. Valencia Hara, Princess of the wealthy Black Roses, is raised in warrior ways with sharpened steel. But she is no ordinary Rose. She is Cursed—tainted with the ability to see seconds into the future…

To avenge his father’s death, Sebastian Leold, of the rival gang Two Daggers, must face off against the Black Princess, he with his dagger, she with her katana sword. Yet a secret from a shared past leaves him unable to kill beautiful Valencia; nor can she kill him. For they once knew each other beyond their blood feud…and they have more secrets in common than they know.

But in a world filled with vengeance and violence, there can be no room for love…



"From the title to the very last sentence, I loved this book." ~Kariny, Goodreads review

"The opening scene drew me straight away into a world of blood and death and vengeance... loved every moment and still wish for more." ~The Titan's Tomb

"I really enjoyed this book it reminded me of a modern Romeo an Juliet with a supernatural element..." ~Book Enthralled

"It's been a while since I've had a novel pull me in quite like this one. The Thorn and the Sinking Stone, I kind of imagine, would be like if The Gangs of New York and Romeo and Juliet had a baby. This novel wasn't something I devoured overnight, rather, it was something that I savored, stretched out over the course of 5 days to fully appreciate all that was going on in this dark world/gem of a YA novel..." ~ Sasha Hibbs, Goodreads review

Additional Details

ISBN: 9781633751729
Series: Thorn & Dagger, Book 1
Release Date: Mar 10, 2015
Page Count: 313
Imprint: teen
Genre: fantasy, young adult
Tropes: across the tracks, enemies to lovers

Select Featured Reviews

See All Reviews on
By Paula M February 01, 2016

"Our reality was this: we were enemies caught in our parents' war, trapped in a desperate situation where desperate people did desperate things. I wanted to trust him. I wanted him to trust me. But neither of us can do it blindly"

That was a.. surprise. I didn't ex ...more

By Emmeline (The Book Herald) February 22, 2015

I kindly got this ARC via Entangled teen Publisher

AH, This Book was Freaking awesome!!!! So glad I got this ARC!

Rating- 4.5

I truly enjoyed it, it was action packed and made me reminiscent of the book 'Young Elites' by Marie Lu.

"Finn 'Lucky' Leold was dead. My Father was dead. Murdered by a Blac ...more

By Holly November 24, 2015

*eARC kindly provided by Entangled Publishing, LLC via NetGalley*

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! The Thorn and the Sinking Stone was not at all what I was expecting, which was such a pleasant surprise. It was fun and engaging and had an excellent Romeo and Juliet vibe with the main characters.

Valenc ...more

By Ri February 21, 2015

*I received a free ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*


After the war, four families have risen to power and taken control over the lands of Rain City. The east bank was taken over by the Hara house-known as the black roses or thorns. The west bank by the Daggers, the south w ...more

By Babel March 08, 2015

Confession time! I was ensnared by the dramatic cover right away. Black, red, that grim rose behind the intriguing title. As I read the synopsis, it looked like my cup of tea, a remake of Rome and Juliette, wow. I assumed it would be set in the past, but to my surprise the story has a modern setting ...more

By Lulai July 28, 2015

And the surprise of the month goes to this book because if NetGalley had not proposed it, I think Iwould have missed this nugget.

This book is clearly a mix of several gender and classic, the war between the family make me think of clearly Romeo and Juliet, there is a bit of dystopia with the watchme ...more

By Victoria February 25, 2015

I had a hard time following the book at the beginning but thank goodness it got better! This book is very much like Romeo and Juliet except for the deaths, so it's not a huge tear jerker but it is set in the future where people who have been born into abilities are captured and mostly killed by the ...more

By Louisa March 10, 2015

Oh, such a great book! I enjoyed it so much, such great characters! And everything came together so well! ...more

By Alexa March 13, 2015

The Thorn and Sinking Stone is CJ Dushinski’s debut novel and what a novel it was. When I read this synopsis was got me was the forbidden love. The rest just added to the mystery. To be honest I haven’t really heard this book talked about in the blogging world and that is disappointing. This book wa ...more

By Kimberly (Book Swoon) March 26, 2015

The Thorn and the Sinking Stone is the first book in CJ Dushinski's Thorn and Dagger series and reminded me a lot of Romeo and Juliet with its rival families, only it's set in a futuristic dystopian world and has a surprising touch of the paranormal in the mix.

I enjoyed the atmosphere of Rain City a ...more

By Sasha March 10, 2015

* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *

Thank you Entangled Teen and Ms. Dushinski!

It’s been a while since I’ve had a novel pull me in quite like this one. The Thorn and the Sinking Stone, I kind of imagine, would be like if The Gangs of New York and Romeo and Juliet had a baby. Th ...more

By Meg March 07, 2015

3.75 stars
~A kind thank you to NetGalley and Entangled Teen for providing me with a copy of The Thorn and the Sinking
Stone in exchange for an honest review. ~

Romeo and Juliet develop powers and meet a dystopian society. That is probably the simplest way that I can explain this one to you dear reader ...more

By Holly March 12, 2015

Words Fueled by Love

A Romeo-Juliet-esque story: warring families, forbidden love, danger? That's all I had to read on the summary to know this was one story right up my alley. Add in cowboys too - yeehaw! And the cover - gorgeous! It really drew me in, despite it's dark colors.

I found the beginning ...more

By Jillyn March 15, 2015

4.5/5 stars.

Cowboys? Katanas? Forbidden love?

Yes please.

The moment I read the synopsis for this book, I knew I had to read it. And boy, was my instinct right. I really enjoyed The Thorn and the Sinking Stone.

This book is a really intriguing blend of dystopian, romance, fantasy, fairy tale, scifi, an ...more

By Kerr February 25, 2015


Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for a chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Publish Date: 10th March 2015

Full review can also be found on: Paein and Ms4Tune’s Book Blog

Honestly, I mostly picked this book for the black rose, I LIKE black roses... but I'm glad I did. Wh ...more

By Elaine February 28, 2015

In Rain City there are four gangs - the Two Daggers (Stones), Black Roses (Thorns), Cowboys and Boatmen -striving for dominance and revenge, policed by the watchmen, in a dystopian city after the Earth’s last war. In an effort to stop some of the revenge killings, Sebastian Leold, son of the murdere ...more

By Jessica March 07, 2015

The Thorn and the Sinking Stone was overall, an elegant and imaginative read. The world, the people, were all unique and believable. The powers of the cursed ranged and were well thought out. Dushinski left me craving the next book, armed with dozens of questions and demanding the answers.

I loved th ...more

By Mikaela February 19, 2015

You can find my reviews at: The Titan's Tomb

*ARC received for an honest review, thank you!

My review can really be summed up in two words. 'World Building'. The opening scene drew me straight away into a world of blood and death and vengeance. I could actually see each little detail in my mind, throu ...more

By TJ February 23, 2015

Received from: Entangled Publishing, LLC
Received Via:


Why this book?

It sounded like a book for me

What I thought

I really enjoyed this book it reminded me of a modern Romeo an Juliet with a supernatural element and without all the suicide stuff. I really liked the characters an ...more

By Alexandra April 22, 2015

Recieved an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I liked the mix of science fiction and the cowboys! It reminded me steampunk for a reason alhough the dystopian element wasn't my favorite. The romance was fruitful heartbreking and all consuming! A great read of which I hope to see the ...more

By Rivalie March 10, 2015

Copy provided by Entangled Teen and NetGalley - this did not affect my opinion in anyway

Valencia Hara is the Black Princess is cursed. She has the ability to see seconds into the future which makes her nearly invincible in fights. This ability has kept her alive and now it's time to test her skill ...more

By C.J. November 23, 2018

Loved this book so much! The world was so captivating and unique. The love story was cute and felt natural. The gangs and Rain City swept me into the world completely. Highly recommend! ...more

By Sheri March 10, 2015

Actual Rating 3.5 out of 5 Stars!

Originally posted on my blog: Tangled Up In Books

I received a copy of this book, from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. In no way did this sway either my review or my rating!

The Thorn and the Sinking Stone was both unique and surprising. I wasn't expec ...more

By Aanchal (Book Flame) April 12, 2015

The Thorn and the Sinking Stone was a pleasantly surprising read for me. I saw a whole lot of it being compared to Romeo and Juliet so I was expecting insta-love and both characters killing each other off etc luckily that wasn't the case. This book had to do with warring family gangs, in this one it ...more

By Heather March 10, 2015

I'm not entirely sure where to place this, it is YA, it is dystopian, it has romance and it has action, it will however definitely be placed in my 4 star reads folder!

Set in the future metropolis of Rain City, the area is split in to four warring factions, two of these factions are truly fighting to ...more

Showing 1 to 25 of 25
3.59 avg rating
CJ Dushinski

About the author

CJ Dushinski

While attempting to navigate life as a responsible human being, CJ graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a B.Comm and worked her way along as marketer, copywriter, and graphic designer to earn a paycheck while pursing her passion for creating fantastical stories set in dark and wondrous corners of the world. Born in the amongst the wheat fields and open skies of the Canadian prairies, CJ’s imagination has always run wild, taking her on adventures across the world from modeling in Seoul, South Korea to backpacking through Europe, and surfing (poorly) in Hawaii. After wandering through ancient cities and civilizations, learning from diverse cultures, and surrounding herself in new experiences, CJ began writing; inspired by the places she saw and people she met along the way, wanting to share them with the world. CJ currently resides in Calgary, Alberta Canada – home of the Canadian Rockies – and keeps one hand on her passport and pen at all times, ready to pick up, see the world, and weave her experiences into stories. Her debut novel, THE THORN AND THE SINKING STONE is to be published by Entangled Publishing.

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