Rose & Thorn by Sarah Prineas
Series: Ash & Bramble #2
Published by: Harper Teen
Pub Date: October 18, 2016
Format: ARC | Source: publisher
Genres: young adult, fantasy, retelling
A spindle. A beautiful girl. A century-long slumber.
There is a story that longs to be told. It searches for its heroine, its prince, and the magic it needs to come alive. It will stop at nothing for its happily ever after.
One girl in search of answers. Two powerful forces at war. Three curses braided together.
After the spell protecting her is destroyed, Rose seeks safety in the world outside the valley she has called home. She has been kept hidden all her life to delay the three curses she was born with, curses that will put her into her own fairy tale and have drastic consequences if they take effect. Accompanied by Griff, the handsome and mysterious Watcher, and Quirk, his witty and warmhearted partner, Rose tries to escape from the ties that bind her to her story. But will the path they take lead them to that freedom, or will it bring them straight to the destiny they are trying to avoid?
I’ll be honest- I don’t know anyone else who has enjoyed this duology like I have but it’s everything I look for in fairy tale retellings! I loved Rose & Thorn. It was dark, mysterious, hopeful, and romantic. I really enjoyed the characters and the dual POV so that we got all sides of the story. Rose was a wonderful mix of innocence and kindness but not naivete. She was intelligent, curious, and I loved her journey.
Part of me wishes that I read Ash & Bramble again first; this book is set 50 years after but I remember having questions that I wanted answered and I can’t say whether they were or not. But I do love the villain of Story and how cleverly that is used- Story is fighting for control, which basically means forcing people to play their predetermined roles in Story’s fairy tales, taking away their autonomy and freedom in a sense. It’s such a unique concept and a cool way to reference the original fairy tale while trying to tell a fractured version. I also liked the magic of the dual thimbles and what they represented.
The ending felt awfully abrupt to me (I would have liked another couple chapters) but overall I enjoyed Rose & Thorn a lot and would recommend it to other retelling fans. I’m hoping we’ll get other tales eventually, either set during the 50 years (I want to know more about Zel!) or even after, or even BEFORE Ash & Bramble. I’d love to read more!
Are you a fan of fairy tale retellings? Have you ever been a positive black sheep before? Let me know!