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08 January 2014

Review: Roses by G.R. Mannering

A dark, modern rendition of the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast!
"As the gates clicked shut behind them, she heard the distant roar of a beast."

She bears no name. Her silvery appearance is freakish to the numerous inhabitants of Sago, the cosmopolitan capital of Pevorocco in a fantasy realm. With her mother vanishing at the instance of her birth, she is regrettably sent to live with the nouveau riche Ma Dane, where she is punished daily for something, though she knows not what. Tauntingly named Beauty, she flees Sago in a violent uprising that sets out to massacre all Magics and journeys to the furthest point of the country.

But Beauty cannot hide in the grassy Hillands forever. Before long, the State officials find her and threaten to take her back to war-torn Sago where death surely awaits. In a midnight blizzard she escapes them, running into a deep, enchanted forest to a great and terrible beast who will bargain for her life. But can Beauty accept Beast? Eternity is a long time.

G. R. Mannering's eloquent style and creative retelling of a timeless classic illuminates the plight of Beauty and the Beast and is sure to captivate fans of Cinder, Beauty, and others.

It is an established fact that I like a good fairy tale or myth retelling.  I like trying to think of how the original played out and comparing that to the modern version.  So, when the kind people at Sky Pony Press contacted me about a review of Roses, I jumped at the chance. 

I enjoyed Roses, and thought that using magic, a fantasy land (rather than France), and a heavy handed government program was really interesting and worked together well.

However, I felt like I was reading several different stories.  The first part was about Beauty's youth in the city.  Then all the sudden, *something* happened and she was sent away.  So then there was the second part about where she was then.  And THEN Beauty met Beast.  After that, she met some magical people and was supposed to go with them to lead the revolution.  I enjoyed each section, but felt like they could each in themselves be fleshed out into a story, or glossed over to get to the meaty part (which was the end).

And speaking of the end, I hope this is just the first book in a series, as it was left very open.

I know this sounds like I didn't enjoy the book.  I did.  I just think it could have been different.

I'd like to thank Sky Pony Press for sending me a copy of Roses.

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