Sunday, 8 March 2015

Review: Roses by G. R. Mannering Synopsis:
A dark rendition of the classic fairy tale Beauty and the 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 sent to live with the cruel, rich 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.

As a Beauty and the Beast retelling, Roses was not at all what I expected… This book was different – and not just as a retelling – in the way it follows the main protagonist, Beauty, from birth. I thought it incredibly interesting to see so much intense development, and with time passing you also see the world changing.

Mannering weaved world building into her writing effortlessly and it worked to transport you into a land filled with magic and love and hate as well. There was a very strong plot line separate to the tie-in of the original tale and that’s what held my interest for the first half of the book before we even meet The Beast.

Compared to other books I read (and loved) recently, Roses is particularly slow paced and focuses more intently on the character’s and over all build-up. Many questions go unanswered until the very end. At first I wasn’t happy with how it concluded simply because it was so abrupt; one minute everyone was rushing around anticipating war, the next the book was over! I’d been anxious leading up to the last page because there weren’t enough left to complete everything in a satisfying way, until I found out (once I’d already finished and started pacing waiting for my laptop to load an internet search) that there will be a sequel. Thank God!

I can’t wait to see Beauty’s tale continue, hopefully with much more of The Beast this time who I have to say warmed my heart… A brilliant debut.

My reaction to the ending:
Favourite Quotes:
“They saw a shining, silver woman astride a warhorse, and they made the sign of the gods as she disappeared.”

“We can try to run,” he said. “But one day we must all face our past.”

“There be a thin line between the work of evil and the work of good,” he said. “Some folks misunderstand the good, for a good must be magnificent if it is to win against evil.”

“He finally knew what Beauty had done when she came in the place of Owaine to the castle – now he, too, was about to give up his life for one he loved.”

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