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Bryony And Roses by T Kingfisher
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Bryony And Roses

by T Kingfisher

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I thoroughly enjoyed T. Kingfisher’s retelling of the Snow Queen legend in The Raven and the Reindeer and was unable to resist this reworking of Beauty and the Beast. It’s a fairy tale I’ve always loved, ever since I was six years old and went to see the animated Disney film at the cinema for a friend’s birthday treat. There’s much to love about the traditional version, but Kingfisher’s story is delightful in a different way, offering a no-nonsense heroine, a Beast with a dry sense of humour, and brooding dark magic.

Intelligent and playful, this is a refreshing blend of canonical elements and new ideas, which keeps the story just different enough to hold you in suspense. This isn’t a story for children, not because of sex or violence, but because the underlying magic is very dark. But, for grown-ups, it offers a fresh new perspective on a familiar and much-loved tale, with a witty, intelligent and very unsentimental relationship at its heart. Definitely one to recommend for a quick, light read.

For the full review, please see my blog:
https://theidlewoman.net/2017/05/29/bryony-and-roses-t-kingfisher/ ( )
  TheIdleWoman | May 31, 2017 |
This is a delightful retelling of Beauty and the Beast.

I was impressed that it did some different things with the original story without undermining the romance. I think that bringing new things to the table with this fairytale sometimes just takes too much time and focus away from the heart of the story, and that impacts how convincing and positive the eventual romance is.

That’s not the case here. Quite the opposite.

I loved the dynamic between Bryony and the Beast.

I was also impressed with the way Bryony and Roses is partly inspired by, and a response to, Robin McKinley's Rose Daughter, and yet it is clearly its own story. (It reminded me of a cross between Rose Daughter and another fantasy novel book about roses that I quite like and would mention by name if the connection didn't feel so spoilery.)

Bryony is a gardener, but she's particular sort of gardener, with a different relationship to roses. She is also, even though she lives in a pre-industrial kingdom, much more modern in her manner of speech and attitudes. I saw some reviews complaining about this, but I really liked it - this isn't trying to be historical fantasy so why not do something like that, something different?

“I did bring seeds,” she admitted. “But some of these plants are my friends. I wasn’t going to just leave them.” She ruffled her fingers through the lavender.
“Oh good,” said the Beast dryly. “Here I was afraid that I had kidnapped a sane person by mistake.”
( )
  Herenya | Sep 22, 2016 |
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For my mom, from whom I probably inherited the gardening thing.
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She was going to die because of the rutabagas.
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A retelling of Beauty and the Beast.
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MODERN & CONTEMPORARY FICTION (POST C 1945). When Bryony is caught in a snowstorm and takes refuge in an abandoned manor, she stumbles into a house full of dark enchantments. Is the Beast that lives there her captor or a fellow prisoner?

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