Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Rose and the Thorn by Katherine Macdonald
Narrator: Sasha Higgins
Published by Tantor Audio on February 22, 2022
Genres: Fantasy Romance, Young Adult
Length: 13 hours, 7 minutes
Amazon, Audible, Audiobook
Taking shelter from a storm, Rose accidentally strays into a deserted fairy realm, and finds herself trapped there with only a mysterious talking beast for company. Although initially reluctant to befriend her strange companion, Rose quickly finds herself growing closer to him. She names him Thorn, and as the castle blossoms into a place of beauty, so too does their friendship. But something else lurks within the walls, a dark force that will stop at nothing to be free once more...
If Rose is to survive and lift the curse placed upon the castle, she will have to face her fears and conquer the nightmares that have haunted her since childhood, as well as confront the terrifying creature that stalks the shadows in the nigh
Beauty and the Beast retellings are a love of mine. I think The Rose and the Thorn is maybe even the fourth of fifth one I’ve read this year and we are only in the beginning of March. There is just something about them that is so fun to me. Finding someone and seeing their inner beauty while also being a strong and independent woman is one of the better stories out there.
Rose accidently stumbles off the path and into a fairy realm with a dying castle and apparently a talking beast for a companion. The veil is only weak enough to slip through once every six months and so Rose will have to stay there, away from her family that has no idea where she disappeared to. There are secrets at the castle and as it slowly comes back to life Rose gets to tease them out one by one with her new friend she refuses to call Beast and renames Thorn.
I really liked the re-imagining of this a Fae tale. Where the castle is under a curse and has been pocketed away to protect the humans close by. I will say the pacing was a little off sometimes as it seemed like it was taking a long time to get anywhere in parts of this. The concepts were great with how as Rose and Thorn became closer to one another, the curse on the castle became weaker. Thorn’s specific torment was well crafted too. But there were times I was really frustrated as the characters couldn’t seem to figure out what they wanted and Rose became annoyingly pouty for awhile.
Overall, I think this is a good retelling and I loved the battle at the end. But the story could have been trimmed a bit to smooth out the pacing.
This is my first book narrated by Sasha Higgins. She had an odd cadence to her story telling that I didn’t really like in the beginning. It felt a little off for some reason. But I think that is because she was trying to present it like a fairytale and chose a certain style for the telling. She did well with the voices and conveying some of the emotions of the characters. I was able to listen to this at my usual 1.5x speed.
Listen to a clip: HERE
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