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Bryony and Roses

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  3,165 ratings  ·  452 reviews
Bryony and her sisters have come down in the world. Their merchant father died trying to reclaim his fortune and left them to eke out a living in a village far from their home in the city.

But 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 fell
Kindle Edition, 216 pages
Published May 18th 2015
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Kelly Henley according to smashwords it's 61,140 words so Novel.…moreaccording to smashwords it's 61,140 words so Novel.(less)

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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Mar 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those who love fairy tale retellings
Shelves: fairy-tale, fantasy
3.5 stars for this Beauty and the Beast retelling. Review first posted on Fantasy Literature:

Seventeen year old Bryony and her sisters, Holly and Iris (I’m sensing a horticultural theme here) were the daughters of a wealthy merchant who lost his fortune through risky investments three years earlier. They moved to the remote village of Lostfarthing, where the now-orphaned sisters are barely scraping by. Bryony, a dedicated and enthusiastic gardener, hears about some particularly hardy rutabaga se
Althea Ann
Mar 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I 'discovered' T. Kingfisher, aka Ursula Vernon through 'The Seventh Bride,' ( and became immediately enamored. If you liked 'The Seventh Bride' you will also love this one - it's very much in keeping with it, as far as tone and themes.

This one is a retelling/re-imagining of Beauty and the Beast. In the introduction, the author says she was inspired by Robin McKinley's 'Rose Daughter.' Coincidentally, it was, I believe, McKinley's other retelling of the s
K.J. Charles
Another utterly glorious fairytale-ish story from this author, who I've been glomming. The writing is just so quietly excellent, neither showy nor plain, and the imagination so vivid, and the stories have so much heart and humour. These are books that just make you feel better for having read them.

Second read: I am in need of T Kingfisher's combination of common sense, glorious understated writing, and fantastic magic. The imagination and scariness and love here is just perfect. This is the only
Lois Bujold
Apr 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fantasy readers

More T. Kingfisher roundup, because that was my mood this past month; also something of a Pringles effect. A retelling of Beauty and the Beast with ninja gardening. I did very much like the counter-cop-out with the Beast at the end.

I am not a gardener. I'm so glad...

Ta, L.
I loved this version of the "Beauty and the Beast" story. The main character Bryony is a gardener who gets stuck with the Beast, and never lets him forget that he's keeping her at the house against her will. Bryony is no weak-willed, ornamental creature, being used to hauling and digging in her garden at home. The Beast is not the emotionally manipulative and threatening creature I think of when I think of the "Beauty and the Beast". Both Bryony and Beast have witty, sardonic exchanges while Bry ...more
Mar 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, fairytales
It didn’t surprise me when I finished reading this and read T. Kingfisher’s note that it was inspired originally by Robin McKinley’s Rose Daughter. It’s definitely not the same story, but something of the same atmosphere came across, and of course there’s the gardening aspect which is important in both. This explores the force that punishes the Beast rather more, I think: rather than a long-standing curse which fades into a known factor in the background, the Beast’s curse is very much an active ...more
Allison Hurd
May 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, fem-author
Absolutely adorable. I thought I'd overdosed on Beauty and the Beast stories, but this one was a ton of fun.

CONTENT WARNING: (no actual spoilers, just a list of topics) (view spoiler)

Things to love:

-Bryony and the Beast. Bryony is great. She has insecurities and quirks and annoying things she does and is also hilarious. I love that the Beast isn't an abusive asshole, too. It was refreshing to skip the enemies part of the "enemies to l

So, this book, this story, it was one of a very small number of books that I was able to read this month. But more than having read it, what is more important about it, is that I actually loved reading it.

As you well know, I am partial to retellings.
This one, not only fits that bill, but it also had the advantage of having been approved by most of my book...ish friends.
So, one of these days in which I was reading _ and still am _ a particularly boring story, I decided to just start with th
Nov 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: heptarchate
A very enjoyable retelling of Beauty and the Beast that doesn't shy away from acknowledging the really icky parts of the original story while also being very, very funny. ...more
Quite charming, and full of witty banter between the protagonists, with a spunky heroine who's spunky without being annoying, and a Beast that is (surprisingly!) not an angry ass like it's common in these retellings.

Plot-wise, the author follows the Gabrielle de Villeneuve original storyline, which pleases me because that one is, for me, the one and true, so to speak. All the crucial elements are here, but the author isn't slavishly adhering to every one of them and has included a few touches
Aug 23, 2020 rated it it was ok
It was like reading a fanfiction version of Robin McKinley’s ones (it followed the traditional one very closely till the almost very end) but sometimes with contemporary commentary (but we are still long ago in some fairy country with kings and magic) and subversion (?) of expectations. And I need fairytale atmosphere in my fairytales. I did not get one here.
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is probably my favourite retelling of Beauty and the Beast. It might actually be my favourite retelling of all time, period. I used to be obsessed with Disney's version of the story as a kid and I loved Belle more than any other character in a movie. Maybe because she constantly had her nose stuck in a book.

The problem with this fairytale is the fact that romance is born out of kidnapping. And sure, in the Disney version, the Beast didn't technically kidnap Belle but I will argue that kidna
Mary Catelli
A Beauty and the Beast retelling, with twists, most of which worked well.

It starts with Bryony herself getting lost in the forest during a snowstorm and stumbling on the house. (The merchant father was murdered by bandits.) She enjoys the hospitality, wants to take the rose, and discovers that it traps her.

The rest involves her planting a garden, reading poetry, talking to the Beast in code, dreaming (in a way reminiscent of the original Beauty and the Beast, but don't trust it), wardrobes with
Jun 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
I found this version of the Beauty and the Beast tale completely engrossing and enjoyed nearly everything about it. Both Bryony (the ‘Beauty’ equivalent) and the Beast are portrayed as believable, interesting characters, and the interactions between them are clever and witty and often very funny. I also very much enjoyed Bryony’s sister Holly, who, like Bryony herself, is practical, sensible and clever (only more so). I did feel that the third sister, Iris, was somewhat short-changed by being ca ...more
Brigid Keely
"Bryony and Roses," by Ursula Vernon writing as T. Kingfisher, is a fantastic retelling of the popular fairy tale "Beauty and the Beast."

My absolute favorite "Beauty and the Beast" story is Robyn McKinley's "Beauty." It comes very close to being dethroned by "Bryony and Roses," however, which is a very fine addition to the canon.

As with all my favorite "Beauty and the Beast" retellings, we see the action from Beauty's point of view. She has two sisters with whom she has a close, not antagonisti
Sep 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars - It was really good.

I’m a sucker for Beauty and the Beast retellings, and while this takes a traditional vs an original spin on the classic tale, it was nonetheless charming and enjoyable. The clever banter between Bryony and the Beast in particular was a treat to read.
Favorite Quote: “Would you like some wine, or would you prefer to yell at me for a little longer?” asked the Beast pleasantly. “I could leave, if you prefer, but I generally h
Nov 14, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. Say you took Robin McKinley's Beauty, added Rose Daughter's focus on gardening - but replaced roses with rutabagas - and then took the whole thing down a couple notches into earthier, more mundane territory than McKinley ever ventures into. That's Bryony and Roses in a nutshell.

It's an enjoyable addition to the increasingly crowded pantheon of Beauty and the Beast retellings, and it kept me up rather past my bedtime, but I'm left wondering if we really needed another retelling of this
Mar 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
I picked this up after devouring The Seventh Bride. I didn't enjoy this quite as much--though I've read quite a few reimaginings of Beauty and the Beast, so perhaps it was that it was harder for this book to feel original. It does have the elements that I really liked in The Seventh Bride, though, like a willingness to incorporate the grisly elements of true fairy tales ((view spoiler)) mixed in with a humorous narrative voice ...more
Bridget Mckinney
Nov 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
As is often the case with popular fairy tales, there’s very little new story to be wrung out of “Beauty and the Beast” these days, so I was a little skeptical of Bryony and Roses. Even after reading T. Kingfisher’s (a pen name of Ursula Vernon) Toad Words and Other Stories, which is full of superb fairy tale reimaginings, I was unsure if there was anything she could do to freshen up such an old and well-worn story path. An opening note that admitted an enormous debt to Robin McKinley, whose Rose ...more
Sam (AMNReader)
Feb 04, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2021
Straightforward and snappy writing. I liked it!
Oct 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
I loved this book so much - it may be my new favorite fairy tale retelling. In the prologue, the author mentions loving Robin McKinley's Beauty and the Beast story - and this reminded me of that in a way, but it was its own unique take. The story was great, but what really made me love it was the characters and the dialogue. I loved Bryony, and I loved her inner dialogue and her conversations with Beast. It was just a great, fun book. ...more
Jul 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, fairy-tale
This was good. A bit reminiscent of Rose Daughter, but Kingfisher's tone and prose style are quite different. ...more
Jamie Dacyczyn
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars. I really, really, really enjoyed this Beauty & the Beast retelling. Like, I'm going to have to say that this is definitely now one of my favorite retellings of the tale, which is saying a lot because there are a TON of versions out there.

What made it stand out for me? Well, the setting was pretty standard, being vaguely historical in an indeterminate time and place (which is better, I think, than naming a specific time period and location, and then butchering it.), and the story was o
Jenny T
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, read-in-2019
My first book of 2019 will be a tough act to follow. A retelling of Beauty and the Beast that is by turns absolutely charming and genuinely chilling, and all with a lovely tongue-mostly-in-cheek voice that seems to be the author's trademark. The first book I've read that has made me want to weed my garden.

I look forward to reading everything the author has ever written ^_^
Madison Schaeffer
May 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved this novella. Here's why:

1. If you garden, you will get the protagonist. The section where her sister plants mint in the ground and she basically goes into a fit of despair is, well, apt. You've been there. You totally know someone who put mint in the ground. (MINT DOES NOT GO IN THE GROUND.)
2. It's basically the same thing that's great about all of Kingfisher's heroines: she's real and functional and more accurately, nonfunctional. She faints in appropriate situations. Embarrassing thin
Lis Carey
This is a new adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, and it's an excellent one.

Bryony and her sisters, Holly and Iris, grew up as the daughters of a wealthy merchant--the wealthiest merchant in the land, he made sure everyone knew. After the death of their mother, though, their father grew more and more reckless in his investments, wand finally, when Bryony was fourteen, lost everything. Now the girls are living in a little cottage none of his creditors wanted, in the out-of-the-way village of Lost
Apr 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: readathon17
#readathon17 Ένα βιβλίο συγγραφέα που ανακαλύψατε πρώτη φορά φέτος

3.5* A delightful retelling of Beauty and the Beast, really comforting, clever and fun. I'm glad I discovered this author, I can't wait to read more of her work!
Kagama-the Literaturevixen
I am a bit on the fence with this one.It was good but...Review to come
May 18, 2019 rated it liked it
I liked it, but it wasn't my favorite Ursula Vernon book. Maybe I'm just not that into Beauty and the Beast...

Longer review is hopefully coming soon!
I love this book so much. Now I want to go through Kingfisher’s entire backlist.
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Into the Forest: Bryony and Roses spoilers allowed 7 24 Oct 10, 2017 09:27AM  
Into the Forest: Bryony and Roses spoiler free 8 18 Sep 18, 2017 09:21AM  

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T. Kingfisher is the vaguely absurd pen-name of Ursula Vernon. In another life, she writes children's books and weird comics, and has won the Hugo, Sequoyah, and Ursa Major awards, as well as a half-dozen Junior Library Guild selections.

This is the name she uses when writing things for grown-ups.

When she is not writing, she is probably out in the garden, trying to make eye contact with butterflies

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“Would you like some wine, or would you prefer to yell at me for a little longer?” asked the Beast pleasantly. “I could leave, if you prefer, but I generally hold that those who leave the room when you wish to yell at them are among the most despicable of beings.” 8 likes
“That the Beast was a person, Bryony did not even question, but then, she believed on some level that Fumblefoot was a person, and Blackie the goat, and the neighbor’s large and grumpy tomcat.  It was not that she was sentimental about animals. Chickens, for example, were not people. You looked into a chicken’s eyes and you saw the back of their skulls.” 7 likes
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