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Roses in Amber

(Border Kingdom)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  291 ratings  ·  45 reviews
A Beauty and the Beast story

There is a story of a beast, and a merchant’s daughter, and a curse that must be broken.
This is not—quite—that story.

Amber Gryce believes in magic the way anyone does: as a thing of the past, marked now only by the long reign of an ancient queen sworn to live until her stolen son is returned to her. Such stories are romantic but distant for Amb
Kindle Edition, 174 pages
Published February 6th 2017 by Miz Kit Productions
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Average rating 3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  291 ratings  ·  45 reviews

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Borrowed from the original Villeneuve's fairytale (not Disney-like). Expect twisted and a few surprises. And some ironic humor added.

The Beast raised a paw. "Amber, there is very little I can tell you about… anything. I can tell you that I'm caught in a war between two very powerful and very angry people, and that I can do nothing directly to challenge my fate."

-A practical heroine
-Powerful females
-Lesbian couples (or Bi)
-Fairies ala B.Froud.
-Good sisters
-A black warrior queen

"What was that," I
Lexie Szalanczy
Mar 07, 2017 rated it liked it
It was really good until it got weird

And when it got weird it went all out.

Overall the writing was good, and I loved the characters of Amber and Beast. I thought they both had strong, distinct personalities that were natural complements to each other, and there was an obvious growth of friendship. I also liked the replacement for the required proposal.

Amber's sisters were not often featured, but I think they both still added something to the book, and it was nice to have a strong female repres
Apr 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Beauty and the Beast, especially the Beauty novel by Robin McKinley
Recommended to Estara by: Rachel Neumeier
Shelves: ebook
Now this is my second favourite retelling of Beauty and the Beast after the McKinley version (Beauty - I have to name which one, as Robin McKinley has based a number of her novels on the basis, not to mention has written two clear retellings, the second one is Rosedaughter).

In her afterword she mentions that this version is based on the version of 1740 and to me it seems to make the whole situation more plausible.

This book isn't as as grim in tone as I remember Rosedaughter to be (have never re
Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ft-beauty-beast

When you open a book and see it’s been dedicated to Linda Hamilton and Ron Pearlman, you crack your knuckles and say, oh yeah, these characters are going to have some agency!

Getting into the initial world building, I was pleasantly surprised that in this particular fantasy land, a person’s choice of sexuality doesn’t even rate a comment from anyone else. People are wherever on the Kinsey Scale they wish to be at any given moment, and that’s that. What’s more – equal marriage rights for everyone!
Deborah Blake
Apr 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I am a huge fan of Murphy's other work, and I love retold fairy tales, so I was thrilled to see her come out with this book. Then it turned out to be even better than I could have dreamed. Probably one of my favorite Beauty and the Beast versions ever.I'd give it six stars if I could. ...more
Feb 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
I do love this not-Belle heroine. Interesting non-Earth world and nice humorous moments sprinkled throughout.
Who wouldn't love enchanted bacon?
Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, pnr, fantasy
Finished late last night and I love it! I loved that it continued the same things as in Magic & Manners: matter-of-fact POC and fluid sexuality. Amber and Beast are amazing together and the ending was just right for them. This isn't Disney, after all, and I am very grateful.

Minor quibble: it could have used another pass by someone to pick out a handful of typos and weird word results.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 11, 2018 rated it liked it
This had great potential. I really enjoyed the plot twists as weird as they were.
But the ending ruined it all. Just to out there and left me feeling like the curse was never broken.
Oct 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jess (freaks over books)
Wow. My feelings on this book are so mixed. I am sick in bed right now, and I needed something to take my mind off how crappy I feel, so I bought this book as the first few sample chapters drew me in. First off, this writer is an AWESOME writer. Her details, her use of language and prose, are amazing. The story? Excellent, intriguing, if at times a bit strange. I wanted more. You know those books who are way too long and could have been cut in half? This was a book that needed to be three times ...more
Jody K
Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
For a book that had such a strong beginning, this novel went off the rails pretty fast. It had a great hook at the start, interesting characters, and an intriguing take on the Beauty and the Beast story. But so much of the book felt rushed, particularly in the last half. All of the backstory comes spilling out at once, when it would have been more captivating if doled out in portions throughout a much longer book.

And no spoilers, but I found the ending incredibly bizarre in an "out of nowhere" s
Sep 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: september-2017
I briefly thought, when I started this book, that I may have made a mistake as the book I read immediately preceding it was Robin McKinley’s Beauty. I shouldn’t have worried. CE Murphy’s Roses in Amber stands strongly in its own right, and I think I liked it even more than I liked McKinley’s version.

It’s true that I know something of Murphy’s history with the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale (more specifically that it’s her favorite and her opinions on various adaptations which have come out) so
Martin Pilkington
Jun 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve been reading C.E. Murphy books since the first book in the Walker Papers series. I then read the books written as Cate Dermody. This book is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast and for the first few pages I was worried that I’d found a C. E. Murphy book that I disliked. And then the book drew me in and I was hooked. Some of the characters aren’t developed very fully, but that’s only a minor gripe.

Maybe Amber and family settle into their changed circumstances too easily , and the success th
Maria Lima
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful. Awesome. Brilliant.

I am predisposed to like C.E. Murphy's book since I first picked up a copy of Urban Shaman for a plane trip and fell in love with her characters and writing. That said, I wasn't sure what to expect from this fairy tale adaptation. I am a sucker for retold tales, but not as big a fan of Beauty and the Beast.

I should never have worried. This is a fabulous book and turns so many of the tropes upside-down and sideways in SUCH a good way. I adore the characters, the wor
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A few flaws, mostly towards the end, but a vivid, vibrant, thought-provoking adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. There are no surprises, but there is originality. None of the characters are weak, instead avoiding the fairy tale stereotypes. They are beautifully painted, to the point that you barely notice that the book is half way through before The Beast appears. I especially like that Amber, the Beauty, avoids feisty. Her history and interior life are well written, and she reacts to her situat ...more
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I burned through this in two days and it was just marvellous. A really lyrical feeling to (another) Beauty and the Beast retelling and I absolutely loved the twists at the end and the conclusion, which left the characters in a great ending place. Catie’s writing is always such a palate cleanser, and this was just marvellous.
Rebecca Cederquist
Aug 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved it!

Well written and original. Beauty and the beast with a twist. The story kept me entertained. I loved the practicality of the main character and her off sense of humor. Well done.
Aris Merquoni
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-reader
This was delightful. Not just because it was feminist and queer, but because it fleshed out a fairy tale that most of us know one version of with characters, motivations, personalities, and triumphs.
Elizabeth GlamShazam
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Goodbye, family. I will be over here, reading this excellently weird beauty and the beast story. I am effectively gone until I finish this book.
May 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a unique and fascinating twist to the traditional "Beauty and rhe Beast" tale. I also got just a hint of Tam Lin toward the end. Hoping for a sequel! ...more
Jul 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Interesting new take on the traditional Beauty and the Beast.
Jan 11, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am such a sucker for fairytale retellings. This one had some interesting features. I liked some sociological aspects of the world we visit.
Cecilia Rodriguez
Narrated by Amber Gryce, Murphy's fantasy delves into the trope of Beauty and the Beast; including elements from the legend of Tam Lin. ...more
Nov 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
A 4.5, I really enjoyed this. It is reminiscent of Robin McKinley's Beauty which is also one of my favourite's but this has a much more adult flavour.

I particularly like the fact that the on the surface traditional fantasy kingdom is open to gay relationships. This isn't a big thing and doesn't affect the main characters but it is refreshing to read. I've subsequently picked up a few of CE Murphy's books and am enjoying them.
Jun 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, 2019
A nice Beauty and the Beast retelling, this time queer-friendly, and with faery [sic] magic.

I liked it.
Mar 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbt
Awesome retellings full of twists

Amazing retellings full of lgbtqa representation, POCs diversity, feel-good make do, and so much love for everyone from everyone.

Symbolism was rampant, a lot of twists you won't see coming, and the sweetness counterbalanced by a course that frankly was a mess to fix.
Still, the end is perfect, even if I'd have loved to read more of it, and of the future.

But what's really important is the luscious storytelling and the witty banter - amazing, I just love this auth
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this version of Beauty and the Beast. It had some elements to the story that I hadn't heard before. Now I want to go find the older tales and read them too. ...more
Karolina Chmiel
Read the kindle sample. Will buy when need a new book.
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C.E. Murphy is a writer of fantasy novels and short stories. She also writes "action-adventure romance" novels under the pseudonym Cate Dermody, which was her grandmother's maiden name.

Other books in the series

Border Kingdom (2 books)
  • Wintergate (The Border Kingdom)

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“It's an impossible castle in an enchanted snowstorm in a haunted forest," I said in a voice slightly more shrill than I had hoped for. "Naturally there are invisible servants to care for the horses." "Naturally." Father sounded as rattled as I, which made me feel a little better.” 0 likes
“he had a tail. A bear's tail, short and waggily and not at all in keeping with the general size and ferocity of him. Except it was, because bears, after all, were large and ferocious. But they were also round through the waist and hip, whereas the Beast narrowed more like a lion. I might have expected a longer, lashing tail, but not the stubbly little thing that stuck out from the back of his trousers. I” 0 likes
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