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The Rose and the Briar

(Faraway Castle #3)

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  218 ratings  ·  46 reviews
Power-hungry princes are Rosa's greatest dread.

Deep within the gardens of Faraway Castle sleeps a secret Rosa the gardener has sworn to protect with her life--the legendary princess Zafira. For three years she has hidden the princess almost in plain sight. But two nosy princes threaten to undo the work of a century.

When asked to take his sister's old job as Faraway Castle'
Published 2018 by Rooglewood Press
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Average rating 4.33  · 
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OK, so this is officially my FAVOURITE of JM Stengl's Faraway Castle series so far! It's a retelling of Sleeping Beauty, only the princess is an evil-intentioned spoilt teenager with some very nasty magic and the story revolves around her caretaker who is a magical gardener. I just loved everything about this story so much. I love fantasy novels that remind you that something about our world is magical, and this story reminds you that gardens are magical. There are ATTACK TIGER LILIES and a BALL ...more
J.M. Stengl
Oct 30, 2018 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Well, of course I like my own book! This one gave me more trouble to write--must have been all those thorns--but it was worth it in the end. I guess I had to keep writing until Teddy had a major role. He is stubborn that way. And even lazy Fauna got her big moment. :-D
Thank you, readers, for all the love for Rosa and Briar!
Tricia Mingerink
I've been eagerly awaited this book's release, especially since I've been majorly craving fairy tale retellings lately. And this book didn't disappoint!

In this book the reader steps once again into the world of Faraway Castle, this time focused on the spectacular gardens! There was just so much to love in this book, from the interesting twist on the Sleeping Beauty tale to the interesting magic that made the plants all cuddly and sweet. I especially adored Flora and Teddy! So much fun!

If you l
Lisa Dawn
Oct 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
After falling madly in love with J. M. Stengl's Faraway Castle series, I signed up for her Advance Reader List and had the pleasure of previewing her upcoming novel, The Rose and the Briar. This "Sleeping Beauty" adaptation is the third book from Faraway Castle with a few subtle nods to Ellie and the Prince, the first book in the series. It tells the story of Rosa, a young lady with the ability to control plants who is burdened with the task of caring for Zafira, a sleeping princess with dangero ...more
Oct 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Can he see beyond her secrets? Can she see past his?

So, I was in the mood for a fantasy story, which is odd for me since fantasy is not my preferred genre, and I had The Rose And The Briar was on my Kindle. While I've not read any of J.M. Stengl's fantasy books, I have read some of her historical romance novellas in the past. I was in for a pleasant surprise and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this delightful fairytale.

Fun and whimsical, The Rose And The Briar is sweet and imaginative retel
Ariel Masters
Oct 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is book three in the Faraway Castle Series; it was just as delightful as the other two;D And the cover... *give me a moment to fangirl* Rosa is so gorgeous! Screw the fake charm sleeping in a coffin. LOL!

What? A charming fake sleeping in a coffin? Yep! Well, without the coffin part. I think its some kind of fancy bed actually because Rosa is a sweet-heart deep down. I would have lugged the kid around in a coffin. Just sayin'.

Rosa is a different character, but one I feel the author nailed.
Kim  Gregory
May 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a great and unique story. I think it's one of my favorites in the series. Rosa is a complicated character, with some hidden secrets to her personality. Briar is what a Prince Charming should be, patient, kind, and well, charming! Rosa's magic adds the unique factor to this story. If you want a light read with a touch of romance and suspense, then is it.

This is a clean read.
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. I thought for sure that The Little Siren would be my favorite of this series until the end. Now, I'm not so sure anymore.

Stengl has tackled Sleeping Beauty, and as some of you may know, that was my favorite fairy tale as a young girl. I have high standards for Sleeping Beauty because it holds such a special place in my heart. But, boy, did Stengl go above and beyond! She did not disappoint!

As always, Stengl's Faraway Castle books leave me warm and fuzzy inside. They're well-written, clean,
Cindy Vincent
May 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love the imagination and creativity of this series. I think Faraway Castle has become my new favorite vacation spot, because Ms. Stengl certainly knows how to take us away from day-to-day life and put us into a truly creative and imaginative setting. All without leaving home. This time, she puts us right into a garden that is so much more than merely beautiful. The names and functions of the plants are both clever and humorous, and I've started to look at my own gardens in a whole new way. The g ...more
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
This is book 3 in the Faraway Castle Series. What a fun and surprising retelling of Sleeping Beauty.
The story unfolds with Rosa, the Head Gardener hiding something big and as the story progresses we find out what it is. Not everyone is who they appear to be and brings pleasant surprises. The book pulls you in as you rush from page to page and second guess who is good and who is bad. The story was so exciting I just didn't want it to end. Magical, romantic and full of suspense I can't wait to see
M.H. Elrich
This was my least favorite of the retellings because Rosa was so arrogant. However, I still gave it 5 stars because she eventually became less stubborn. Plus, I really liked the dialogue.
H.S.J. Williams
Jan 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really sweet story! I LOVE Prince Briar. He totally stole my heart in Book 1 and kept it quite firmly in this one. The fun lovable sort with just enough dash of roguish charm and power to keep you entirely enchanted.

I also really enjoyed the inventive imagination of the garden magic! How all the plants had personalities according to their names! Snap-dragons, see where this is headed? It's super cute and clever.
Kathryn McConaughy
Rosa is happy working as the head gardener at the magical Faraway Castle resort. (Well, mostly happy. Her inherited job of hiding the sleeping princess and brushing her hair always leaves her feeling mysteriously depressed.) But when a new Magical Creatures Controller is sent to Faraway Castle, Rosa can tell that he’s hiding his identity with an enchantment. But he couldn’t possibly be a prince sent to wake the princess—could he?
The Rose and the Briar is the third book in Jill Stengl’s Faraway C
Meagan Myhren-bennett
The Rose and the Briar
Faraway Castle #3
By J.M. Stengl

Rosa Bravo is the head gardener at Faraway Castle who uses her magical skills to give a special touch to all her work. But she also uses her skills to hide away a secret one that has been kept by her family for one hundred years. A secret that has given her a dread and distrust of princes for hidden within her garden sleeps the Princess Zafira. A princess cursed by her own ambitions to sleep until awakened by the kiss of a prince.

When Geoff B
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
These have truly been great stories. Not only are they just the right amount of the things I love (princes, magic, romance), they also keep an 11 year old boy involved (magical creatures, mayhem, bad guys). There is an art and balance in doing that and these books deliver. From Pookahs to Princes there was something that we both loved in the book.

Rosa is a complex woman and Zafira is, in the words of my son "a creep". She really oozes evil even in her coma like state. Rosa hates caring for her
Karen Martin
Oct 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh my gosh. I loved this story! Usually I find Sleeping Beauty tales simple, but this one took the familiar tale and turned it on its head so perfectly that I couldn’t put it down. I loved Rosa from the start of the series, and I was so excited to finally read her own tale, and it did not disappoint. She’s this strong, capable woman who can take care of herself and her charge, thank you very much. She also has some beautiful and creative abilities that I’m totally jealous of. Then there’s Briar; ...more
Gary Holt
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this retelling of the Sleeping Beauty story. It has a pretty big twist that made it much fresher.

Rosa is a gardener with magical abilities, who is sworn to protect the Sleeping Beauty. Turns out that Sleeping Beauty is... well, let's just say that the world would be better off if she never wakes up. Rosa knows she has to ward off all princes who could possibly come and kiss her. Can't trust young males around a power-hungry princess with magically-enhanced hotness.

Maybe, though, there ar
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved it! Makes me want to reread the entire series. It's been long enough that it took me a few chapters to get back in the flow of things. The descriptions, however, were very helpful for remembering little details without feeling like you were repeating the first books.
The rubber tree and tickling poison ivy were fantastic! What a great idea. Rosa's magic was fascinating. I also enjoyed reading about the mundane duties attendant with guarding a sleeping princess, such as brushing out her h
Sarah S
Oct 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fairytales
J. M Stengl's Faraway Castle series was a recent find for me. Typically I like more classic fairy-tales that are not set in recent times but Stengl has a way of drawing you in. I really enjoy the characters Stengl creates, they are light characters but enjoyable. They easily draw you into the story line and the book is full of pleasant and some laugh out loud plot lines that once you start you will not want to put down. I have read the entire series and I think Rosa might actually be my favorite ...more
Jun 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some unexpected surprises in this Sleeping Beauty variation but still very sweet

I really enjoyed how the author took the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale, which I don't particularly care for, and included all the elements but made it a very interesting story. I enjoyed seeing Prince Briar again from earlier in the series and getting to know him better. The relationship between Briar and Rose was perfectly written. The plant creatures were really cute, particularly Flora and Teddy, as well as the magic
Stephani Austin
Oct 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC.

This is a great continuation of the series! I loved who the hero turned out to be, and the twist on the sleeping beauty/Snow White type fairy tale. The spirit of the story is the same as the previous books in the series: sweet and an adventure that ends in romance. It takes place the summer after Ellie’s story, so there’s no overlap. Really enjoying this series and looking forward to the next one already!
Annie Lima
Oct 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a fun twist on the traditional sleeping beauty fairy tale! I enjoyed this trip back to Faraway Castle. Rosa is an engaging heroine with an unusual talent that makes her fun to read about. The author makes clever use of language, especially when it comes to plants whose names could have double meanings. I recommend this book to middle grade readers (or those on the younger end of the young adult spectrum) who enjoy romance or fairy tale retellings.
Jan 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great fairy tale!

Another great fairy tale by a gifted author. This time Ms Stengl took Sleeping Beauty and brought her home to Faraway Castle. Faraway Castle is the setting for a series of fairytale books written by the author. She brings each fairytale character into her magical world in a seamless way making the books flow naturally from one to the next. Truly magical!
Brandie Holcomb
May 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Different perspective

I enjoy the perspective that Stengl brings to these classic fairy takes. She brings to the forefront every heroines innate Independence and inner strength. Classic fairy tales often brush over these things, but these stories really make these strong characters more powerful and her heroes seem less fickle and shallow because they see more in their lady loves than their beauty. These are the women I would like to see my daughter's strive to be like.
Mar 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
For some reason, I don’t like this one as much as the first one. There was nothing wrong with it. I loved Briar! Maybe if it had been told from his perspective I would have liked it better? I just couldn’t really relate to Rosa for some reason. But this is just me. It was a good book! The romance was clean and adorable.
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Sweet, fun, and charming. I love Ms. Stengl’s Faraway Castle series, and this is a wonderful continuation. The spin on Sleeping Beauty was very original, Rosa’s magic was beautiful, and the romance wasn’t over-the-top. One of her best!
Jenny Koch
Maybe it's because I started the series at book 3, but I'm still pretty clueless about the world-building in this book. That aside, I enjoyed this interpretation of Sleeping Beauty. The concept was very cleverly done - I just don't really see much re-read potential for me.
Emily Leathers
Aug 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sweet and inventive

I'm really enjoying the not-straightforward storylines of these. They're short and sweet and don't try to stretch it out too far. And the world building is a little different and that's fun.
Mar 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful series!

Another fantastic book! I love the way the author takes what we think we know about fairytales, and breathes new life and excitement into them. Especially the twist on Sleeping Beauty! Definitely recommend this book, and the entire series as a must read!
Oct 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

A clever take on the story of briar rose. I like the twist! Another sweet tale in the Faraway Castle series.
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Jill Marie is a native of southern California who, after a whirlwind life as a military wife, now makes her home with her husband in North Carolina, where she serves at the beck and call of two purebred cats and one adorable granddaughter. Obsessions include all things animal rescue, fairy-tale romances, knowing the lyrics to the

Other books in the series

Faraway Castle (4 books)
  • Ellie and the Prince (Faraway Castle, #1)
  • The Siren and the Scholar (Faraway Castle, #2)
  • The Lady and the Wish (Faraway Castle, #4)

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