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Burning Roses

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  777 ratings  ·  259 reviews
When Rosa (aka Red Riding Hood) and Hou Yi the Archer join forces to stop the deadly sunbirds from ravaging the countryside, their quest will take the two women, now blessed and burdened with the hindsight of middle age, into a reckoning of sacrifices made and mistakes mourned, of choices and family and the quest for immortality.
Hardcover, 156 pages
Published September 29th 2020 by
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Average rating 3.78  · 
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Kimberly (Deity of Books)
Burning Roses is a novella retelling of mainly Red Riding Hood and Hou Yi that also includes Goldilocks and the Three Bears and Beauty and the Beast.

The novella is set in the East. The two main characters are female. The first is Rosa, who is Red Riding Hood, and she is Latina. The second is Hou Yi, who is Hou Yi (the name didn't change from the original tale), and she is Chinese. Rosa and Hou Yi go on a quest to stop Sunbirds and discover themselves.

Most of you are probably familiar with the
9/29/2020: Happy pub day to this queer fairytale mashup!

I would have killed you myself, if we had met back when I was the hero and you were the villain. But you think too much of yourself. Now we are just two old women… Old women who have hurt their children.

Rosa and Hou Yi: two women who have each lost their wives and children. One a reformed hero-turned-tyrant, the other a former assassin.

Together, they must grapple with all of the ways they have hurt themselves and their families in the
Holly (Holly Hearts Books)
Burning Roses is a queer Asian adult fantasy following two old women. Rosa, resembling little red riding hood with a rifle in her possession. The other Hou Yi, resembling Robin Hood. They enjoy sitting on their front porch smoking pipes and digging insults into each other, and protecting the land from giant killer fire birds.

There is so much happening in this short novella! Fairytale retellings x100, including Goldilocks and Beauty and the Beast.

The story is confusing at first, throwing names an
anna (½ of readsrainbow)
just a reminder that this chinese retelling of a fairy tale exists and is SAPPHIC
Maja  - BibliophiliaDK ✨

Someone recommended me this book with the words 'It's Sapphic Chinese fairy tales!" So, naturally, I had to get my hands on it! And I am very glad that I did! Though short and with a minor flaw or two, it was interesting, captivating and queer, so I really enjoyed it!

👍 What I Liked 👍

Fairy tales: There were so many great fairy tales combined in this story, even one I didn't know of. What I especially liked was that the setting of this book was E
laurel [the suspected bibliophile]
Two queer old women venture off onto one last journey—interwoven with fairy tales.

It was enjoyable! And so queer! And much family angst.

Old women who have hurt their children.

It's hard writing about two characters at the ending of their lives. After the heroing is over. After much backstory has been expended and buried and retold until it's more fiction than fact. That's why it's so easy to write YA—young characters who are just discovering who they are, with little life lived, with their lives
In a fantasy world inspired by Chinese mythology and Western fairytales such as Little Red Riding Hood, two elderly lesbian friends embark on a journey to confront their ugly pasts.

This is fine. I feel like a crappy reviewer and my mind is a bit fried these days, but I truly have no insights to share beyond the blurb. Nice novella but it’s not going to stick with me.

Disclaimer: I received a free e-ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
As soon as I first saw this cover, I knew I was gonna read it because just look at it - it’s absolutely gorgeous. I love the colors and all the elements within it, which made even more sense once I read the story. And I was ecstatic when I got the ARC coz I never thought I would.

The one good thing I did was read a couple of reviews before I started, and realized that it doesn’t have as much action as the blurb implies - it’s just not that kind of a story. And once I set my expectations right, t
Sep 19, 2019 marked it as anti-library  ·  review of another edition


'Two old queer ladies fighting magical things together & angsting about their pasts in a mix of Chinese/Western folklore'


charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow)
On my blog.

Rep: Latina lesbian mc, Chinese wlw trans mc, Chinese side characters

CWs: death, past abuse

Galley provided by publisher

Burning Roses is a beautiful little retelling of a number of fairytales all mixed together. It follows two older women, Rosa and Hou Yi, as they hunt down Hou Yi’s old apprentice, who is ravaging the countryside in an attempt to force confrontation. Throughout the journey, they each confess to the other the regrets they have in their lives.

You know how, with novel
Sep 22, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 30plus-romance, lgbtq
Burning Roses is a fantasy novella that has a lot of cool ideas, but for whatever reason just didn't come together for me. It felt like it was trying to do too much, lacked cohesion, and made some choices about narrative structure that I wasn't really a fan of. Here are some things I liked:

- Casually queer, middle-aged women as main characters (both women have or had wives)
- Putting a darker twist on classic fairytales and highlighting things like the selfishness of Goldilocks or framing Belle a
Jenny (Reading Envy)
This is a queer ... not quite retelling but uses the characters of Little Red Riding Hood and the Archer with a sprinkling of other fairy tale characters, in a story of family, revenge, love, and combat training.

(And the author is just cool - comparing infinities? movie stunts? defeating cancer?)
First book finished in 2021! This was an interesting little novella about two older queer women friends Hou Yi and Rosa (one trans, one cis) who embark on a quest to end attacks by destructive sunbirds being sent by Hou Yi's former mentee and adopted son. Both women have dark pasts full of mistakes and need redemption.

The narrative skips back and forth in time telling mostly Rosa's story of how she became the huntress she is now. Fairy tales are woven in and retold, including Little Red Riding
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
Not only is this Asian and sapphic... but you mean to tell me it features older women, too???

My heart can't handle feeling this full today tbh 😭

Thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!
Landice (Manic Femme)
Burning Roses is the closest thing to a perfect book I’ve read in a long while. Or, at the very least, it was perfect for me. I knew it would be from the moment I read the final sentence from Jy Neon Yang’s blurb on the dust jacket (“The combination of fairy tale, rich storytelling, and older queer women full of scars is everything I ever wanted in a book.”), but Burning Roses still exceeded every hope and expectation I had for it.

I’m not usually very good at writing in depth reviews of books I
Sep 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy_2020
4.5 stars

THIS is how you write a novella!!!! Usually I have trouble with novellas feeling too short but this one just felt like the perfect amount of words, you got a complete story with well fleshed out characters without getting bogged down in the prose. The wirting was stunning, simple and evocative and really captured the folklore feeling of the story.

This is a story about redemption and family, as well as a look at the harrowing side of revenge and past regrets. We follow Rosa and Hou Yi,
Para (wanderer)
ARC received from the publisher ( in exchange for an honest review.

Sadly, something about this one just didn't click with me, even though I'm normally a sucker for retellings. I think it might be because it tries to do so many things at the same time - several different fairytales mixed together, present and flashbacks, mixing eastern and western influences, two protagonists' intertwining stories - far too much for a novella.

I liked that we follow two complex, middle-aged women, both of
Aug 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This tells a story of Red Riding Hood, and Hou Yi, a legendary archer from Chinese mythology (traditionally a man, but a woman in this telling). They’re both older now, friends living together, and more-or-less retired. Their retirement ends abruptly when sunbirds begin attacking and burning the countryside, and it’s up to them to go out and save the day. Except they’re not the people they used to be; they are old, and filled with shame and regret over the lives they’ve lived and the persons the ...more
Nov 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
CWs: parental abandonment, murder, past abuse

Rep: Latina wlw MC, Chinese wlw MC, Chinese side characters

3.75 ⭐

Burning Roses is a captivating little retelling of Western fairytales and Eastern (Chinese) folklore, with dark yet ultimately hopeful themes of family, regret, and belonging.

I loved how the author managed to seamlessly blend the fairytales and mythology of different cultures in a single novella. We get retellings of Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks, Beauty and the Beast (and even a glimpse
Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
This is a fun, sweet novella that I read in a single sitting, enjoying the fairy tale mashup and reimagining, as well as the family stories at its heart. It features two older queer women, estranged from their wives and kids, who are on a quest to stop some rampaging monsters, but that winds up functioning mostly as a frame story for the two of them working through the issues in their own pasts. The story is told from the POV of Rosa (Little Red Riding Hood grown up and now a recovering zealot), ...more
I received an advance copy from the publisher via Netgalley for review purposes. This in no way influences my review; all words, thoughts, and opinions are my own.

Content notes:(view spoiler)

Review will be posted closer to publication, but this is beautiful and sad and melodic and hopeful.

Full rev
May 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, reviewed
I should make something clear up front! Since I read this as an e-ARC, I didn't realize it was a novella until I saw the completion percentage on my e-reader go up really fast. Sooo in case anyone else also missed the memo, this isn't a full-length novel -- it's a novella!

This was such a fascinating, brilliantly done story. It's beautiful and fierce and I love that the two main characters are queer middle-aged women, both full of pain and regrets. This is a Red Riding Hood retelling, as the syno
This was so beautiful!

The prose is gorgeous and the writing style of the author truly captivates the reader, not only with the imagery but also the character's very essence. We see two adult women who have seen horrors in their lives—horrors caused by others and horrors they caused themselves onto others. I found Rosa and Hou Yi so interesting because they're flawed characters. One might even call them villains or antagonists. These are two women who have done horrible mistakes, and throughout t
So unfortunately this novella was very different from what I expected.

First off, I really enjoyed Rosa and Hou Li’s relationship! Do note there is no romance between them. Both women are still reeling from the losses of their own wives and families. Instead what they have is a companionship; they’re two monster hunters who have each other’s backs, but they are both fleeing their own demons.

I thought their friendship had a lot of promise and I’d love to read more of it! By the time the story begi
Charlie Marie
Absolutely gorgeous fairy tale retelling/medley, with two elder queer women going on a monster hunting journey, and in the process, healing.

So beautiful!

Rep: Latinx lesbian MC, Chinese trans lesbian MC

Toya (the reading chemist)
Well, I didn’t hate it but I didn’t love it either. I really wasn’t expecting the fairytale retelling mash up, which I felt like was a bit overkill. I think it’s one thing for a novella to tackle one retelling but this was more like a Shrek mashup where you have several retellings within one setting.

Thank you to tordotcom for providing a review copy. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.
Apr 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
take that, Charles.
Sep 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-reading-log
Within a few pages the book jumps straight into the action. The two protagonists are queer women warriors who protect the innocent. They come from different parts of the world, but their motives are the same- atonement for their past sins.

I enjoyed how the author intertwined well known fairy tales like Little Red Riding Hood with Asian fairy tales/culture. The women are strong and confident (in their fighting craft). The book explores their inner conflict while they must battle external demons.

Happy Publication Day to Burning Roses!

A fairytale featuring Rosa (Red Riding Hood) and Hou Yi (legendary archer) on love, family, revenge, and forgiveness. Rosa and Hou Yi are now middle aged, fighting dangerous monsters occasionally, and ruminating on the lives they once lived. When firebirds attack a local village, it kickstarts a mediation on their old mistakes and sacrifices.

I love retellings and reinterpretations of fairytales and Burning Roses delivers on that front, presenting new twists
Note: I received this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to the Netgalley team and Tordotcom.

First impression: HOLY SH***********T.

Second impression: BURNING ROSES should come with a warning label. This book will ruin your childhood Mother Goose memories and you'll want to thank the author for it.

BURNING ROSES is a compelling and complicated wuxia retelling on Little Red Riding Hood, but Little Red isn't a frightened little girl. She's a middle-aged lebian monster hunter
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