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The Rose and the Thorn

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A gripping and mesmerising retelling of a classic story, filled with romance, mystery and intrigue.

There is a pale, penetrating loneliness etched into the walls of this forgotten place. A kind of loneliness made living... is this what it feels like to be a ghost, alone in some kind of half world?

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 night.

A passionate retelling of a classic tale, fairy tale fantasy meets Gothic. Will have you sobbing and laughing, and truly believing in the power of true love.

349 pages, Kindle Edition

Published August 27, 2019

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About the author

Katherine Macdonald

24 books281 followers
Born in Redditch, England, to a solicitor and an ex-military man, one of Katherine "Kate" Macdonald's earliest memories was of watching her parents disappear behind the pages of a book and wanting to follow them. For her, books were little pocket dimensions that could be carried about, and the safest way to have a very real adventure.

Rather than rebel during her teenage years, she spent most of them locked up in her room, furiously writing down the hundreds of stories filling her head. Her little sister Kirsty served as her primary audience, and first fan. Without her, she would never have continued to write.

After completing a BA in English and Creative Writing at Lancaster University, she moved to Exeter to train as an English teacher, and then to Kent to start her career where she started a family. It was only after surviving a year of parenthood and a full-time job on less than six hours a night that she finally gained the courage to publish her debut novel, "The Rose and the Thorn." It's a retelling of Beauty and the Beast inspired by a dream of a girl surrounded by snow in a field of flowers.

At her heart, Macdonald is storyteller, and it is her dream to inspire others in the way that she has been inspired.

She now lives in Devon with her manic toddler, surrounded by blissful countryside.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 126 reviews
Profile Image for Eliza.
594 reviews1,374 followers
January 10, 2020
I'm not going to rate this one because I'm too torn on the rating, at the moment. So maybe after some deliberation, I'll come up with an official star rating!

As someone who enjoys Beauty and the Beast retellings, I was excited to get into this one - there can never be enough retellings for me to read.

While I enjoyed the story and characters, there were a few errors here and there that I felt could be edited. It made it slighly difficult for me to focus completely on the story, as I started to want to edit things. But usually I'm the only one who has this problem and looks for errors in every book.

Additionally, the story felt a little too long. I wanted things to move along and found myself a little bored at moments. Though, overall, I enjoyed myself.

If you're into retellings, romance, kind characters, and fairytales, I do recommend this one! It's free on Kindle Unlimited right now, as well. So y'all should check it out!
Profile Image for Katherine Macdonald.
Author 24 books281 followers
December 13, 2021
Yes I rated my own book. Sue me. I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE.

...I guess I can say it was amazing to write? That it made me too cry, laugh, and miss meals?

...Cry with frustration, laugh with madness, and miss meals because I NEED TO FIX THIS GODFORSAKEN MESS RIGHT NOW, GODDAMMIT.

Writing books is hard, guys. Y'all aspiring folk should get editors and not do it yourself like the fool I am. I swear their job is worse. We get the fun stuff. Do you have any idea how infuriating it is to read it through 20 times yourself, publish it, and THEN see even more errors??

I cannot aptly create a simile that explains it, possibly because all my creative juices are currently spent.

Please enjoy,

Kate out.
Profile Image for Despoina Kemeridou.
Author 3 books218 followers
March 2, 2021
A tale of true love and real beauty.

I don't know where to begin. This is a book that is going to stay in my mind for a long time, and I'm most probably going to read it again soon. What I loved the most about this book is the way things were described. Such beautiful, poetic, and melodic writing is pretty rare. It was absolutely satisfying.

The romance was pretty slow, which made the story all the more enjoyable, as it was most fitting to this particular tale. A strong female lead with a kind male lead by her side is the best version of The Beauty and the Beast I've ever read, and it's forever going to be my favorite.

This book taught me that we should always be straightforward with our feelings, and not be afraid of saying how we really feel.

A quote that I absolutely loved from this book:
There are many awful things in this world, my dear. And yes, death is one of them. But love is the only thing that makes any of the darkness worthwhile.
Profile Image for Kat.
Author 8 books352 followers
March 11, 2021
Fairy tale retellings are one of my absolute favorite genres and find me a lovely, atmospheric “Beauty and the Beast” retelling in a haunted fae castle with breathtaking descriptions, and I’m sold! Rose is a lovely “Beauty”, independent and determined, and I loved watching the slow burn romance between her and Thorn unfold. These two are trapped together alone in a cursed castle with nothing but time until the fae portal opens again, and at first you feel that sense of desperation and futility from both of them, and then things slowly begin to shift. Gorgeous prose and a classic setting made this an absolute treat!

Please excuse typos/name misspellings. Entered on screen reader.
Profile Image for Robin (Bridge Four).
1,607 reviews1,482 followers
March 7, 2022
This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart

Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

3.5 hearts

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

Profile Image for Katie Gallagher.
Author 5 books216 followers
August 13, 2020
For other fun bookish things, visit my blog!

This year it’s seemed like every other book I’ve read has been a Beauty and the Beast retelling–and that’s hardly an exaggeration of the real numbers. I’ve read seven retellings of the classic fairy tale in 2020 alone, and more last year besides to survey the field as I finish up my own sci-fi retelling.

And somehow this “tale as old as time” never gets old. I once heard an academic say something to the effect of how the basic story concept of Beauty and the Beast is about as close as you can get to an ingrained female myth. That’s a sentiment that’s really stuck with me; I adore the BatB framework, whether that’s the beastly male character who must be tamed or the overall concept of slow-burn romance. I’d even argue that the popularity of vampires with female readers, myself included, taps into that same psychological itch. It is deeply alluring to imagine yourself in the MC’s shoes as a woman powerful enough in her beauty and character to “tame” her beastly love interest.

So I was absolutely delighted when I bought indie author Katherine Macdonald’s book The Rose and the Thorn on a complete whim and unexpectedly dove into one of my favorite reads of the year thus far. This book really caught me–I spent forty-eight hours binge-reading, while I neglected work, chores, and, to my husband’s dismay, an early dinner. (“Just ten more minutes, sheesh!”) There are so many elements here that I love–lyrical language, thoughtful character development, just the right level of description, the perfect amount of whimsy without veering towards the saccharine sweet, and a grounded first-person POV. I was getting Robin McKinley vibes throughout, which should say a lot about this author’s competence; those who loved Beauty will likely have a fun time with this one. A fair warning that anyone who gets annoyed by slow burn might want to steer clear, since this burn is sloooooooooooow… but for me, this was well up my alley.

Isn’t this the wonderful thing about the indie sphere? It feels like in trad publishing nowadays you hear about the same books day in day out. (Sarah J. Maas and Taylor Jenkins Reid, anyone?) With indies, though, there is always that potential to discover a new favorite whom you’ve never heard of. I can absolutely say that I’m now a huge fan of Katherine Macdonald, and I’ll be buying her new retelling of Sleeping Beauty one its day one release August 22nd.
Profile Image for Michele Quirke.
Author 2 books128 followers
February 16, 2021
Let me just start by saying...wow. Like, really. Wow.

The Rose and the Thorn is by far one of the most spectacular, heart-wrenching, satisfying love stories I have EVER read. It's quite long, yet I finished it in two days. I could not pull myself away from Rose and Thorn, for I was so deeply immersed in their world I simply couldn't do anything else.

This book brings slow-burn romance to a whole new level. These two characters, both of which I wanted to throttle and hug in equal measure, were a delight to read about. Mcdonald is a master, a true master of creating a love story that tugs at your heart stings and brings tears to your eyes. I honestly can't remember the last time I read such an emotional, riveting romance.

I really don't know what more there is to say. Words can't describe how much I truly enjoyed every single page of this book.

I will say this. Katherine Mcdonald now has a very loyal reader in me.
Profile Image for Katie zurBurg Tabor.
24 reviews8 followers
May 26, 2021
I bought The Rose and the Thorn off a friend's recommendation. BEST DECISION EVER. I'm now trying to convince all my friends to get it! The story starts out a bit slow and took about 20 pages to really pull me in, but once it did.... I couldn't stop. We're talking reading on the couch all day and staying up until 3am because it's impossible to put the book down. I needed to know all the secrets of this new world. The author was fantastic at giving you just enough to understand and make inferences, but withholding certain goodies, so you're left yearning for what comes next.

Katherine weaves a new Beauty and the Beast tale that doesn't have the Stockholm Syndrome overtones of the Disney version. It makes it feel better. The chemistry between Beauty and The Beast is palpable and both have strengths and weakness: I appreciate this "realness." I don't get annoyed with the characters and ask "why would you do this?" because their thoughts and actions are similar to my own or people I know. These characters feel so real that days after reading I find myself wondering how they are doing!

10/10 recommend! Buy it for yourself and for a friend so you have someone to excitedly talk about it with! It's targeted towards YA, but I'm in my mid-20s and will read it again and again. Before this book, I was in a book slump and hadn't read a good and energizing one in years. This relit my love for books and I'm beyond grateful.
Profile Image for R. Raeta.
Author 6 books54 followers
April 25, 2021
This was a really enjoyable read. The author has a lovely writing style and an EXCELLENT knack for ending scenes with those lines that leave you wanting more. The reimagining of the classic fairytale was done in a unique way, but there were little nods to the classic Disney version I grew up with that had me smiling because “I see what you did there!”

There were a couple aspects I felt could have been stronger, but overall it was a lovely, lovely piece of fiction and certainly worth the read. I will definitely be checking out the author’s newer works sometime in the future. :)
November 29, 2021
I really liked it, really really liked it as far as clean romances go (not my normally go to I'll admit *giggles*) I didn't give it a 5 star because the detailing in some of the scenes was too much, honestly. In any case 10/10 would recommend it to friends and family that like this genre and author. I'm about to go read another one so yeah...I really liked it.
Profile Image for Chesney Infalt.
Author 17 books63 followers
September 11, 2021

Beauty and the Beast has always been my favorite fairytale… and this retelling swept me off my feet! Beautiful story and fun characters.
Profile Image for L.V. Russell.
Author 6 books86 followers
March 12, 2020
I absolutely love beauty and the best retellings, and this did not disappoint. I loved the new twist on the characters, and found both Rose and Thorn well written. The slow burn romance was nicely done, and I found myself hooked from the beginning.
Looking forward to more books from this author.
Profile Image for Kacie.
250 reviews1 follower
June 8, 2021
I liked it...I feel like it dragged a lot though. Coulda been a bit shorter. I'm still deciding whether or not I'm going to read the book from Thorn's perspective. Could be interesting 😁

As for the content, it was mostly clean except for the last two pages of the last chapter (before the epilogue). I don't know how explicit and detailed that got because I skipped it, but it definitely caught me off guard. Mostly clean though, which is good! Yay!
Profile Image for Tanweer Dar.
Author 19 books49 followers
September 20, 2022
An outstanding retelling of the much loved 'Beauty and the Beast' tale.

Katherine Macdonald has a beautiful way with words, and she has worked wonders with all of the characters, big and small, in this wonderful story.

Supremely satisfying ending, too, which is not easy to pull off in a book like this.
Profile Image for C.R..
Author 7 books45 followers
April 14, 2021
This is a magical twist on the Beauty and the Beast!

I am a true sucker for fairy tales and I've read quite a few retellings of the classic Beauty and the Beast, but this one blew them all away! I was captivated by the Fey spin on the tale and how the human and fairy worlds collide. Rose's gumption and spirit was everything I hope for in a female MC and the "beast"...you just want to hug him! The snippets of backstory from Rose's past and also that of the fairy realm kept me on the edge of my seat. I kept reading, long after I should have put the book down to take care of my real world (sigh...I hate the real world sometimes!). This was a two-day read for me. It would have been one if I didn't have those real life things waiting for me. If slow-burn romances are your jam, then this book is for you! I loved every second of this and can't wait for the next book in this collection!
Profile Image for A.G. Pointer.
Author 2 books1 follower
April 29, 2020
This book, and I really think this says a lot, has had me completely and utterly entranced. It has brought joy and light and life into my dingy lock-down flat in a world where such comforts have otherwise been denied. Macdonald has crafted a beautiful retelling of a classic tale which is wholly original in it's own right. The gorgeous scenery, the tangible raw emotion of Thorn and Rose's growing relationship, could well have been playing out in front of me, the images are so vivid and alive. I have not enjoyed a novel this much in a long time. A magical debut!
Profile Image for Christie Powell.
Author 21 books57 followers
March 6, 2021
Excellent retelling

This book had everything I love in a Beauty and the Beast retelling. A couple things that stood out: I liked the dynamic relationship between Rose and her family. Her motivation to rejoin them was beautifully portrayed. I also really liked the dynamic between the love interest. It wasn't all roses. Sometimes they were angry at each other. But they still cared for one another, and I love that it showed you will still sometimes disagree with your loved ones.
Profile Image for Ashley Barney.
61 reviews
January 24, 2022
I am blown away!

I love fairytale retellings, and Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorites.

I think this is the best retelling I have ever read.

The author is truly gifted with words and storytelling. I look forward to reading more by her.
18 reviews
December 5, 2019
I love, love, love this Beauty and the Beast retelling!!

Wow! This was such a wonderful retelling!! I love the world that the author created and how it the fairy world and regular world interconnected. There are no huge surprises, I mean, this is a fairy tale retelling after all, but it was fresh and original in it's own way! I almost exclusively read fairy tale retellings and usually find something to enjoy about each one. I do not, however, take the time to review each one. I'm a hypocrite, coz I do like to read other people's reviews to see if I want to read the book myself!! Ok, I'm lazy! But this one I had to write a review for! For those who like to know, which I personally do, this is a fairly clean retelling. I'd rate it basically pg. I think I remember 1 swear word (i could be wrong about that though) and there is a scene at the very end of the tale that describes very little and fades away (if it were tv) but you know they are having sex. Nothing graphic at all, but you know that's what they are going to do. There are some grammatical errors, better than a lot of self published books though. I wouldn't have minded editing this for her!
Profile Image for Noonecansinkmyship.
154 reviews24 followers
June 24, 2021
Oh god. That was a roller coaster. The first half of the book was gold and then I wanted to scream in the second half because of all the tension and suspense . It follows the traditional elements of Beauty and the Beast and is very clearly a Beauty and the Beast retelling. I’m quite happy with this retelling actually. It was enjoyable to read, even with me shaking the book (gently) and silently (not really, my neighbor’s bleeding ears can attest to that) screaming wHy?!

The author has very vivid descriptions that sucked me into the story actually. I love her descriptions!
Profile Image for EquitesCinere.
30 reviews
January 3, 2020
I've been on a Beauty and the Beast kick lately and this was a very unique take on it. I liked at the beginning where the author didn't want him to be a grumpy bad beast who locked her away in a castle ( this isn't a spoiler, I think its actually an author's note) ... anway, I liked both Rose & Thorn and look forward to reading more from this author!
Profile Image for Rosemarie.
213 reviews28 followers
August 10, 2022
I loved this version of Beauty & the Beast!

I have read many retellings of the story and this was one of my all time favorites. I absolutely love the cover artwork, also. Goodreads does not have the Paperback edition with this artwork listed - so I just wanted to clarify that I have a paperback with this artwork on the cover. (I don't do Kindle Editions.)

So, first of all I must say that I do not subscribe to the recent idea going around that Beauty suffers from Stockholm Syndrome. It's completely ridiculous, IMHO, and a total miss reading of the story. But there is a note from the author saying that she doesn't like the fact that Beauty falls in love with someone who is holding her prisoner. So, she has devised a story in which that is not the case. In this version, Beauty - her name is Rose here - is walking in a meadow near her home when she sees a castle that has never been there before. It has just appeared out of the mist. She approaches it and enters - only to find out that the castle appears and disappears in different locations. It does this twice a year. So now she is stuck there for the next 6 months.

I did find this new twist interesting. I also liked that the Beast has a name in this version. Rose decides that she does not like having to call him Beast - so she renames him Thorn. Hence, "The Rose and the Thorn."

The story is divided up into 4 sections, one for each season of the year. I recognized lots of elements that can also be found in other versions of the story. There is a library scene that reminds me of Disney's version. Most Beauty's like to read these days thanks Belle - the original book lover.

However, by the middle of the book, I was surprised to find Rose and Thorn's relationship taking on the feel of Vincent and Catherine from the 1980s CBS TV series. That show is my favorite version of Beauty & the Beast and the version that started me loving story. So, that was a BIG, but very welcomed surprise. I don't really want to give too much away - so I'll just say that if you are a Vincent & Catherine fan, you should read this version.

There are also elements pulled from older versions that involve fairies and dreams, etc. In fact, it is revealed that both Rose and Thorn have some Fey blood. That's unusual, and I'm not really sure if I want them to be Fey. Beauty, especially, I think should be human so that we can relate to her as much as possible.

Finally, while there is usually some kind of Magic Mirror in Beauty & the Beast stories, in this version it is a Hall of Mirrors. There is a room of mirrors in the castle and each one does something different. One, like the Mirror of Erised in Harry Potter, shows the viewer his or her greatest desire. One shows history, and this is how Rose learns a great deal about the curse and what happened to the castle before she got there - because the Beast can't or won't tell her much. She is aware that she must break the curse, but is not sure how to do that.

Once again, for fans of the Beauty and the Beast story, this one is a must read to add to your collection!
Profile Image for Bailey.
713 reviews35 followers
October 9, 2022
Real talk, I wasn't even sure I was going to finish this book, and if I did, it would take me awhile. Yeah... kinda jumped the gun on that one. Long story short, I marathon read this in about three hours, only stopping to take notes, and in reality, the rating may be a 3.5, but I'm not only keeping this author's Sleeping Beauty retelling on my shelves, but I'm probably going to give her take on Snow White a spin as well. I was a bit wary of this book, seeing as it's indie published: a high rating doesn't always guarantee a solid read (the author has a smaller marketing scale and kind has to rely on word of mouth among friends and family as opposed to pumping the press with an agent). And while this book is far from perfect, it kept me engaged, tugged at all the right heartstrings (the blurb doesn't lie), and actually does something different by way of the beast.

-Tinged with Gothic/Thematic to a Tee
*From the castle, to the beast prowling the grounds frightening Rose in the dead of night, even descriptions of the landscape were beautifully macabre (ex: Rose observes a tapestry dangling like shredded flesh and tree branches that hang like skeletal arms).
*Wolves take a bite out of Thorn (the Beast) in the woods just beyond Rose's window, and she does the OG Gothic trope: runs through the castle into the cold winter's night in her nightgown. Candles burn to the wick as shadows dance into the dark. Someone make a short film of this or better yet, a film student make a fan film.
-Rose is an active heroine without becoming "too stupid to live"
*She runs to Thorn when the wolves appear not out of curiosity or turning purely ornamental: she's a semi-skilled archer, sending arrows into the animals to protect Thorn.
*Rose also doesn't allow herself to be dressed like a doll and do the old "dresses are too fancy for me" routine. Instead, she opts to re-stitch the ones that don't suit her, making for a durable, personable wardrobe.
*She also retains a good memory for healing (ex: when Thorn's wound becomes infected, she sends the fairy residing in the castle out to find the herb and makes a paste).
-Complex Characters
*Rose and Thorn deal with conflict in their doings/affections towards one another
1.Rose loves her family and wishes to return to her realm, but also knows she must find out what the curse is/break it, but since she's grown to care for Thorn, leaving won't be so cut and dry, ensuring she'll be unhappy either way.
2.Thorn loves Rose, but lies by omission for six weeks when the portal opens up, allowing for her escape. He knows keeping her in his realm is wrong, but his loneliness has made him selfish. And once he admits his wrongdoing, she's rightfully upset, but still into him.
-Breaking the Mold
*First off, despite the Gothic aesthetics, our beast is far from brooding (Thorn is giddy when a puppy stumbles upon the castle, makes sure to accommodate Rose's every need, takes her skating and makes jokes without being snarky)
*There's a moment when Thorn says "You don't like to fit in; you're not like other girls" and typically, Rose would've gone all *blush*. But instead, she laments that fitting in isn't all bad; it means you've got connection to people. It's when you start faking/sacrificing your opinions/values that it gets dicey. YES! This, right here, *chef's kiss*.
*Unlike most YA BATB retellings, there's no Gaston or love triangle. Rose does admit to having kissed someone prior, but reassures Thorn that he's only a friend and there were no fireworks.
-Chemistry and Emotional Gravitas
*Feel like these go hand in hand, since their connection makes for the pull. The author makes you feel the sadness and loss mingled with love when Rose returns to the mortal realm, her frustration upon realizing the beautiful ball was useless/nothing but a distraction because it changed nothing but loving the momentary distraction anyway. And yes, that final line did warm the cockles of my heart.

-Hades and Persephone
1.Rose is whisked into Thorn's realm while picking flowers in the meadow, much like the earth splitting open beneath Persephone, taking her to the Underworld whilst picking the narcissus.
2.Rose stumbles upon a poppy early on: poppies are given to Demeter by the gods after Persephone disappears. They're also used to remember those slain in battle.
3.A deathly decay settles upon the meadow when Rose is taken, as well as the garden being likened to a graveyard (Hades is the god of the Underworld and thus Persephone becomes queen in this land of the dead).
4.Thorn not telling Rose of the opening/way to escape is sort of akin to some variants of the Hades/Persephone myth where she's tricked by Hades into eating the pomegranate seeds which tethers her to him. Both men do this out of loneliness/desperation for the woman to stay.
5.Thorn and his castle doing its/his best to accommodate Rose (making her favorite meals, having her favorite books in his library), felt very Hades making sure Persephone wants for nothing and treats her with the upmost respect.
6.Rose coming to the realm in the winter/not able to leave for six months and also marking her departure by the arrival of a garden blossoming. Very Persephone living with Hades for six months when it's winter in the mortal realm and returning to Demeter six months later come spring.
-Jean Cocteau's, La Belle et la Bête (1946)
1.Thorn has dinner with Rose every night, much like Cocteau's beast, but unlike that beast who proposes to Belle each night, Thorn waits further down the way.
2.Rose proclaiming to the meadow she must pass through because "I am here to set him free" reminded me of Belle returning to the castle saying "Beast! I am here!"
3.The mirrors revealing Thorn's mortal face and Rose's father's illness, prompting her to want to return to the mortal realm, were reminiscent of Belle looking through the magic mirror and seeing Beast's sorrow upon her departure.
4.Her family staying on in their castle was also a nice homage to Beast promising Belle that her father can stay with them.
-Disney (Kind of my least favorite)
1.Rose is really into books, much like Beauty, and much like that Beast, Thorn takes Rose on a tour of his library.
2.Skating scene where Rose must learn balance is ripped straight out of the movie, although that Beauty was an expert skater.
3.Ballroom attire: Rose=white and yellow gown with many layers and Thorn=a blue suit with his hair clipped back... Beauty=we all know the gorgeous yellow dress seemingly pressed from buttercups (we don't talk about the 2017 film here) and Beast=blue waistcoat and suit with blue ribbon tying back his mane.

-Needs an editor
*From the strange spacing to the wordiness (the author has a wonderful romantic part where Thorn asks "You said you looked at me earlier; what did you see?" and Rose goes "You. I saw you". Gorgeous, right? Until we get this awkward explanation of what she means. And even sans romance, Roses goes on and on about loving solitude, and it's like, we got it the first time a paragraph ago).
*Also, info dumping is a huge reason I kind of didn't feel a reader's connection to Rose's mortal life: Devil's advocate, the story and character growth take place in the Fey realm, but every human tie to Rose was explained so clunkily.
*Modern dialect creeps in: words and phrases such as "Um" and "You're bleeding pretty badly", and possibly the worst of all, "She's not all that" took me right out of the story.

The author's talent and penchant for storytelling has me overlooking those cons. I will definitely be carrying on.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Amanda Mantonya.
362 reviews5 followers
March 14, 2021

I reserve my 5 star ratings for books like this.

Let me say, that I read a LOT of Beauty and the Beast retellings. As in 60+ and counting. They are my self-care story and I love them all. Even the terrible indie published ones riddled with typos., and thats what I thought this book was going to be. Oh how pleasantly wrong I was!

I long for love stories, not romances filled with cheesy back and forth about who loves who most but doesn’t deserve the other. And I’m usually not one for mushy crap about being one another’s heart and soul. The poetry, the depth of emotion conveyed throughout each struggle was written in a way that I didn’t want to roll my eyes, (except maybe a few times); it drew me in in ways that most books only scratch the surface of. Being seen for what one truly is, and changing and growing each other, thats what love is. Love comes on slowly, not instantly, there’s not just a single moment but several that build into love. And its beautiful for the time it took to develop.

It helped that for comedic relief there was the simplicity of a side character calling the MC out on her utter nonsensical complication over something so simple as just saying what she means.

The magic was woven beautifully. The mystery is able to be guessed at as the reader and MC are given more information, but it doesn’t try to be a surprise twist, and so that helps with the revelation. The pacing gives the reader a journal type feel, in which some days and weeks stretch on forever, and therefore take 50 pages to get through, and other months blow past without hardly a second thought, or 10 pages.

There was just enough angst to make a Beauty and the Beast fan squirm with delight, but enough mature dignity in both character’s responses to make us adult readers feel like we aren’t watching a couple of teenagers be ridiculous, and truly want them to be together and believe in their internal struggle.

For fairy tale lovers, and Beauty and the Beast fans, this book is a must read.

My only pet peeve is the first edition of the book which I got had beautiful red roses on the cover and the new edition has a 2020s-typical girl in a dress cover.
Profile Image for Caytlyn Brooke.
56 reviews2 followers
July 18, 2020

As a huge fan of fairytale retellings, I was very excited to read this! From the first page, MacDonald's words captivated me. Her prose is beautiful, and so descriptive!

We all know the story of beauty and the beast, yet I felt like I was reading the tale for the first time. MacDonald managed to create a wonderfully creative and unique take on the classic tale. I really enjoyed how she included subtle nods to the original details, but presented them in a fresh new way that enticed me to keep reading because I was so enthralled with what was coming. I think I actually prefer her version better than the original! I loved the darkness threatening the light and enjoyed that the characters took their time falling in love.

I will definitely be reading more from this author!
Profile Image for Cat Bowser.
Author 1 book27 followers
February 11, 2021
Yet another wonderful retelling! Beauty and the Beasy had been one of my favorite stories but that doesn’t mean it’s flawless. But this author does amazing things with fixing those flaws and making this relationship amazing to witness!

As always, the cultural changes and character updates are the best parts of the book. I adore the writing of the beast—he’s a lovable but flawed love interest and I absolutely buy this relationship. The love is tangible. The setting of the book and the reason for the circumstances is so brilliantly done.

I cannot wait to read the companion book! Each new book from this author I cannot wait to dive into! If you like fairy tales even at a cursory level, this is a must read!
Profile Image for hollie.
892 reviews27 followers
January 22, 2021
3.75 stars!
These beauty and the beast retellings seem to be getting better and better the more of them I read and I really enjoyed this one. This book is definitely the closest I have read to the original story and I honestly liked Katherine's take on the story with fae twists.

- The writing was vivid and told almost movie-like. I could picture everything.
- I thought the budding romance between Thorn and Rose was so believable and I really rooted from them from the beginning. It was a slow burn and I loved it.
- The ending played out great and I was satisfied with the ending.

Definitely a well-told retelling!
Profile Image for Brooke Walsh.
6 reviews
April 23, 2021
All around incredible book! The characters are well developed and the story gives a wonderful twist to the classic tale. A beautiful love story without the underlying abuse of the original tale.

The only reason I did not give it 5 stars is because there are multiple typos in the book. Nothing horrible, but enough that I noticed them.

To Katherine, I recommend a professional proofread for your future work. Your stories and characters are incredible, a proofread will ensure that everything is flawless.

Overall a WONDERFUL story with heartwarming characters and a brilliant and enthralling story!
Profile Image for Nicole Thomas.
Author 18 books35 followers
September 14, 2020

It has been a very long time since I actually became LOST in the pages, the story, the life of tale. I was so heavily invested my soul screamed JUST SAY IT!!! I loved this book, truly loved it. So much heart ache could be avoided if we only say what we feel, tomorrow is not promised. I can not wait to read more this author! So glad I read this. So so so glad.
Profile Image for Beth.
150 reviews22 followers
April 22, 2021
Such a fun retelling, with danger and tears and worldbuilding and slow-burn romance and wit! I love Katherine Macdonald’s retellings, and it was high time for me to go back and read her first. Pick this one up, y’all.
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