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The Rose and the Thorn

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  234 ratings  ·  76 reviews
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 fair
Kindle Edition, 349 pages
Published August 27th 2019 by Amazon Digital Services
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Average rating 4.31  · 
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 ·  234 ratings  ·  76 reviews

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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 wa
Katherine Macdonald
Sep 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
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
Despoina Kemeridou
Mar 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: paperbacks
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 mal
Michele Quirke
Feb 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Let me just start by 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 d
Katie Gallagher
Aug 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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 Beaut
Katie zurBurg Tabor
May 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
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 inference ...more
Lydia Russell
Feb 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
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.
A.G. Pointer
Apr 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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 h ...more
Jun 08, 2021 rated it liked it
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!
Cheryl Dettlaf
Nov 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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! ...more
Amanda Mantonya

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 ab
Caytlyn Brooke
Jul 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing

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
Catherine Bowser
Feb 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
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 t
Jan 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
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
Nicole Thomas
Sep 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing

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.
Aug 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
A great twist on the original story
Lisa Dawn
Aug 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"Beauty and the Beast" is a fairy tale that princess fans never get tired of. Its gothic setting, intrigue, and romance are staples of any good princess story. The most famous novel adaptation is Beauty by Robin McKinley, but there are plenty of others that are just as good. I was fortunate enough to stumble upon a more recent retelling on Twitter called The Rose and the Thorn by Katherine Macdonald. This book shares some common threads with Enchantment by Camille Peters, another "Beauty and the ...more
Feb 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was one of my favorite Beauty and the Beast retellings. I finished this book in about two days and was actually canceling plans because I just wanted to keep reading. The relationship between the Beauty and her Beast (Rose and Thorn) was one of my favorites in any piece of fiction. If you're like me and you LOOOOVEEEE a slow burn, this is the book for you. Their relationship and slow and sweet to the point of mild frustration, but that's just how I like it. Rose had a lot of depth to her ch ...more
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My friend Kassie made me read this book because she wanted to discuss it with someone and there isn't enough of a following (yet). When I say she made me read it, she bothered me about it for ages, eventually invited me round, and forced her kindle into my hand. Long story short... I borrowed her kindle for the night and was finished by morning. So thank you Kass. Thanks a lot. You owe me one night of sleep.

She then made me join goodreads so I could leave a review, but I guess that's only fair
Bailey Peyton
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 08, 2019 marked it as to-read
Shelves: freebie
🎁 FREE on Amazon today (9/8/2019)! 🎁
Tales Untangled
Jun 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
When I want comfort food, I eat Indian naan (aloo paratha) and when I want a comfort read, I turn to retold fairytales. Beauty and the Beast is a staple in these fairytales.

I'm always nervous but hopeful when I start a new book. In this version, The Rose and the Thorn, there are so many things to love. I don't want to spoil it for you, but I do have a favorite part. I loved how the author built a new backstory and premise for this beloved tale. That's a hard thing to pull off.

Rose is a fleshed-o
Matthew Samuels
Aug 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Rose and the Thorn was an unexpected delight to read! I wasn’t quite sure what I expected from a beauty and the beast retelling, but MacDonald provides an elegant, beautiful tale.

The story gets going really quickly, as Rose a young woman in a large family, wanders into a meadow, finding herself trapped with a talking beast, Thorn, in a dilapidated magical castle. They soon become fast friends, but with an ancient curse lingering, Rose trapped for six months, and the castle abundant with myst
Candice Allen
Aug 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Love is what makes it all worthwhile

My favorite quote from this story is from Rose's father when she asks him if he regrets marrying her mother since she died, leaving him alone with four children. He answers, “There are so 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.” This is a pivotal moment for Rose and gives her enough courage to express her feelings to Thorn and dare to love.
This book is much t
Feb 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
Very pretty story

Lovely world building, interesting plot with new turns and no loose ends. Beautiful gothic imagery. Somewhat helpful model of respecting consent because she agrees before intimacy, but he should have been very clear about asking. No graphic love scenes. No profanity. 2 examples of premarital sex, but it isn’t presented as causal or something that is positive or safe to experience with multiple partners. Healthy understanding about the need to be clear and sincere with words in a
May 28, 2021 rated it liked it
This retelling of Little Red Ridinghood is fresh with shapeshifters and witches entering the mix. The characters are realistic in their youthfulness and come across as mildly annoying at times but it is very true to life behavior. As the mother of two teenagers I chickled frequently at this. It did however take me out of the story.
Which makes it rough. Like that moment you’re watching any Disney film and realize you’ve related more to the parents or villian then the intended lead.
So while it i
Apr 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Mixed feelings

3.5 but rounded up.
I have mixed feelings about this book. I wasn't really sure about the pov at first (1st person is always tricky) and I didn't like the Rose initially.

I started liking her and the story more once I got about 25% in and she started interacting with thorn (the beast) more. She's abrasive and bold, but not one one to voice her feelings. Like other reviewers mention, this book does seem to drag a bit as we're well aware of the feelings of each, but it gets frustratin
Jess Lawrence
May 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Well, this book was amazing. I devoured it in two days. As soon as I read the author's note that this was a Beauty & the Beast retelling that put a more sympathetic light on the beast, I knew I would be onboard. I have no issue with the original, or even many of the other retellings I've read, but this felt like such a fresh take and I simply loved it.

Rose was a wonderful character to follow and I enjoyed her journey and her personality. Thorn was a delight and he stole my heart quickly. The slo
Susanne Schmidt
Aug 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, fantasy
Beauty and the Beast Retelling with faerie twist

Rose and Thorn offers an enjoyable retelling of the old tale. The chemistry between the characters is great, better than in the movie, because Thorn isn’t the one keeping Rose in the castle. I like the original elements as well, the battle between good and evil fairies that played out in the background and resulted in some genuinely eerie moments for Rose in the haunted castle. Similarly to McKinley’s Rose Daughter, Rose and Thorn gives some backgr
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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 th

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