Howdy everyone, it’s Sarah!
I received this as an eARC through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Title: Briar and Rose and Jack
Author: Katherine Coville
In this mash up of Sleeping Beauty and Jack and the Giant Beanstalk, the ladies are given the chance to help save the day.
Briar and Rose were twins, though only the king’s inner circle knows. Briar was an ugly baby, so ugly that her father didn’t want to claim her. Rose, even though she was the younger twin, was raised as the princess/heir and Briar was raised as an orphan taken in by the court. The two were extremely close when they were younger, but as time progresses and Briar is blamed for things she didn’t do, based on her appearance, Rose begins to prefer other people as friends who aren’t outcasts. Briar and Rose are friends with a poor villager boy named, Jack. As Rose pulls away, Briar leans more and more on Jack and helping those around him. Each year their kingdom is visited by a giant, who takes the majority of food and wealth. Villagers are dying and leaving because they cannot survive the giant’s attack. The king’s only plan is to keep giving in, but Briar, Rose and Jack all decide that they will come up with a plan to stop the giant.
While it is hard to describe all of the ins and outs of the fairy tales layered within each other, this was a great retell. I liked the development of Jack and the villains of his story become more sympathetic. Also, I think that it was interesting to give Sleeping Beauty’s tale a set of twins, who unknowingly share the fairy’s blessings and curses. I genuinely liked Briar and enjoyed her interactions with Jack. I was less impressed with Rose and her character arc, but overall this was a fun novel. I will be recommending this to the middle grade readers.
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