"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales." Albert Einstein

04 December 2013


Mannering, G.R. Roses. Sky Pony Press, 2013.

The strange girl with the silver skin and white hair, a ward of a wealthy house, is hidden away and unnamed until she escapes her captors and is named Beauty by a passing stranger. Soon after, Beauty and other people of magic are forced to flee the city in order to escape execution. She lives with a horseman in his rustic village, until he steals a rose and angers a horrid beast. In exchange for the horseman's life, Beauty offers to stay with the beast. Will she ever be free again?

I enjoyed this book, not only as a retelling of a common fairy tale, but also as a great fantasy story with an interesting world to explore. The traditional beauty and the beast story doesn't show up until much later in the book (past page 170), but I was so interested in the first part that I didn't mind at all. Unlike the traditional stories, in this book Beauty is considered to be a freak, and her name is meant to be ironic. She is a curiosity in the city where she grows up, and an outcast in the small village she escapes to. This book will hook stronger readers with the lyrical writing and world-building, and even less-strong readers will be drawn to the story because of the fairy-tale tie-in. There is already a waiting list at my library just from this book sitting on my desk for the past week. I will be recommending it to fans of Beastly and Of Beast and Beauty, as well as my kids who can't get enough fantasy.

Recommended for: tweens, teens, fans of fantasy and fairy tale retellings
Red Flags: Beauty "accidentally" shoots her cousin, but the scene isn't graphic
Overall Rating: 5/5 stars

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Goodreads' FirstReads program for the purposes of review.

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