It hasn't been a week as yet since I began the Pop Sugar Reading Challenge with Sang, my best friend, and I have already finished two books. This means I have checked off:
- a book written by a celebrity
- a book based on a fairytale
The Enchanted Rose very seamlessly intertwines two well-known fairytales -- Sleeping Beauty and Beauty & the Beast. It begins with the Kingdom of Narthar having a new heir after many years -- a daughter. The entire kingdom is invited to celebrate with the royal household, and the neighbouring king and his family have been called as well. During the gifting ceremony, one of the fairies is tricked into giving a magical gift to the baby, and soon all the other fairies follow. To explain the consequences of this folly is to give away the little things that make up the whole story. However, tragedy ensues out of jealousy, greed and pride, and three young lives are innocently caught up and changed for better or for worse.
I wouldn't like to say more than this because this would give away the manner in which the fairytales are intertwined. However, I must say that ArceJaeger (Is this a pen name? I find it very strange.) seems to have taken a leaf out of Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, and given the reader footnotes that explain the history and magic of the faeries who arrived amongst the humans centuries before the story begins. They act like interesting little snippets that enhance the authenticity of the world she is writing in.
Right up to half way through the book I was sure I was giving this 5 stars. The story and the writing style flow well. The premise and world-building was interesting. I was even willing to ignore the strange names that the author had for the kingdoms and its people (incredibly random, like they were made up by stringing together letters on the spur of the moment). However, midway through part 2 of the novel things begin to slow down a bit. It is understandable, of course, when you find that this is the time the Beast and the young lady are getting to know each other and become friends. But then, having taken her time with them, I felt the author might have provided just a little more detail to the end. As it was, it felt rushed. Whilst up until then we knew what the two main characters were feeling, their voices were woefully missing towards the end of the tale. This is not to say that it was badly done. Just that I wish it was done better.
On the whole, though, this was quite a riveting and imaginative retelling of these fairytales. ArceJaeger created characters one could like or just be plain annoyed at.