Sunday, 29 September 2013
Review: Briar Rose by Jana Oliver
I absolutely loved The Demon Trappers Series, so when I saw Jana had written another book, Briar Rose, I did not hesitate in requesting a copy for review. From the minute I began reading Briar Rose I was hooked. Briar Rose is a fantastically woven story with hints of fairy tales we know and love, with a touch of the gruesome side of the older traditional fairy tales.
Briar Rose, the protagonist, is best friends with Reena. Joshua Quinn, is friends with Reena, and an old friend of Briar's, but is forbidden to have friendship with her. They used to play together until something happened at the old mill, and both families forbade the children to play together, or even have contact with each other.
Briar Rose is a darker retelling of sleeping beauty with a twist, instead of falling asleep Briar is meant to die, however she shows how tough she is by stopping her repeating nightmare, and facing the unknown, this then enables her to sleep, instead of dying, for the moment. But the fight isn't over, and she must fight with every fibre of her being to get back to her family.
While in her nightmare Briar is in the company of Ruric, who teaches her about the ways of his world and keeps an eye on her. In this new world people accept metal from the regent as a way of showing their favour towards her, she rules over all in place of the princess who is sleeping an everlasting sleep, awaiting to be woken up by whomever is worthy. Whilst trapped in this new world, Briar's friends Reena and Joshua are trying to find a way to rescue Briar and bring her back home, to them, and to her family.
I devoured every single page of Briar Rose. The world Jana has created is original and full of wonder and magic. I have never been so engrossed in a fairy tale before, and I love how the two sides of a fairy tale blend so perfectly together. Every single character plays an important role in this story, not only as an individual, but also a part of a whole. While some took me a while to actually like them, like Pat who was an ass when we first meet him, he quickly redeems himself and I loved getting to see a different side to him. I love how we see Briar change as a person. She is initially quiet, but when she is thrown into this new world we get to see her grow as a person, and make a stand, fighting for what she believes in, but also having the belief in herself, and finally realising that all she has to do is open her eyes to see what her heart desires.
I would love to see what else Jana can do with other fairy tales and see how she can put a new spin on these.