I was a bit worried going into Withering Rose because it is the second book to Davis' Once Upon Upon a Curse series. However, I didn't need to worry at all! Each book in the series is a companion novel, and Davis' wonderfully described the plot to new comers like me. Withering Rose is a Beauty and the Beast retelling that is about Omorose, who was once a princess before her world and ours collided into one. She has a beautiful gift, but it comes with the curse of death. After ten years of keeping her magic a secret, Omorose flees the magic-hating compound she lives in to the mountains nearby, which serves as the land of a fearful king. The story takes off from there, and man was it a ride! I was never bored.
The last time I read a fairytale retelling was Winter by Marissa Meyer, so I was hesitant to read something on the other end of the spectrum for retellings. I was not disappointed at all by Withering Rose. The plot was compelling and never failed to capture my interest. Even though Omorose has magic, she still is a teenage girl that I easily connected with. She reacted to some situations poorly, but I always understood her reasoning. Never did she seem brash or dim-witted.
I loved the romance of Withering Rose, and I didn't expect to. Cole, the King of Beasts, has a tough exterior and I loved seeing him become more open and trusting to Omorose. The novel never once slowed down or became boring to me, and the romance is a big factor to that. The playful banter between Cole and Omorse was great. There was such a great balance of the sweet, mushy times and the more serious ones of their relationship.
Another aspect that I really loved was Omorose's relationship with her family. She believes all of her family except her father is dead after the earthquake that collided the two worlds together. Even though her sister and mother are dead to Omorose, they still hold great importance to her. I loved that Omorose never forgot about her family. Her dedication to her father was really touching and I truly appreciated how Davis included such strong familial relationships in the book.
The only thing I wish I did differently was if I read the first book before this one. You don't need to read it to understand everything, but it would add to the story. Characters from the previous book are secondary characters here. I think I would have appreciated their appearance more if I already knew who they were.
Overall, I recommend Withering Rose without a doubt. It is a fun and addicting book with a vivid world and characters. I am definitely going to be continuing on with the series when the third book is released next year. I'm probably going to be reading the first book as well. Withering Rose is exactly like a roller coaster. They are both fun, scary at times, over before you know it, and an experience that will leave you smiling at the end.
With that, I give this book
4 out of 5 Stars!
What are some of your favorite fairytale retellings?
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Genni @ Ready, Set, Read!