Rose & Thorn

416p. (Ash & Bramble: Bk. 2). ebook available. Harper Teen. Oct. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062337979.
Gr 8 Up—Fifty years after the end of Ash & Bramble, the crafty machine known as Story threatens to overtake other lives. When Rose was born, bearing a triple curse and a rosebud birthmark on her wrist, she was taken by the Penwitch to be raised in the forest by Shoe. Sixteen years later, they are both dead and the spell that protected Rose is broken. Leaving home, she follows a path to the City, which is governed by the harsh Lord Protector, who has banned all storytelling, lest it revive the evil Story. There, Rose meets two Watchers—short and friendly Quirk, and Griff, the brooding son of the Lord Protector—who realize immediately that she is cursed. When her curses cannot be broken, the Watchers help Rose escape the City with the assistance of a resistance group called the Breakers. But wily Story leads them to a castle where Princess Rose is reunited with her strangely distant parents, and she must fight the curse of touching a spindle and sleeping for 100 years. Prineas once again weaves a fascinating narrative of magic, adventure, and romance and breathes new life into the "Sleeping Beauty" fairy tale. The characters are memorable and distinct, and their backstories are gradually told, revealing links to the previous volume.
VERDICT Although this book capably stands on its own, it is a must-read for fans of the first installment and is highly recommended for all lovers of romantic fantasy.

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