Sunday, September 11, 2016

Kirsten Fitcher - The Rose and the Balloon

The Rose and the Balloon
Once Upon a Twist #1

By Kirsten Fitcher

Available on Amazon

Product Description (from Amazon)

In a kingdom where fauna and flora are held in higher esteem than breakfast, Dmitri is a prince who yearns for change and plans it in a single daring act that will alter his life forever. However, when his demented mother accidentally causes the destruction of a prized garden of roses, Dmitri is horrified when she proposes his hand in marriage to make up for it. Not only will a wife hamper his glorious plans, he doesn't even want one.

Janelle has spent her whole life on her father's rose farm, tending the roses and staying simple. But she really yearns for something greater than the flower beds. But now there's a wrench thrown in the works – the crazy Queen Maeva wants her to marry the prince, and all for ruining her father's beloved roses.

This is Beauty and the Beast with a twist like you've never seen it before.

About the Author (from Amazon)

No author description available

O.Scarlett! REVIEW by Kendra

Have you ever watched Disney's Beauty and the Beast and thought to yourself, "This could use a bit less magic."? If so, then this is the book for you.

Anyone who has known me for any amount of time knows that I love fairy tales. However, Beauty and the Beast is that one fairy tale that's very hit and miss for me, and I've so far only found a handful of retellings of if that I actually liked, and one was a Hidden Object Adventure game.

However, having read a good deal of the author's unpublished work and absolutely loved it, when she told me that she wanted to publish her Beauty and the Beast story, I was willing to give it a try and encouraged her to publish it, and then signed up for the review.

Well, I didn't dislike it. And, perhaps, I would have liked it more had I not then followed it up by reading an absolutely amazing retelling of Rapunzel that very day. In fact, I highly recommend this story to anyone who enjoys the story of Beauty and the Beast.

If this hadn't been labeled with Beauty and the Beast, I probably would have loved it, despite a slightly awkward rushing of the conflict's resolution and a slight lack in backstory setup - this author was made to write long books, and I would have loved to have seen this story been given a bit more space.

There was one glaring problem that I had with the story: It's not a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. It's a reimagining of the Disney movie.

I don't dislike the Disney movie.  It's not my favorite, but it's not bad, either. However, it does bother me when people forget that it IS ITSELF A RETELLING. It's not the original fairy tale, in fact, it's VERY different from the original tale.

However, there were really only one or two moments where the similarities were very glaring, and they were only made obvious by the inclusion of "Beauty and the Beast" on the cover, so as I said, I don't dislike the story, and I do recommend it. If nothing else, read it for the antics of the prince's mother who's a bit ... touched in the head, and his twin younger siblings, Nicolas and Nicolette. Those younger two made the story, and I'd love to read a book all about them.

Genre/Theme: Fairy Tale Retelling, Steampunk

Reading Level: CHILD - children's literature 
TEEN - upper elementary to middle school 
Profanity: NONE - no offensive language 
Sexuality: NONE - not even hinted at 
Violence and adult themes noted as necessary 

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