The Language of Roses by Heather Rose Jones (Queen of Swords Press Minis #3)
A Beauty. A Beast. A Curse. This is not the story you know.
Join author Heather Rose Jones on a new and magical journey into the heart of a familiar fairytale. Meet Alys, eldest daughter of a merchant, a merchant who foolishly plucks a rose from a briar as he flees from the home of a terrifying fay Beast and his seemingly icy sister. Now Alys must pay the price to save his life and allow the Beast, the once handsome Philippe, to pay court to her.
But Alys has never fallen in love with anyone; how can she love a Beast? The fairy Peronelle, waiting in the woods to see the culmination of her curse, is sure that she will fail. Yet, if she does, Philippe’s sister Grace and her beloved Eglantine, trapped in an enchanted briar in the garden, will pay a terrible price. Unless Alys can find another way…
This is the third volume of the Queen of Swords Press Mini Series.
COVER DESIGN: Terry Roy
PUBLISHER: Queen of Swords Press
LENGTH: 216 pages
GENRE: Fantasy, Retelling
Queer Rep Summary: Lesbian/Sapphic Main Character(s), Ace/Aro Main Character(s).
*I received a free review copy in exchange for an honest review of this book.
THE LANGUAGE OF ROSES is an excellent retelling of Beauty and the Best, with an aromantic heroine asked to love and marry a beastly man before his and his sister's transformations are made permanent. When her father plucks a rose from a garden, Alys is sent to live with the Beast (Philippe) and his sister (Grace) as payment. Alys could marry him, but he asks for love with marriage and she cannot promise that. It's an excellent portrayal of emotional abuse exacerbated by sexism and social structures. There are so many little things done so well in this novella, it stays true to the bones of the original story without forcing Alys to fit the mold of a romantic heroine against her nature. This is perfect for those who love retellings and anyone who's tired of romance being required for a happily ever after.
Moderate CW for sexism, confinement, bullying, emotional abuse.
Minor CW for sexual content, abandonment, domestic abuse.