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Roses and Rot

Roses and Rot

Scris de Kat Howard

Povestit de Madeleine Maby


Roses and Rot

Scris de Kat Howard

Povestit de Madeleine Maby

evaluări:
4/5 (96 evaluări)
Lungime:
9 hours
Lansat:
May 17, 2016
ISBN:
9781508224563
Format:
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Descriere

Publishers Weekly Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror Novel of Summer 2016

Imogen and her sister Marin escape their cruel mother to attend a prestigious artists' retreat, but soon learn that living in a fairy tale requires sacrifices, whether it be art or love in this haunting debut novel from "a remarkable young writer" (Neil Gaiman).

What would you sacrifice for everything you ever dreamed of?

Imogen has grown up reading fairy tales about mothers who die and make way for cruel stepmothers. As a child, she used to lie in bed wishing that her life would become one of these tragic fairy tales because she couldn't imagine how a stepmother could be worse than her mother now. As adults, Imogen and her sister Marin are accepted to an elite post-grad arts program-Imogen as a writer and Marin as a dancer. Soon enough, though, they realize that there's more to the school than meets the eye. Imogen might be living in the fairy tale she's dreamed about as a child, but it's one that will pit her against Marin if she decides to escape her past to find her heart's desire.
Lansat:
May 17, 2016
ISBN:
9781508224563
Format:
Carte audio

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Despre autor

Kat Howard’s short fiction has been nominated for the World Fantasy Award, anthologized in best of and annual best of collections, and performed on NPR. She is the author of the critically acclaimed Roses and Rot and the Alex Award–winning An Unkindness of Magicians. She is also the writer of the Books of Magic series, set in the Sandman Universe. She lives in New Hampshire, and you can find her on twitter at @KatWithSword.

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  • (4/5)
    A very compelling novel... Kat Howard is certainly a gifted writer- her scenes are put together well and her characters are rich in detail and interest. The story grabbed my interest in the beginning... It hiccup'ed a bit towards the middle, but made a nice recovery and finished strong.

    I would maybe have loved it a bit more without the fairy tale component, but the metaphor totally works. Looking forward to Ms. Howard's next work!
  • (5/5)
    Roses and Rot is a hauntingly lovely contemporary fantasy about the bond between two sisters. Imogene and Merin have an abusive mother that they both seek to escape. They hadn’t spoken in years when Merin reaches out. Soon after, both sisters find themselves at an artist’s residency at the prestigious Melete. Imogene’s a writer while Merin’s a dancer, but they are both devoted to their art. However, more is going on at Melete than they ever could have imagined, and it threatens to break the bond between them once and for all.Imogene’s working on a book of fairy tales drawn from her childhood, and some of her stories are interwoven into the narrative. In many ways, Roses and Rot is itself a modern day fairy story complete with all the darkness and sharp edges of many of the original tales.Moreover, Roses and Rot is beautifully written. The imagery is evocative, and magic seeps off the page. It reminds me some of reading Eric Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, although I think Roses and Rot is a better book. Not only is Roses and Rot beautiful, it contains substance as well.I can’t say too much about the fantasy aspect of the book since Imogene herself doesn’t realize what’s going on until just over a third in. I was actually having some problems before that point, but Roses and Rot really turned around and became better than I ever would have suspected.I can tend to be cynical about books which are about the “specialness” of artists (this is a problem I often have with Charles de Lint’s work). Early on it was looking like it would be a lasting issue with me for Roses and Rot but thankfully it faded away by the end. I think a large part of that is how I got a good feel of who all the characters where, including secondary characters. Ariel was a surprise favorite, and Helena is compelling in her own right, even if she mainly serves as a tragic parallel to the sisters. Something Roses and Rot does very well is show the relationships between women, especially when it comes to sisters and friends.Roses and Rot is a stunning debut novel that in all likelihood will deserving make some end of the year “best of” lists. I highly recommend it.Originally posted on The Illustrated Page.I received a free ARC copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. The book is released on May 17th by Saga Press.
  • (5/5)
    I loved this book. Maybe because I come from a very abusive background with a mother who was very similar to the one described by the main character in the book, but so much in this book just spoke to me. I found it to be a fascinating story full of emotion and drama and fantasy and horror. I couldn't stop turning the pages. Some parts broke my heart and others inspired me to go after dreams in my own life as a writer. A brilliant debut novel with as much food for thought. I highly recommend!
  • (3/5)
    Different is the best way to describe this book. The sisters Imogen and Marin suffered emotional abuse from their mother throughout their childhood, the effects of which have lingered into their adult lives. Now a writer and a dancer respectively, Imogen and Marin have both won spots at an exclusive artist's retreat. Only things take a turn fantastical and they soon find their sisterly bond threatened. An interesting book and very different from the other things I've read - I still can't quite decide if I liked it or not.
  • (4/5)
    Expected to like this from reviews et al, but what I didn't expect was how immersive & absorbing it was especially in the final act. Very well done
  • (4/5)
    Despite the fact that it has fairies, which are not my favorite magical creatures, I rather enjoyed this. I got involved with the two sisters and I enjoyed some of the side characters as well. It is interesting how Howard wrote this, with the writing sister sometimes including stories that reflect on what is happening around her. I got a little frustrated early on, when it was clear to the discerning reader what was going on at Melete, and the main character hadn't figured it out yet, but that didn't last very long, and then the interesting part became how the two sisters dealt with it.
  • (5/5)
    I really enjoyed this book I loved how it entangled the fairy with the present and kept you into the story, I didn’t want to stop listening.
  • (5/5)
    Amazing! I could not stop listening! Such an interesting and unique story! Kat Howard is an artist with words!
  • (5/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    To me, the testament of a good story is how long it sticks with you after you finish. My favorite books are the ones that, no matter what else you might be doing, are always at the back of your mind. Wooing you. Reminding you that they exist. Begging for another read through. Kat Howard's Roses and Rot hasn't unleashed me from its magical confines yet. I finished it well over two days ago, and it just won't leave me be. I tell you, I'm not even upset. All I really want is a hardcover of this so I can lovingly read it over and over again.

    I love fairy tales, with all of my being. To be more specific, I love the fairy tales that are a bit on the darker side. The ones where people might be changed forever, or even die. The ones were love only prevails after sacrifice. That's exactly how Howard's writing captured me. Imogen's story is equal parts heartbreaking and uplifting. It deals with the definition of love, with sisterhood, and with all the blood, sweat and tears that go into passionate art. Imogen's life is revealed in tandem. Both her present, and her past, play a part in the fairy tale that she is unknowingly being woven into. It's magical, and trust me when I say it's easy to get lost in.

    Which brings me to my next two points. First of all, this is a very difficult book to read at times. It does deal with childhood abuse, both of the verbal and physical varieties. Like all good fairy tales, it also has its very sad portions, so be warned. My biggest warning though, is that this book is extremely hard to put down. Chances are high that you won't want to set it down at all. So this is me giving you a heads up, before you end up staying up well into the wee hours of the morning because you started this before bed. It's addictive.

    I don't hand out five star reviews very easily. A book has to truly sweep me up, in order to make its way onto my list of favorite books. Roses and Rot did just that. I'm thrilled that I was able to read this, and saddened that it's over. I'll miss Melete, and all its magic. Another read through can't come soon enough.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (5/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    Sometimes, a book is so good, so perfect, that it touches something so essential to the core of who you are, that there are no words. All you can do is sit very quietly in the glow of the story, and hope - somehow - that if you do not move, the story will never end.

    I'd like to come back later and write a real review, but this is one of the books I go back to the beginning and read again, because I cannot bear for it to end.

    After my second reading, I tweeted the author this:

    “@KatWithSword I read on Kindle, highlight my favorite bits, and share on Goodreads. I’ve never highlighted more than 6 quotes in a novel. I just reread “Roses and Rot,” already a favorite, & have 42 highlights. That book just gets inside me the way few other books do. Thank you.”

    I still don’t think I could articulate *why* this book sucker punches me so well in just the right way, but I love fantasy. I love fairy tales. I love dark, atmospheric things that burn. I love stories that wrap their tendrils so deep inside your heart that they can never leave. This book does *not* disappoint.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (5/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    "Once upon a time." Kat Howard's Roses and Rot begins as a story of two talented sisters, and blooms into extraordinarily rendered modern faerie tale filled with night markets and wild hunts, glorious art, ambition, and deep passion.

    With Roses and Rot, Howard opens a door to the other side, and beckons you through to a place that can fulfill all your dreams But be warned, there is a price: "once upon a time" is as much a demand as it is an invitation, and some may not return from the passage.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (2/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    I found this book to be unlikely, unbelievable; the characters and especially their motivations were not convincing. the beginning had a lot of promise for a chapter or two, but then it went in a direction I did not enjoy.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (4/5)
    Imogen and her younger sister Marin escaped their abusive childhood, though not undamaged. Both of them have been selected for an exclusive artistic mentoring program that seems more than perfect. Both of them find good mentors and sexy love interests—and then secrets start to emerge. For every faerie gift, there is a price, and Imogen’s retellings of fairy tales turn out to be more relevant than she might’ve wished. It’s an elegant retelling of Tam Lin, along with a meditation on escaping a terrible past and the compromises people make to do so.
  • (4/5)
    Sisters Imogen and Marin had horrible childhoods, victims of a narcissistic, controlling, physically and emotionally abusive mother. Both fled home at the first chance, and became very good at what they do: Imogen writing, and Marin dancing. When Marin applies to an elite arts program, she convinces Imogen to do the same, and they are both accepted, and even housed in the same building: a beautiful Victorian, complete with tower room. As soon as Imogen arrives, things start to seem strange. The campus is huge, with buildings spread far apart. Each building at Melete is different and amazing- there is a castle with a moat as one lodging. The studios are equally unique. A river runs through the property, with unique bridges at intervals. There is even one bridge that stops abruptly halfway across the river. On certain nights, a sort of market is held, and people appear who seem…. different. On All Hallows Eve, all the residents take a ride across the river- over the suddenly whole broken bridge- and Imogen realizes that Melete is run by Faerie. And that there is a prize they give, but with a steep price: a chance at amazing success at their art, but they must live in Faerie for seven years, allowing the Fae to feed on their emotions. Suddenly, Imogen and Marin are in competition against each other. The characters have to work through their issues; Imogen and Marin have the insecurity their mother beat into them, as well as issues with each other that she instilled with lies. Other residents have parent issues, as well as the decision as to whether they want to succeed on their own terms or vie for the prize. And romantic issues. It’s complicated. I enjoyed the book, and the concept of the tithe and the Fae needing to feed off human emotions. It’s a modern fairy tale, with one dark sister and one golden. But something seemed lacking. The Fae and their world were never developed at all; except for the King, they are pretty much off stage. We know their world is dark and that is about it. They seemed like a gimmick to power the sibling rivalry and other issues. The characters seemed rather 2 dimensional. The whole book seemed to lack depth. This *is* a first novel, so I hope to see more work from this author, and hope that her work will
  • (5/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    Pros: lyrical writing, thought provoking, evocativeCons: Imogen is a writer while her younger sister Marin is a ballet dancer. Their mother supported Marin’s beauty and talent, as they reflected positively on her. She denounced Imogen’s storytelling as lies, punishing her as necessary. Imogen escaped but had to leave her sister behind. They grew up. This is the fairytale of two sisters, coming together after a decade apart, to work on their arts in an artist’s colony where things aren’t as they appear. I loved this book. It resonated with me on so many levels. Howard captures the hard work, the fear, the loneliness, the exhilaration of being an artist, believing in yourself one moment while wondering if you’re good enough the next. She also captures the emotional turmoil of a broken family: the guilt, the attempts to reconcile the truth you know from the truth others believe, protecting yourself from harm while constantly dreading the next attack - whether physical or verbal. The book is so lyrically written, it’s prose is beautiful, and often heart-wrenching. The snippets of Imogen’s stories that retell her childhood are so sad and yet so hopeful as well. The descriptions are vivid and lush, easy to picture and viscerally present as events progress.I loved the characters and the hints of what’s happening at Melete, the campus where they’re studying. Everything felt real. The characters impacted each others lives in ways it was hard to imagine when the novel started. Though I thought there were times when Imogen should have been more honest and open with her sister, I can understand why such intimacy was difficult for them, given their upbringing and past.This is a brilliant book and I can’t recommend it enough.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (4/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    Imogen and Marin are sisters who were once best friends. When Imogen left their abusive home years ago, they never kept in touch despite her reaching out. Now, they just recently began talking again and agreed to apply for Melete, a prestigious artist colony, in their specific area of expertise. Imogen is a writer while Marin is a dancer. Both are accepted and both are excited yet nervous to live together again. The past is ignored and they pick up where they left off. As their residency goes on, they are both chosen to possibly get an extension to stay and work on their craft, but it rapidly becomes clear that both of them can't get this coveted prize and the colony is not as benevolent and normal as they thought.Imogen came from a violent home thanks to her abusive mother. Imogen was the sole target of the violence, but Marin shared the emotional abuse and manipulation their mother doled out on a daily basis. Imogen coped by leaving for boarding school after a horrific event that left her scarred for life. It's nice to see the view of people with abusive family members who aren't eager to visit them on holidays or happy to receive letters or gifts from them. As shown in the story, these gifts and other forms of communication are often laced with emotional bombs that aim to hurt and sabotage. I can see Imogen's point of view and I understand her motivations even as they're being misinterpreted by others.Melete appears to be a beautiful, eclectic haven for artists with a large dose of whimsy. At first, everything is idyllic and inviting for new art. After a while, the pressure starts to get to people because they are supposed to be doing something brilliant while they are there. Imogen starts to see things that get more and more difficult to explain away. Melete is closely tied to another world that infuses it with magic that at first is wonderful, but then shows its dark side. The novel is entrenched in fairy tales and the writing shows the positive and negative aspects. Some forget with the popularity of Disney films that fairy tales punish harshly as often as they dole out rewards. Magic beings are the same. They can bestow luck and seem benevolent, but they are inhuman at their core. Howard does a wonderful job of portraying both the beautiful and sinister parts of her fantasy world.The one thing I found lacking was Marin. She is more removed because the novel is primarily through Imogen's eyes. Her choices and actions just confused me. She always seemed to assume the worst when it came to Marin and even cut her deeply with lines right out of their abusive mother's mouth. Her insecurity causes her to be quite cruel to Imogen to an almost cartoonish degree. I wish her character would have been more nuanced because I just wanted her gone by the end and found her undeserving of all of Imogen's efforts to save her. Other than that, Roses and Rot was a darkly magical read. I will definitely be looking forward to more from Kat Howard.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (4/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    An entertaining read. Since it draws heavily from 'The Ballad of Tam Lin' I knew the general direction it was going, but the book is its own entity enough that I was able to be surprised by different plot events. The prose was not my favorite, the ending felt rushed, and Marin was somewhat flat as a character, but overall I enjoyed it.Trigger warnings for child abuse, gaslighting, suicide.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (3/5)
    If I had to label this book, I'd call it a New Adult Fairy Tale, which I know some readers will devour. For me, ROSES AND ROT was an okay story, though not as "Gothic" as I was expecting.Two sisters, Imogen and Marin, are accepted into an exclusive artists' colony called Melete. Only the best of the best are invited to join. It seems wonderful in theory, especially since the sisters have different talents and wouldn't be in competition with each other. Well, not everything is as it seems at Melete. I had a hard time connecting with the characters - they weren't that interesting to me, though the crazy fairy tale their lives became was entertaining. What really kept me listening was the narration by Madeleine Maby. I love her voice, and she knows how to expertly tell a story.Disclosure: I received a download of this audiobook from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
  • (3/5)
    Roses and Rot is about two sisters who are accepted into an artists' residency program which isn't as perfect as it initially appears to be. I like stories that play around with fairytales, and I particularly like "Tam Lin" retellings. I appreciated the way this story does something different with the Tam Lin narrative, and I really liked Imogen's stories and her musings about fairytales and writing. However...Imogen and Marin's background and family dynamic are not things I can relate to. Nor can I relate to their experiences of ambition. I don't need to be able to personally relate if the story makes me understand where the characters are coming from - but Roses and Rot didn't do that. I wasn't invested in the characters' choices - I wasn't emotionally invested in the characters at all, unless being frustrated at their choices counts.And perhaps the most frustrating thing was how close but not quite the whole thing was. Like this was a draft for a novel I could have loved, if it hadn't been published too soon. Definitely a Your Mileage May Vary book.People say they want a fairy tale life, but what they really want is the part that happens off the page, after the oven has been escaped, after the clock strikes midnight. They want the part that doesn't come with glass slippers still stained with a stepsister's blood, or a lover blinded by an angry mother's thorns.If you live through a fairy tale, you don't make it through unscathed or unchanged.