Rose: Briar’s Thorn is the fourth Urban Fairytales book from Erik Schubach. Beginning roughly where the third book ended the previously introduced Rose is able to share her story as the primary narrator. After meeting the other Avatars, each of whom have their own book in the series, Rose is shocked to learn that her curse does not kill them. Of the series this story is the most emotional as Rose has been isolated for so long and in this book she is finally able to connect with humanity and even someone from her past.
While the women of the series are preparing for battle, readers are given a look into Rose and her curse. She shares how she came to have poisoned vines that kill connected to her being through dark magic, which is heartbreaking. Rose slowly begins to allow herself to make friends with all of the core characters in the series and when that happens she begins to feel the madness that has grown within her due to isolation taper down. Beyond being an Avatar herself, Rose feels the most closely connected to The Scales, who are two men that happen to be in charge of the balance of the energies in the world. These men happen to also be identified as two very famous fairy tale writers, who each of the Avatars has had less than kind words for based on how they fictionalized their stories.
Rose: Briar’s Thorn gives readers a more intimate emotional look into how being an Avatar can impact someone’s life and how what allows them to be so powerful can be terrible. I found the character work in this book with Rose to be so wonderfully done and while there is also an epic battle, I found myself more invested in just learning about this woman and her life. This is a perfect addition to the Urban Fairytales series and if you haven’t checked them out yet you absolutely need to.
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