A bunch of sci-fi fantasy writers got together a few years ago and released a series of novellas that were classic fairy tales crossed with some sort of other story. I had no idea that’s what was going on when I picked up Briar Rose – I honestly just grabbed it because it was short and because I loved Jane Yolen when I was a tween. Turns out Steve Brust also did one of these, as did a number of other authors I’ve read. I kind of wish they’d release them in compiled volumes – I’d definitely pick them all up.
- The parts of the book that dealt with the Holocaust were very well handled and very touching. I would have had a favorable impression of the book if the section that was a character re-telling his Holocaust experience was the entire story.
- The parts of the book that dealt with the telling of the fairy tale are… interesting. At least somewhat engaging.
- The parts of the book that dealt with the main character searching for the history were entirely useless. I didn’t give a damn about her, and I didn’t really care if she succeeded. Her love interest was bland and predictable, and all the secondary characters were either flat or obnoxious.
The Bottom Line: ….I really don’t know. The book got a lot of critical acclaim, so maybe it’s just me. Still, I’d say skip it unless you’re looking to depress yourself, or just want to debate with me about it.