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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I *really* don't like giving bad reviews, since I have to give the author mad credit for doing something I have never done: actually finished something for publication.
However, the pacing on this book needs some serious work. By 30% in, the plot had been hinted at, but hadn't actually gone anywhere yet. By 50%, we finally have plot movement, but it's super duper predictable. The book is filled with descriptions of environments and interactions that are very uniidimensional tropes. Extremely gifted protaganist and her extremely gifted sister escape the clutches of evil mother and are invited to an elite academy, where they are declared the best of the best, and mysterious broody powerful men fall in love with them, much to the chagrin of their crabby roommate, and then they discover a magical world.
It would read like teen fantasy, except it tries really hard to include erotica with a one paragraph lackluster description of intimacy that was supposed to be super...
I thoroughly enjoyed this book by author Kat Howard. She is a lawyer by trade, so I am especially impressed that she did not write a book about crime or law. Rather it is a fairy tale for adults.
Like all good fairy tales, there is good and evil and difficult choices. The story is about two very talented sisters. Imogene is dark haired and is a writer. Marin is fair haired and is a ballet dancer. They are raised by an abusive mother. Imogene escapes and leaves her sister behind. They do not speak for years, until Marin applies to Melete, an exclusive retreat for artists. She urges Imogene to apply and they are both accepted. At first everything is idyllic and almost other-worldly. Each artist has a mentor; a former Melete "graduate" who has had extraordinary success in their field. However, things are not as nice or normal as they seem. Every seven years a resident is chosen as a "tithe" for the powers that rule Melete. After the seven years are served, the...
Roses and Rot is a story about stories, always an ambitious project. It's been said by many thinkers before that when artists choose art as their subject, they're better off addressing some art other than their own. Don't make a movie about a great dancer, because then you have to show the dancing, and no matter how good your performer is, they'll be measuring up against the idea of greatness that the story requires. Write about the great dancer instead, and your audience will fill in whatever they need to. Howard did not make this choice with her novel, a story about a great writer featuring the great writer and showcasing the work of the great writer. The story required its main character to have transcendent talent. In places this made for a stronger choice, but the reader is always aware that this is supposed to be the greatest thing ever, and it does color the experience.
The novel also takes place in a world where the great, respectable, cultured artists of the west...
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