Friday, December 5, 2008

Briar Rose

Many, many thanks to the blogging community for writing about books such as Jane Yolen's Briar Rose. I would never have heard of it otherwise and I would have missed out on so much. Briar Rose was a real page-turner, which I completely wasn't expecting. It had mystery, love, history and so much more. And parts of it took place in Poland which I thought was very cool, of course.

Briar Rose is part of The Fairy Tale Series created by Teri Windling. In the series, modern authors re-tell fairy tales in unusual ways. Briar Rose is the re-telling of Sleeping Beauty - Jane Yolen must be a genius, I certainly would never have thought of Sleeping Beauty in the way she did.

Basically, the book is about a grandmother who dies and a grand-daughter who tries to find out where her Grandma (her Gemma) came from. Gemma always said that she is Sleeping Beauty and that she came from a castle where everyone fell asleep, until she alone was wakened by a prince's kiss. Now if you want to see how this fits in with Nazi Germany, read the book. I won't tell you any more!

I loved that parts of the book that were set in Poland. Yolen describes Poland and its people and atmosphere exactly right. But many of the accents on Polish words were wrong - including on the one Polish word used most often. I would think that they could have checked that a bit better.

I loved this story and book. I could not tear myself away from it. I'd linger outside my building each morning reading, until I absolutely had to go into work. It's definitely one of this year's favorites and I can't wait to read more in this series and more by Jane Yolen. Any recommendations?

Challenges: Mythopoeic Challenge, Bang Bang Book Challenge


Marg said...

I have been meaning to read this book for ages, and it fits perfectly with the WWII challenge that I have just signed up for! Thanks for posting about it

Ana S. said...

I just adore this book. I'm so glad you thought highly of it too.

"But many of the accents on Polish words were wrong - including on the one Polish word used most often. I would think that they could have checked that a bit better."

I wish authors/editors were more careful with these things too. About 80% of the time, when I see a Portuguese word in a book, there's a mistake in it. I once even saw an author talk about his valued "Portugese" heritage. You'd think he'd know how to spell it if it's so valued :P Anyway, it makes writers look bad, so I wish it wouldn't happen.

As for recommendations: she's written dozens and dozens of books and I've only read a handful, but the last one I read and really enjoyed was The Young Merlin Trilogy (and it won the Mythopoeic award too!) She strikes me as an author you can't go wrong with, though.

joanna said...

Marg - yes it would be perfect for that, hope you enjoy it!

Nymeth - I'm glad you understand about the spelling thing - I thought that maybe only I was that anal. But it's so easy to check! I'll try to get my hands on The Merlin Trilogy as my next one then, thanks!