Review: “Withering Rose” by Kaitlyn Davis

A review by Vanessa.

I purchased this book, the second in the series, as a follow up to the review that I did of Gathering Frost in May 2015, which was originally at the author’s request.

Omorose Bouchene is a very unique girl. But sadly she’s been hiding her special nature for the last 10 years, ever since her world collided with that of Earth and brought magic to the modern world.  Humans do not like magic. It destroyed their world, and if they knew 18 year old Omorose’s secret they would destroy her too.  She lives with a powerful magic inside her that wants to be used, but her curse is that every time she uses the magic it takes a piece of her life. But Omorose doesn’t want to hide anymore, so she escapes the confines of her human home and searches out the King of Beasts in the mountains nearby.  She knows he has magic, so he must accept her and help her as a fellow magic user, right? But the Beast, Cole, isn’t quite what she had imagined, and neither is his kingdom.  What has he been hiding for the past 10 years with only predators like wolves and bears to keep him company?  Omorose is determined to find out, because he might just have the answer to her curse, that she promised her father she would find.

This follow up to Gathering Frost gives a whole new perspective on the world that has grown from the collision of earth with a world that contains magic. This story shows the other side of the magic and non-magic divide; what it’s like to be born with magic but have to hide it in order to live among the humans of earth that despise it. Omorose struggles with that problem; in contrast to the previous heroine Jade who was born without magic and had to learn to live under its sway. Where Jade’s struggle was about learning to be herself in a situation that pressured her to be just like everyone else, Omorose’s struggle is about what it’s like to hide being different when you just want to be the same.

As a twist on Beauty and the Beast, I would call this book a success, but I will have to admit that at times I was finding myself a little apprehensive at the unoriginal path that it seemed to be headed down for a short time. This book delicately balances on the precipice between romantic reimagining, and predictably appropriating what has been done before.  It starts out as it’s own story, but then the similarities to the original story (at least the Disney version) become numerous and a little tiresome. The Beast is gruff but beautiful; the two of them exist as the only two people in a world of their own; when she won’t eat, he yells at her to just starve; he shows her a fantastic library; she finds a room she isn’t supposed to find and he drives her away in fear; she tends to his wounds when they return to the castle… I was a little afraid that this book was going to miss out on the opportunity to stand alone and take the story in a new direction with original moments. Then came the fantastic save! Reality crashes in and the unique and intriguing world in which they are stuck thrusts its dramatic influence back into the story. Fantastic and fun characters are introduced, or in this case re-introduced, and the action and discovery about the mysteries of the magic move the story line forward. It is engaging and a little heart wrenching and makes me anticipate the next book in the series with enthusiasm.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

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