Steampunk + Roses + Beauty & the Beast (The Rose and the Balloon Review)

Cover5_storyThe Rose and the Balloon

A Beauty and the Beast Story

(Once Upon a Twist Tales, #1)

by Kirsten Fichter

YA / Fairy Tale Retelling / Steampunk / Novella / Beauty and the Beast

I received a free e-copy of this book from the author — many thanks! — in return for my honest review, and these opinions are entirely my own.

5starrating

The instant I saw that this novella was coming out, I knew I had to read it. Fairytale retellings are my favorite, and Beauty and the Beast… with hot air balloons? Now this I had to try!

I was delighted to have the chance to read it for review, and I’m glad to report: I. LOVED. IT. I can’t think of a single thing I disliked about it! This novella was a simply marvelous quick read which I so enjoyed. ❀

The story and writing were charmingly witty, crisp and fast-paced, yet flowing with an easy, natural feeling, so that it did not seem too quick at all. It was adventurous, amusing, and alternated between fun and an elegant sort of fairytale feel, all mixed in with the delightful chaos of characters with minds of their own who take the story and sweep the reader along on a wonderfully fun ride.

There was a strong theme of love and of family, which I absolutely ADORED. There don’t seem to be many books with a focus on family, so this one was so nice to read. πŸ™‚ Yes, they’re slightly disjointed families and have a lot to overcome, but you can tell they love each other all the same. ^_^ Janelle and her father, and Dmitri and his mother and twin siblings. Just… really well-written relationships, even in the short amount of pages. The bit of romance in there was so enjoyable too — I always love me a good Beauty and the Beast tale. πŸ˜‰

The setting and “feel” of the story were great. There’s a light dusting of steampunk (mostly hot air balloons — yay!), and it seemed like a pseudo-historical setting (no magic), which was so well-drawn I felt it must be real; and yet still held the classic sort of fairytale feel I love. (Can I just go live in the castle, specifically the library, please??)

The characters were marvelous! Prince Dmitri was the absolute BEST! I loved him. A great hero, who I was rooting for the whole time, and loved reading about. ❀ Janelle and Dmitri are both fiery whirlwinds, and when they collide — boy, is it a storm to remember! Several storms, throughout… πŸ˜„ I just LOVED their bickering and conversations — it was all gold and really made the book spark. I JUST LOVED THEM TOGETHER SO MUCH. ^_^ And then the twins! They were fantastic! πŸ˜€ Princess Nicoline and Prince Nicolas were SO much fun to read about! Their antics were a blast and I loved their prank wars. πŸ˜„ Even “Crazy Maeva” (a.k.a. the queen) and Lord Roux (Janelle’s father, who was an excellently written character, I felt) and the other side characters, were all well painted and so vivid. Overall a great cast, and one I would love to read more about! (I also loved their names. :D)

There were nods to the Disney film version of Beauty and the Beast, and the retelling itself was fun in this little book — fairly subtle but still there, despite the lack of fantasy elements. It’s new and yet still recognizably Beauty and the Beast in some way, and I loved it. ^_^ Also, the role of all the roses in the story was fabulous! ALL THE ROSES. I loved that. πŸ˜€

I might have wished it was longer, simply because I didn’t want to leave these characters! I could have spent ages with them. ❀ But really it’s the perfect bite-sized enjoyable length to devour in a sitting or two, so I can’t really complain about that either. πŸ™‚ No complaints! It was just perfect. ^_^ *hugs book*

All in all, it was a delightful little bite-sized retelling, suitable for all ages, with memorable characters and an airballoon full of fun. I highly recommend it and can’t wait to read more from this talented new author!

About the Book

Cover5_story

In a kingdom where fauna and flora are held in higher esteem than breakfast, Dmitri is a prince who yearns for change and plans it in a single daring act that will alter his life forever. However, when his demented mother accidentally causes the destruction of a prized garden of roses, Dmitri is horrified when she proposes his hand in marriage to make up for it. Not only will a wife hamper his glorious plans, he doesn’t even want one.

Janelle has spent her whole life on her father’s rose farm, tending the roses and staying simple. But she really yearns for something greater than the flower beds. But now there’s a wrench thrown in the works – the crazy Queen Maeva wants her to marry the prince, and all for ruining her father’s beloved roses.

This is Beauty and the Beast with a twist like you’ve never seen it before.

The Rose and the Balloon released August, 2016.

Find it online:

Amazon | Createspace | Goodreads


About Kirsten Fichter

AuthorPic1Kirsten Fichter is a twenty-something Christian writer who is trying to find the balance between being one of six kids, a church pianist, a college student, a movie buff, a disaster in the kitchen, and a writing INFP. If you know what the secret is to balancing all of that, she’d be grateful to hear from you. Otherwise, don’t contact her unless you want to send her homemade gingerbread. Or a new piano book. Or an autographed Charles Dickens novel. In the meantime, she’ll be somewhere under a maple tree – trying very hard to finish the seventeen and half other stories she unwisely started all at once.

You can find her online at her blog (Lianne Taimenlore), Twitter: @KiriLiz, and on Goodreads.

Don’t you think Beauty and the Beast and Steampunk is an excellent combination? Are you curious about it? *wriggles eyebrows* Maybe you’d like to give this novella a try! (What am I saying; of course you do, because it’s AWESOME and we all need more awesome in our lives. *nods sagely*)

Also! Do you have a favorite Beauty and the Beast retelling?? TELL, TELL! πŸ˜€

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15 thoughts on “Steampunk + Roses + Beauty & the Beast (The Rose and the Balloon Review)

  1. YAAAAY!!! I KNEW YOU’D LOVE IT. It just FELT like the kind of book that’d make you happy. πŸ˜€

    This review was perfect, and, again, basically gave ALL my thoughts on the story. I agree with everything! The plots (HOT AIR BALLOONS), the setting, the characters (weren’t the twins so fun???), just EVERYTHING was a delight. I adored these charries and want more of them! *huggles them*

    And I want to come live with you in the castle library!

    Aaahhh, I just loved this whole story. Your wonderful review brought it all back to life. *happy sigh*

    Liked by 1 person

    • YES I DID! You know me so well. πŸ˜„

      Thank you so muuuch, Lauri! I’m so glad you liked meh li’l ol’ review. ^_^ HOT AIR BALLOONS AND TWINS AND ALL THE THINGS. *hugs it with you* We totally need more with these characters. o.o

      *immediately begins making plans to move into the castle library with you*

      <333

      Like

  2. Aw, thanks, Deborah!! πŸ˜€ I’m so glad you loved it!! Totally just made my day! I love the way you put this together and wrote it all down. I was grinning like an idiot all the way through reading this, and I still can’t seem to wipe the grin away. If only college and classes weren’t in the way, I’d be tempted to pull up the second book in the series and get that all finished and polished up. #oneday

    Thank you again!!! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 2 people

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