cover image Roses and Rot

Roses and Rot

Kat Howard. S&S/Saga, $24.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4814-5116-1

Howard weaves a dark and enticing tale of sisterly bonds, fairy promises, and the price of artistic success in this lushly written debut fantasy set in the present-day U.S. As a child, Imogen was certain that no fairy tale stepmother could possibly be crueler than her own mother, a controlling tyrant. Fortunately, Imogen and her younger sister, Marin, escaped to pursue their dreams: Imogen as a writer, Marin a dancer. After seven years apart, the women are reunited when both are selected to be fellows at Melete, a prestigious artist colony in rural New Hampshire. Melete’s fantastical campus seems perfect, but the sisters learn it’s hiding an extraordinary secret: Melete’s creative energy feeds the Fair Folk. Every seven years, the most promising Fellow is taken to live in Faery—and Imogen and Marin are shortlisted for this dubious honor. Howard’s characters are deftly drawn, and her writing is seductive as fairy magic. This story will resonate with readers long after the last page. (May)