Review: The Cursed Rose by Leslie Vedder

The Cursed Rose by Leslie Vedder

The Cursed Rose (The Bone Spindle #3)
Leslie Vedder
Published February 6, 2024

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

About The Cursed Rose

The fate of a cursed kingdom rests on ancient secrets, broken promises, and fierce friendships in this gasp-worthy final book of the bestselling twisted fairytale Bone Spindle series.

Not all curses should be broken. Not all fairytales end happily ever after.

Fi is a prisoner. Briar, a monster.
Shane’s a warrior. And Red is a traitor.

What was once a formidable group of four fighting to reawaken the kingdom is now ruptured, torn apart by the wicked Spindle Witch.

Confined to a tower with the monstrous Briar Rose, Fi is caught in the Spindle Witch’s ever-tightening web. With the Spindle Witch on the verge of finding the Siphoning Spells and crushing Andar—with Fi’s help, no less—Fi’s only hope lies in decoding the ancient riddle of the Rose Witches before she loses Briar forever.

Shane is desperate to save Andar—and her partner. She’s on the hunt for a weapon left by the mysterious Lord of the Butterflies, which holds the key to the Spindle Witch’s demise. Her love for Red has only fortified. But Red’s betrayal puts her in danger from a new enemy—the Spindle Witch’s executioner, the Wraith, a witch as powerful as he is cruel.

The future of Andar lies in the secrets of its past. Fi and Shane must take on the greatest lost ruin of them all—the Tomb of Queen Aurora.

Filled with vicious bone monsters, new alliances, and surprises at every turn, prepare to be swept away by this taut, clever, and heart-filled series conclusion.

The Cursed Rose on Goodreads

My Review

This is one of the books I’ve been most anticipating for this year. The first book in the series was my favorite in 2022, so I’ve been a fan since page one.

The story began as a gender-flipped Sleeping Beauty reimagining, but it’s so much more than that. Not only are there other fairy tales woven in (Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel), but the whole magic system and story world is deeply interesting and original.

The magic system– some characters are witches, born with an innate affinity for a certain kind of magic. A witch might be able to speak to animals or walk in dreams. They’re limited to the specific kind of magic they have, and the witches with the most powerful magic can become Great Witches, which gives them some leadership responsibilities and means they give up their names and are known only by their titles, such as the Dream Witch or the Paper Witch. I thought that whole setup was really cool.

Additionally… I love the characters. This book mostly follows the point of view of three female characters: Fi, Shane, and Red. Fi and Shane have been treasure-hunting partners since the first book, and Shane and Red have a complicated history. They began as enemies but are now on the same team. Before they can face their feelings for one another, Red needs to process her guilt over the things she did as an agent of the Spindle Witch.

Because Briar has become a monstrous version of himself, there aren’t a lot of scenes that show what he thinks and feels. He’s slowly turning into this terrifying bone creature, and Fi isn’t sure she can save him, but she won’t give up trying.


The Bone Spindle series is like a gender-flipped Indiana Jones and Sleeping Beauty mashup. If you like stories about treasure hunters, witches, and magic, definitely check out the series, starting with THE BONE SPINDLE.

I read almost the whole book in a single sitting one evening and then finished reading it first thing the following morning. I loved getting to visit this fantasy world and following Shane, Red, Briar, and Fi all the way to the final pages of their tale. Now I can’t wait to see what Leslie Vedder writes next!

The Cursed Rose on Bookshop

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 12 up.

Red and Shane have romantic feelings for one another.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Mild profanity used infrequently.

Romance/Sexual Content
Kissing between two girls. Kissing between boy and girl. Two (minor characters) boys were once in a romantic relationship with each other.

Spiritual Content
Some characters have the ability to perform magic. One witch has the ability to possess others who are sleeping. Another can walk in their dreams. A different witch can bring back the dead.

Violent Content
Situations of peril. Some battle scenes. The Spindle Witch uses golden thread to torture prisoners in her custody. A girl reads a dark fairy tale about a child locked in a tower. The story resembles Rapunzel, and the reader can’t help thinking about the cruelty of isolating someone like that and the trauma that would cause.

Drug Content

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but which help support this blog. I received a free copy of THE CURSED ROSE in exchange for my honest review. All opinions my own.

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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