Book Drunkard

“I am simply a 'book drunkard.' Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.” L.M. Montgomery

Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth, review and giveaway


The amazing power and truth of the Rapunzel fairy tale comes alive for the first time in this breathtaking tale of desire, black magic and the redemptive power of love

French novelist Charlotte-Rose de la Force has been banished from the court of Versailles by the Sun King, Louis XIV, after a series of scandalous love affairs. At the convent, she is comforted by an old nun, Sœur Seraphina, who tells her the tale of a young girl who, a hundred years earlier, is sold by her parents for a handful of bitter greens…

After Margherita’s father steals parsley from the walled garden of the courtesan Selena Leonelli, he is threatened with having both hands cut off, unless he and his wife relinquish their precious little girl. Selena is the famous red-haired muse of the artist Tiziano, first painted by him in 1512 and still inspiring him at the time of his death. She is at the center of Renaissance life in Venice, a world of beauty and danger, seduction and betrayal, love and superstition.

Locked away in a tower, Margherita sings in the hope that someone will hear her. One day, a young man does.

Award-winning author Kate Forsyth braids together the stories of Margherita, Selena, and Charlotte-Rose, the woman who penned Rapunzel as we now know it, to create what is a sumptuous historical novel, an enchanting fairy tale retelling, and a loving tribute to the imagination of one remarkable woman.


BITTER GREENS by Kate Forsyth is part Historical Fiction, part fantasy, and all amazing!  I absolutely love that the retelling of Fairy Tales is a thing – because who doesn’t love a good fairy tale?  Adding historic details and real people and places into the mix is complete genius!

The story is told from the points of view of three different characters – Charlotte-Rose, Margherita, and Selena.  I enjoyed each of their stories and found the characters to be well developed and really interesting, each in their own ways.  Charlotte-Rose was probably my least favourite of the trio.  I just couldn’t seem to connect to her as much as I did to the other two.  Selena was the one I looked forward to reading about the most.  Her story was so intriguing to me I just couldn’t get enough.

I’m an absolute fan of Kate Forsyth now.  I hope she continues to write books of this genre because I think she does an absolutely fantastic job at it.  The historical elements show that she did a lot of research.  On the other hand, the fairy tale vibe is perfect.  The complex blend of the two really is perfection.


I have one print copy of BITTER GREENS to give away to one lucky reader of my blog!  Please leave a comment with your email address (so I can contact you if you win) and also, share your favourite fairy tale!  The winner will be announced on September 30th.  Good luck!


Kate Forsyth wrote her first novel at the age of seven, and is now the internationally bestselling & award-winning author of thirty books, ranging from picture books to poetry to novels for both adults and children. She was recently voted one of Australia’s Favourite 20 Novelists, and has been called ‘one of the finest writers of this generation. She is also an accredited master storyteller with the Australian Guild of Storytellers, and has told stories to both children and adults all over the world.

Her most recent book for adults is a historical novel called ‘The Wild Girl’, which tells the true, untold love story of Wilhelm Grimm and Dortchen Wild, the young woman who told him many of the world’s most famous fairy tales. Set during the Napoleonic Wars, ‘The Wild Girl’ is a story of love, war, heartbreak, and the redemptive power of storytelling, and was named the Most Memorable Love Story of 2013.

She is probably most famous for ‘Bitter Greens’, a retelling of the Rapunzel fairy tale interwoven with the dramatic life story of the woman who first told the tale, the 17th century French writer, Charlotte-Rose de la Force. ‘Bitter Greens’ has been called ‘the best fairy tale retelling since Angela Carter’, and has been nominated for a Norma K. Hemming Award, the Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Fiction, and a Ditmar Award.

Her most recent book for children is ‘Grumpy Grandpa’, a charming picture book that shows people are not always what they seem.

Since ‘The Witches of Eileanan’ was named a Best First Novel of 1998 by Locus Magazine, Kate has won or been nominated for numerous awards, including a CYBIL Award in the US. She’s also the only author to win five Aurealis awards in a single year, for her Chain of Charms series – beginning with ‘The Gypsy Crown’ – which tells of the adventures of two Romany children in the time of the English Civil War. Book 5 of the series, ‘The Lightning Bolt’, was also a CBCA Notable Book.

Kate’s books have been published in 14 countries around the world, including the UK, the US, Russia, Germany, Japan, Turkey, Spain, Italy, Poland and Slovenia. She is currently undertaking a doctorate in fairytale retellings at the University of Technology, having already completed a BA in Literature and a MA in Creative Writing.

Kate is a direct descendant of Charlotte Waring, the author of the first book for children ever published in Australia, ‘A Mother’s Offering to her Children’. She lives by the sea in Sydney, Australia, with her husband, three children, and many thousands of books.

For more information please visit Kate Forsyth’s website and blog. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter,Pinterest, and Goodreads.



Many thanks to Amy at HFVBT for asking me to be part of this tour!

Monday, September 15
Guest Post & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, September 16
Review at Kinx’s Book Nook
Review & Giveaway at Bookish

Wednesday, September 17
Review & Giveaway at Literary, etc
Review & Giveaway at Book Drunkard

Thursday, September 18
Review & Giveaway at Build a Bookshelf
Review & Giveaway at The Eclectic Reader

Friday, September 19
Review at The Maiden’s Court
Review & Giveaway at Icey Books

Monday, September 22
Review & Giveaway at Luxury Reading
Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway at A Dream Within a Dream
Spotlight at Flashlight Commentary

Tuesday, September 23
Review at Book Dilettante
Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway at SurLaLune

Wednesday, September 24
Review at Caroline Wilson Writes
Review, Interview, and Giveaway at Ink Gypsy
Review, Interview, and Giveaway at The Lit Bitch

Thursday, September 25
Review & Giveaway at No BS Book Reviews
Interview & Giveaway at Just One More Chapter

Friday, September 26
Review at The Gilmore Guide to Books
Review at Must Read Faster

Monday, September 29
Review at Book Lovers Paradise
Review & Giveaway at Bookworm Blues

Tuesday, September 30
Review at The Life & Times of a Book Addict
Review & Excerpt at Books-n-Kisses
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee

Wednesday, October 1
Review at One Book at a Time
Review at Book-alicious Mama
Review & Giveaway at Mina’s Bookshelf
Review & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Thursday, October 2
Interview at Layered Pages
Review & Giveaway at Oh Magic Hour

Friday, October 3
Review at Bibliophilia, Please
Review & Giveaway at Gone Pecan
Review & Giveaway at Words and Peace

Sunday, October 5
Review at Carole’s Ramblings

Monday, October 6
Review at Book Babe
Review at A Bibliotaph’s Reviews
Interview, Excerpt, & Giveaway at Harlequin Junkie

Tuesday, October 7
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Review & Giveaway at The Pretty Good Gatsby

Wednesday, October 8
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time
Review & Giveaway at My Friends Are Fiction

Thursday, October 9
Review at Jorie Loves a Story

Friday, October 10
Review at Mel’s Shelves
Review & Giveaway at No More Grumpy Bookseller
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Monday, October 13
Review at 100 Pages a Day – Stephanie’s Book Reviews
Review & Giveaway at Layers of Thought

Tuesday, October 14
Review & Giveaway at Beth’s Book Reviews

Wednesday, October 15
Review at Crossroad Review
Review at My Tangled Skeins Book Reviews

Thursday, October 16
Review at Cheryl’s Book Nook
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews

Friday, October 17
Review at Mary Gramlich
Review at She Reads Novels

Monday, October 20
Interview & Giveaway at The Reading Frenzy

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14 thoughts on “Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth, review and giveaway

  1. This book sounds like a perfect blend of history and magic! My favorite fairy tale is the Princess and the Pea, maybe because of Once Upon a Mattress. I love these retellings of the old tales.

  2. This book sounds delightful! I loved Rapunzel as a child, so it’ll be exciting to read this mix of historical fiction and fantasy now. My favorite fairy tale was Cinderella because I tend to root for the underdog. The drawing for this book is September 30th? My birthday!!

  3. My favorite fairy tale is Beauty and the Beast. Thanks for the giveaway!

  4. a definite ‘must-read’ for me!!
    my favorite fairy tale is Cinderella!!
    thank you for the giveaway!!

  5. Wow, I just adore the cover of Bitter Greens and am so glad the book is finally being published here, in the US! My very favorite fairy tales are: The Blue Beard, Andersen’s Snow Queen and – yes – Rapunzel! Though up until now I had no idea who wrote it, and this book definitely would made a fabulous addition to my retellings collection. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us, love your review!

    My email evieseo at gmail dot com

  6. I am sooo excited for this book, it sounds like it is exactly everything i love fairy tales a bit of historical fiction, perfection!! My favorite fairy tales are Alice in Wonderland and the Twelve dancing princesses! Thank you for hosting this amazing book review and giveaway. my email is

  7. This is definitely a must read for this autumn! I´m excited to get to read this 🙂 PS The cover looks awesome!

  8. This book sounds wonderful! My favorite fairy tale is probably The Little Mermaid (very melancholy) or The Juniper Tree (when I’m feeling morbid). Thanks for the giveaway! my email is

  9. This book sounds wonderful! I always really liked Snow White and Beauty and the Beast.

  10. My my favorite is Beauty and the Beast.

  11. Hm, hard to say which fairytale is my favorite. I think as a child I loved the children’s version of 1,001 Arabian Nights and African fairytales of Anansi the Spider. I guess I didn’t really care much for “traditional” fairytales.

    I live in Dallas Texas, not Canada

  12. My favorite fairy tale is Cinderella

    emmiller (at) bellsouth (dot) net

  13. This sounds so breathtaking…I think I need to quit everything so I can just read…

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