Skip to main content

Snow White and Rose Red

I have been on a retelling kick the past couple of weeks. It is my way of fortifying myself before reading a bunch of contemporary fiction for 9-12 year olds so I can finalize the book report list for the literature class I'm teaching. Snow White and Rose Red by Patricia C. Wrede was mostly enjoyable for me but I can see how it would not be enjoyed by everyone.
This novel adaptation of the Grimm tale takes place in an Elizabethan London suburb right on the edge of the forest containing the border to Faerie and manages to pull in a little from the story of Thomas the Rhymer. So lots going on. The princes in the tale are the sons of the Faerie Queen and Thomas. The youngest is transformed into a bear because of the machinations of some wizards trying to steal power from Faerie. His plight is not helped by the fact that there are powers in Faerie who want to see a break with the mortal world and feel the need to get rid of the Queen's half mortal sons. Fortunately, Blanche and Rosamund (Snow White and Rose Red) are savvy in the ways of Faerie and the daughters of a woman practiced in the magical arts of mortals. The bear prince and his brother were fortunate to stumble upon them and for their willingness to help.

The story here is an interesting one . Each chapter begins with a snippet from the original tale that covers what is taking place in the novel. The action moves from the cottage to the Faerie realm to the plotting of the wizards with stops to check on the shenanigans of the villagers. This got to be a bit much and by the end I was ready for it to be over and felt it was dragging a bit.

Due to the abundance of plot the characters were not well developed. There were simply too many of them. I enjoyed both of the princes and their friend Robin. I liked the widow's cautious practicality and willingness to help. For half the novel though I couldn't remember which girl was which. I had this problem until their prospective husbands showed up and I could match them. I am not sure I like what that is saying but that is probably mostly a problem in my own head.

Because I enjoy retellings and stories about the political maneuvering of Faerie I was able to enjoy this. It is not the best I have read of either of these. The dialogue is in Elizabethan English which might put some people off as well. If you are a  person with limited time on your hands and looking for a retelling with Faerie and Queen Elizabeth involved I would say read The Perilous Gard instead.


Popular posts from this blog

TTT: Most Recent Additions to My TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly themed blog hop created by  The Broke and the Bookish  and now hosted at  That Artsy Reader Girl . This Week's Topic: Most Recent Additions to My TBR List From Most Recent to Least: What books have recently caught your eye?

Favorite Kissing Scenes

When thinking of a favorite things post I could do for February I decided it would have to be kissing. I've already done couples and I was feeling in the mood to do something fluffy and Valentine's related. So kisses it is. I read more MG than YA, and the YA I read tends to not focus on romance so this was actually harder than I expected it to be though a few jumped into my head right away. (And one of my choices does actually come from a MG book. One is adult. Gasp!) The actual scene from the book is quoted followed by my thoughts. The king lifted a hand to her cheek and kissed her. It was not a kiss between strangers, not even a kiss between a bride and a groom. It was a kiss between a man and his wife, and when it was over, the king closed his eyes and rested his forehead against the hollow of the queen's shoulder, like a man seeking respite, like a man reaching home at the end of the day . - The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner Turner doesn't write the


Shadowshaper  by Daniel José Older is everywhere. Best of lists. Award buzz. Blogs everywhere. It's one of those books everyone is reading and talking about. I had it on my TBR but decided I definitely needed to read it before the year was out just so I could weigh in on one of the most talked about books of 2015 if asked. It is deserving of every good thing said about it. Every. One. Sierra was looking forward to a relaxing summer break. Her plans involved hanging out with her friends and painting. They did not involve being chased by zombie like creatures and threatened by a magical power connected to her family's heritage she has never heard of. When murals begin fading all over her Brooklyn neighborhood, Sierra is perplexed. When her grandfather, who had a stroke, begins to apologize and starts repeating strange phases and insisting Sierra get the help of a boy she barely knows to help her finish her mural, Sierra is concerned but mostly about her grandfather. Then at a

Jinx's Fire

I have been a big fan of Jinx and company from the very first book, which felt like such a perfect Brandy book. The conclusion of Sage Blackwood's trilogy, Jinx's Fire , finished the story beautifully and is definitely my favorite of the three. Spoilers for first two books abound. Read those first: Jinx Jinx's Magic The Urwald is in danger from more than one direction and has no hope of defending itself if there is not unity amongst the people. Jinx, Sophie, Elfwyn, Wendell, and a dedicated group of others are working to make this happen as quickly as they can. Time is running out. At the same time, they are still dealing with the threat of the Bonemaster from within, and the Urwald's magic is fading. Where is it going? Can it be restored? And where has the Bonemaster put Simon? Jinx is the only one who can find the answers to these questions, and harnass the Urwald's power to save them all, but only if he is willing. Jinx has some serious attitude in this

Serafina and the Black Cloak

Serafina and the Black Cloak  by Robert Beatty is a thrilling tale of mystery and adventure set at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC in 1899. Having lived in Asheville and visited the house several times, there was no way I was going to pass up a chance to read this. (Also it's MG fantasy, always a bonus for me.) Serafina lives in secret in the basement of the Vanderbilt's spacious vacation home. She has lived there most of her life. Her father worked on the house as it was being built and is the mechanic who runs the massive generator and keeps the electricity going. Serafina is the chief rat catcher, slipping through the halls of her massive home secretly and quietly. She is light on her feet, sees well in the dark, and is quick enough to catch the vermin and keep them out. Serafina knows she if different and strange. Her father insists she stay hidden. But all that changes when one night Serafina witnesses a horrible crime. A little girl, a guest in the house, is fleein