Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Rose Red trusts no one with her secret. She hides in the forest, her face veiled in rags, shunning the company of all save her old father and her nanny goat. Her life is bleak and lonely.
Until she meets a privileged young man sent to spend his summer in the mountains. Leo, a lonely lad, befriends Rose Red, and together they begin hunting for the Mountain Monster which, rumor says, stalks these lands.
But the hunt which began as a game holds greater risk than Leo supposes. Rose Red can scarcely guess at the consequences should he insist on continuing his search. Dare she trust him with her secret? Or tell him what dwells at the top of the mountain in the cave only she can find?
Above all, when Leo asks Rose Red to leave the mountain and follow him to the low country, dare she agree and risk the wrath of a Monster that is all too real?
My Take: Okay, I'll admit it. I didn't like Prince Lionheart when I read Heartless, the first book in this series. I thought he was selfish and a coward. I only knew that he lied about who he was and felt that he used Princess Una in a horrible way. I grew to think of him just as Leo in this book and I loved him. I guess that shows you how important knowing a person's back story can be. lol I think I liked this book overall even better than the first. Maybe it's the series effect (growing to love the characters and setting more over each book) but I was glued to the pages of this book.
I think a lot of it had to do with Rose Red. I loved her character and the author did a masterful job of keeping up the suspense of who and what she really was. Rose herself didn't know - and this aura of mystery and very real danger made you want to keep flipping pages until you knew what was going to happen to her.
I also was impressed with the ... complexity of the relationships explored. It isn't as simple as boy meets girl, boy chases girl, boy loses girl, boy wins girl again, and then boy and girl live happily every after. This was filled with lots of intertwined and complicated relationships that (although this is a fantasy novel) mirrored the way real people might interact with one another. Nothing is as simple as all black or all white.
This story still has some allegorical or symbolic elements, but it isn't as pronounced as in the first book. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and would suggest it to anyone who likes to read this genre. I want to thank Bethany House for providing me a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.