I glanced back at the wagon. “The fortunteller pricked my finger,” I began. “She was talking of trouble and someone who would be after me.”
My mother narowed her eyes. “Stay away from those who work in blood. It’s dangerous and evil to do blood magic. Never let someone have a drop of your blood again, do you hear me? It’s very important.”
This novella was a great read and I got it for free at Amazon. Based largely on the Snow White fairy tale of when we were kids, there were elements of the tale in this story, yet it was also very different. No, there weren’t any dwarfs named Happy, Dopey and Doc, but there was a mirror, an evil woman and a Huntsman.
Rose Red is named for the Rose Festival where, for two weeks out of the year, the town gathers to pick the roses. The roses are used for various things, for example, the petals are boiled down to make dyes. Not only that, but the more the townspeople pick, the more food they receive for the long winter ahead. Snow White, Rose Red and their mother do what they can to make sure that they have picked as many of the beautiful red roses as it is just the three of them.
Each year on the first day of the Festival of Roses, young men would leave a rose for the girl they thought the prettiest. Rose Red knew that she would never get any roses…she never did. Snow White got them all. Well, that is until the morning of her fourteenth birthday. That morning, Rose Red received her first rose from an anonymous suitor. A boy that would fight for her.
Something else happens to Rose Red that she never knew about until the morning of her birthday–she has a magical power. So does Snow White and her mother. Snow White is able to control water, her mother is able to make the roses bloom, and Rose Red discovers that she can control fire.
Rose Red doesn’t know it yet, but there are other magical creatures amongst them. Strangers come into the town, one of them being the Huntsman. Snow White is immediately drawn to him. He’s flawed, scarred, but she can’t help but want to be near him. She longs for his voice to call her name. Rose Red doesn’t like the looks of him, and their friend William always seems to warn Snow White against being near the Huntsman. Even the Huntsman can’t understand why Snow White would want to be near him since she is so beautiful and he isn’t.
There is a forest nearby that is not safe for the villagers to go into. However, several young girls have gone missing, a monster taking them. Several of the young girls think that Rose Red has something to do with the disappearance of the girls since these particular girls were always taunting Rose Red and Snow White. She doesn’t like the girls that tease them, so does Rose Red have something to do with the girls going missing? What is this monster, and if it’s the reason the girls are going missing, then why? And, what do these strangers to the village have to do with Rose Red and Snow White? Are they in danger from these strangers, or are there other things to fear in this village?
Both girls are brave, fighting and helping others when they need to, but most of all, caring for each other. Rose Red’s character is the emotional driver in this story, moving the pace forward quickly with each step she took.
Set in multilple first person POV, with Rose Red and Snow White each being the narrators of the their story, I loved how the story unfolded since this is my own preferred writing style. I enjoyed the story, wishing only that it could have been longer.
I give this story 5 stars.