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Snow White and Rose Red by Patricia C. Wrede

Review by Caleyna 2004-02-24

As a lover of fairy tales, I was exited to finally get my hands on Snow White and Rose Red, a book that was written for the Fairy Tale series edited by Terri Windling. Most of the Fairy Tale books are out of print or hard to come by, but I found this little treasure in my local library.

The book is a nice little fairy tale that borders on the edge of YA and adult fantasy. I'd say YA readers would enjoy it a lot more than adults, but I'm a kid at heart so who knows.

The story of the two sisters, Rosamund and Blanche, follows the Grimm's fairy tale pretty closely though it's set in Elizabethen England instead of Germany. Of course, any novelization of a fairy tale adds much to the orginal story. Each chapter of this book starts with an excerpt from the orginal fairy tale, so it's easy to see how far Wrede has deviated from the orginal.

Rosamund and Blanche live with their widowed mother, a sweet little witch, in a time when witches are dunked and drowned. They often cross the border to Fairy in search for magical herbs, though it worries their mother greatly.

The town they live in is home to a sorceror and right on the edge of Fairy, which means even though they don't want trouble of a magical nature, that's exactly what they end up with.

If you've read the orginal fairy tale, you'll know the trouble involves an enchanted bear and an evil dwarf. I'll not say more, for fear of spoiling the story.

Overall this is a decent book, though it has one irksome thing--the language. The narration is written in modern English but the dialouge is all written in Elizabethen English, making it a bit hard to get into. Once I was in reading mode it was easy to understand, but when I first picked up the book I wasn't even sure if I would continue with it because of the language issue. It felt very forced at first, though later it was not noticable.

If you love fairy tales or YA fantasy, you're likely to enjoy this book, though it doesn't shout out "Must Read."

3.5 out of 5 amulets.

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