Burning Rose by Hope Ann really is fairy tales retold as you've never heard them before!
First of all, let me start this with the fact that I don't even usually read fantasy, and I. Love. This. Book. I was asked, "Do you want five stars?" My answer: "Is there anything higher than that?" I have composed "mini reviews" of each book in the collection, and I'll start with the book in general.
One might think that retold fairy tales would get predictable, but these definitely do not! All four of the books were amazing stories, full of imagination, cliche defiant, and hard to put down. Her imagery paints vivid pictures in an imaginative, creative way. The mystery draws you in, and there is always a twist that you would never expect. The content is clean, no inappropriate boy/girl relationships, gore, or language, which I appreciated very much--clean fiction is so lacking, even in Christian fiction. The books are presented in chronological order, which is also very helpful. Each successive book improved. She has creative characters that go beyond typical cliches and that you can relate to. And thank you for the pronunciation guides!!! The formatting is very neat and professional looking, and the cover design is beautiful. Was also excited that this came out in paperback, as I do not have access to a Kindle account. On both a writer's and a reader's standpoint, this book is incredible.
I would recommend this book for teens on up or tougher upper graders, due to some violence and darker themes. There are a few (as in very few) typos and/or repeated phrases in the book.
Book 1: Rose of the Night
This book is very good to know before heading into Rose of the Oath, as it explains the background behind the story and characters.
I was a little confused at the beginning, trying to establish world-building and setup, etc. However, that may have just been me not normally reading fantasy trying to get a grip on her world. It also was very fast-paced, so at times I almost had a hard time keeping up. It rivals with Shadows of the Hersweald as the darkest, but brings it all around to hope. A fantastic book!
Book 2: Rose of the Night
The pacing improves in this book, as does the set-up. I loved the interaction between Elissa and her silent host, "Beast." Interesting characters. Excellent book!
For about three paragraphs at the beginning, I was a little confused about character relationships, but it quickly straightened out.
*Book 3: Song of the Sword*
I had a handle on the setup right away. The book launches you into the action first thing, and keeps you involved. I especially loved Andrinian and Punzel.
I guess I don't have any comments. What's not to love about battles fought with music? Anyone know where I can find a fen-hopper . . . uh, Shadow-winger, sorry, Punzel. No? A messenger falcon maybe?
Book 4: Shadows of the Hersweald
This is my favorite out of the series. The story has an amazing theme of freedom and redemption. The book was perfectly paced--fast paced, but not overbearing. Very creative characters that I enjoyed and related to.
It also has some darker themes, and is the most violent out of the four.
I cannot complain about any element of this book. I recommend this to anyone who will listen (and even a few who don't :) ). An exceptional book all around! Hoping for more to come! Please keep writing!
Hi there! Rachel again. Check out this section for book reviews and cover reveals of some of my favorites!