Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Snow White and Rose Red - Patricia C. Wrede
Set in the a small village outside London during Elizabethan times, this version of the fairy tale is the story of sisters Blanche and Rosamund Arden, who live with their mother at the edge of the village. They make a fair living gathering herbs there, because their forest borders the lands of Faerie, and the herbs they’re able to gather make very effective remedies for the villagers. For that reason, the family is beloved, but the Widow Arden is still careful to make sure no rumors of witchcraft swirl around her girls.
Within the Faerie kingdom, the two half-mortal sons of the Faerie Queen find themselves in sudden danger – something has enchanted the younger son Hugh so that he gradually turns into a bear, and must therefore be banished to mortal lands. Defying his mother, the older son, John, follows his brother, hoping to find a cure for this affliction. What they find are Blanche and Rosamund, who join the princes to free Hugh from his spell.
This is a great take off of this tale, and works in John Dee, who was actually Queen Elizabeth’s astrologer (guess who stole Hugh’s faerie essence?). The girls are charming heroines, and their relationship to the young men is charming to watch to progress. I definitely recommend this book to anyone that enjoys fairy tales.