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4.5 out of 5
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  • Original but not an easy read🤔

    ❄🏰Had its ups and downs🙄 Overall rating: 3-3.5 🌟 stars Originality: 5 🌟 stars Ease of read: 2.5🌟 stars Standalone: 2.5🌟 stars This fairytale, which had a very original twist on the traditional Rose Red story, was confusing in the first part and as it approached the conclusion. The continued travails of Boris, the bewitched prince, were the best part, that and his growing friendship with Rossa, the apprentice to her assassin father, and the mystery of Igor, Boris's servant turned treacherous. It was set somewhere in Northeast to Central Europe if the Slavic names and the travel to Buda are anything to go by. The story started as two completely separate threads that abruptly alternated chapter by chapter and it confused me for a good fourth of the story until the two converged. My confusion was probably exacerbated by Boris's bewildering, frequent losses of consciousness and inability to understand what was happening around him. Plus, the story constantly made reference to things from previous fairytales which the reader may or may not have read or, if they did, recall. The middle of the tale was more coherent, focused on teenage Rossa and potion-plagued Boris, and I enjoyed it until past the 80 percent point it grew too confusing again, mentioning kings, princes, emperors and a politcal musical chairs, all references that went right over my head. Are they connected to other tales already published or in the making? I did not really care for this information dump so late in the story. I like Carlton's fairytales best when they don't rely so heavily on previous works in the series. I prefer a standalone and I don't think this one holds up well on its own. I give it high marks for originality brought down by this constant referral to other stories. I read a complimentary advance copy of the book; this is my voluntary and honest opinion.

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  • A charming tale

    A different take on Snow White and Rose Red that delves into treachery and redemption. Nice tie ins to earlier stories..

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