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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting and well written rewrite of a fairy tale.
I found myself absorbed in Wrede's book from the first page. Snow White and Rose Red is full of mystery, romance, intrigue, magic, and wit. The setting was perfect for the retelling of the fairy tale and Wrede was successful in capturing the language and events of that England period. Wrede was very effective in creatively developing the original fairy tale...
Published on August 25, 1998

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36 of 45 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good, but not her best
I admit that I know Patricia C. Wrede from her Enchanted Forest Chronicles and "Book of Enchantments," which are for young adults and usually supposed to be humorous, neither of which applies to "Snow White and Rose Red." But I have glimpsed her ability to be a serious writer in such short stories as "Earthwitch" and "Stronger Than...
Published on July 2, 2000 by Abigail Welborn


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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting and well written rewrite of a fairy tale., August 25, 1998
By A Customer
I found myself absorbed in Wrede's book from the first page. Snow White and Rose Red is full of mystery, romance, intrigue, magic, and wit. The setting was perfect for the retelling of the fairy tale and Wrede was successful in capturing the language and events of that England period. Wrede was very effective in creatively developing the original fairy tale without losing the original story in the process. I highly recommend Snow White and Rose Red to anyone who enjoys fairy tales or fantasy novels. :-)
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting!, May 6, 1999
By A Customer
Three things I really love are blended together in this well-crafted fantasy: the fairy tale "Snow White and Rose Red," alternate fantasy worlds, and the Elizabethan era. Wrede does an excellent job of rounding out the rather uneven original fairy tale with likeable characters and a plausible plot. The depiction of Faerie court and magic is also crafted intricately and well. The use of Elizabethan English is convincing and rings true, although some readers may be irked by the copious usage of "thee," "thou" and "dost." All in all, extremely well told and convincing. Definitely one of my all-time favorite books. For more good alternate Elizabethan fantasy, try Stevermer's The Serpent's Egg.
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36 of 45 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good, but not her best, July 2, 2000
I admit that I know Patricia C. Wrede from her Enchanted Forest Chronicles and "Book of Enchantments," which are for young adults and usually supposed to be humorous, neither of which applies to "Snow White and Rose Red." But I have glimpsed her ability to be a serious writer in such short stories as "Earthwitch" and "Stronger Than Time" (in "BoE"), and this is not Wrede at her best.
Granted, the book is involving. I read far later into the night than I had planned. The plot is engaging and understandable, and the characters likable enough (well, the ones who were supposed to be likable, anyway). Wrede also does a good job of adapting the fairy tale and giving characters motivation.
The problems arose after I had finished the book. I felt that the character we got to know best was John, the older Faerie prince, and not Blanche or Rosamund, the supposed main characters. In fact, I felt that the sisters, despite their supposedly different personalities, were indistinguishable; Wrede never really gave either one their own point of view. And why did they look like they were 30 on the cover, when in the book they are 16 and 18? I also wish I knew more about the Widow Arden -- Wrede could have expanded on her background just a little bit more and given us a much more complete understanding of her character. Why did she fear being accused of witchcraft so much? (Yes, yes, she didn't want to be hanged. But her dread was so deep-seated. Had she seen someone hanged when she was young? Had her mother instilled it in her?) Who was her husband? What was his downfall? Why had it left them in ruins? The rules of magic were also hard to follow. Faerie magic was clarified well (in some ways it was the most intriguing part of the story), but not "mortal magic." Why did incantations work? Why were herbs sometimes magic and sometimes not? How did their potions work? The structure of the book was confusing at the beginning. We are barraged with five different viewpoints in the first chapter! The world and characters aren't familiar enough yet for that. Later on they are handled better. Finally, the Elizabethan English, while correct, was still distracting. Yes, it put me in the world of the characters; but then Wrede's modern English narration yanked me back out again. When the reader is constantly reminded of the words s/he's reading instead of the story, it's not very smooth.
For a better example of handling two cultures, multiple viewpoints, and a new twist on an old fairy tale, read Orson Scott Card's "Enchantment."
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Please, re-release this book!, August 25, 2001
By 
Nicole Alger "imanoonle" (Belmont, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
I was curious about this book, since I loved the Enchanted Forest Chronicles so much, and also because I had read Jane Yolen's Briar Rose, another book from the Fairy Tale series. Finally, after frantic searching online to buy it (where the cheapest copy of this book I could find was an expensive poor copy of the book, and I don't really like spending lots of money on paperbacks), I found this book in my local library, and read it. It wasn't as good as Dealing with Dragons or the other books that I have read by Patricia C. Wrede, but it was still good. I had never heard the fairy tale of Snow White AND Rose Red, so I was a little confused (I was thinking that it would be like the Disney movie of Snow White). Wrede summarized the true fairy tale bit by bit before each chapter. It wasn't really a modern-day telling of the fairy tale, like Briar Rose was, but just a retelling. Wrede tried to use archaic language (lots of thee's and thou's), and that slowed down the story. That is my only complaint about the book. I am hoping that eventually this book will be rereleased so I can add it to my collection of the Fairy Tale Series, or maybe that I'll find a copy of it used for cheap, but I'm glad I read it. It wasn't as good as I hoped, but it was still okay. If you want a better Wrede book, read the Enchanted Forest Chronicles, or try reading Briar Rose by Jane Yolen.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good story, don't like style, June 21, 2011
This review is from: Snow White and Rose Red (Paperback)
I absolutely love fairy tale adaptations. I was excited to get this one. But I almost put it down when I began reading it because of the language. Patricia chose to make her language old-style. I understand why she did it but I think it is a distraction rather than a help to the book.

Other than that, the story is a great take on the traditional tale -- better really. There's no grumpy dwarf. He's replaced by a sinister human (kind of). The brothers are great characters.

Once I got past the language I enjoyed it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Snow White and Rose Red, March 12, 2002
By 
"starla176" (CA United States) - See all my reviews
I had this book when I was a kid, and I loved it. I enjoyed the spin that this story put on the original fairy tale. I seem to remember another book that was a collection of fairy tale stories with the same type of concept. I recommend this book and, if you can find it, the collection to anyone with a child and to anyone who just wants to relive their favorite fairy tales with a twist.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful retelling of a classic fairytale, June 6, 2009
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This review is from: Snow White and Rose Red (Paperback)
This is my absolute favorite fairy tale retelling, and has been a cherished treasure in my library for many years. For a long time this book has been out of print, much to my dismay. Now it has finally been reissued. This novel tells the story of Snow White and Rose Red, in this tale called Blanche and Rosamund. They find themselves involved in a plot concerning the two princes of faerie and some interesting characters who are trying to get rid of the younger prince, because he is half human. But something goes wrong-the older prince is affected by their spell instead. Now it is up to the younger prince to go into the world of men and seek out a cure. He meets Rosamund and Blanche, who will help him on his quest. Woven into this story are the colorful characters of John Dee (Queen Elizabeth's astrologer) and his apprentice Ned Kelly, who are looking for answers to solve the occult questions they study. All of these characters make for a fascinating story filled with magic, romance, adventure and intrigue. A must have for any fairy tale lover.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The intellect's fairy tale, October 14, 2005
I myself have not read any of Wrede's other ouvre, but I first read this novel when I was a sophmore in college. The story was engaging, although I wasn't certain about the diction at times. The presentation kept me hooked and open a new interest for me. My old copy is battered and worn, but I hope the book will be released again so that I may replace my beloved copy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Interesting Adaptation of one of my Favourite Fairytales, May 10, 2012
This review is from: Snow White and Rose Red (Paperback)
Of all of the fairytales collected by the Grimm Brothers one had always stuck out as my favourite, that of Snow White and Rose Red. I can't explain exactly what about it that captured my interest, though it might have been the heroines of the storyline. Something about two sisters who vary so much yet are the best of friends have always attracted me (I wrote many stories when I was younger of fraternal twin girls; one dark of hair and the other light). So whenever I find an adaptation of the tale I find myself having to read it.

Finding an adaptation of this story is very rare however, for good reason, it is incredibly hard to adapt (I myself have an adaptation) due to its episodic nature and the fact that there are two heroines instead of one.

To say the least, when I found that Patricia C. Wrede, author of the Frontier Magic series that I absolutely adore, had long ago written an adaptation of my favourite fairytale, I put out a request for it at my library immediately.

At first, while reading it, I wasn't sure if I liked it all that much. Wrede made the decision to have it take place in Elizabethan times, complete with Shakespearean-type dialogue which made it a hard read, especially since I was reading it only a few chapters at a time. When I sat down to read it for a long run, however, I found this was no longer a challenge and I was completely sucked in by the world.

The greatest thing I loved about this book is the bringing of everything together. Every chapter began with an excerpt from the original Grimm tale, and as we got closer and closer to the known climax of the fairytale the excerpts seemed to get smaller and it became obvious that all the characters were being brought together for one final confrontation, reminding me very much of a Shakespeare play.

The book was also very close to the original fairytale, as much as I think possible while still creating a seamless story that makes sense. I also enjoyed the inclusion of Faerie and historical Elizabethan figures (And of course one can never say no to the presence of Robin Goodfellow), as it let my mind connect the story into the real world and mythology. I also think that Wrede did a fair job of explaining why some characters did what, as in the original fairytale not many reasons are shown to why characters are in the situations they are.

--

Overall I recommend this to any fairytale lover (or anyone who loved Goose Girl by Shannon Hale), any lover of Elizabethan language and stories about Faerie. It is not however traditional Patricia C. Wrede style, so I wouldn't pick this up for the sole reason that she is the author (though I do believe she is a masterful one).

The dialogue is hard to get used to at first, but I feel it does more of a service than a disservice to the book, so I recommend you to continue reading it if that is distracting you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really good, but not her best work, July 1, 2011
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I love Patricia C Wrede's work. The Enchanted Forest Chronicles were awesome, Sorcery & Cecelia was great, and I love the original Brother's Grimm story of Snow White and Rose Red, so I had to read this.

Oddly enough, the book focuses very much on John, a character who in the original story is mentioned only as "the prince's brother" and is kind of thrown in to make a happier happy ending. If I had to name a second main character, it would be the mother. Not Blanche, not Rosamund.... and certainly not Hugh, the bear prince. I found that kind of sad... All I learned about the sisters is that Blanche was older and more quiet and thoughtful, Rosamund was younger and kind of a pain in the a$$. Otherwise, they didn't stand out at all.

The girls' father is mentioned as being deceased and having brought the family to ruin... but its never explained how, why, or when. The mother is extremely afraid of being caught in the practice of sorcery, not surprising, but WHY is she so afraid of it specifically?

There are many more villains in this story than heros. Drs Dee and Kelly, Madini the fairy, Bochad-Bec and Furgen the lesser fey, Joan something or other, Rodgers the witch hunter, even the Fairy Queen is kind of a jerk. Perhaps the biggest villain of all is the language. Narrated in plain English, yet all dialog is in Elizabethan English which is extremely confusing and hard to get used to. The word 'an' means 'if', and 'belike' means 'maybe', but it takes you a while to figure that out. I compare it to a book like Catherine Called Birdie, a book taking place in Medieval times that has some accurate terms and phrases mixed with a very understandable pattern of speech and vernacular most of us are comfortable with. SW & RR wasn't as bad as Beowulf or pure Shakespeare, but it was still kind of difficult.

I didn't like that it was set in Elizabethan times anyway, because most fairy tales seem to take place in a place between Medieval and Elizabethan times, and i found it disconcerting. I understand it was probably sue to the witch hunts, but it bothered me still.

All that aside, it WAS very interesting, but it left too many questions unanswered, and it ended abruptly and unsatisfactorily.
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Snow White and Rose Red
Snow White and Rose Red by Patricia C. Wrede (Paperback - February 19, 2009)
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