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The Rose's Garden and the Sea [Kindle Edition]

Jackie McCarthy
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Who said history had to be boring?

Everyone in Illiamna knows the Tale of Benson Rose, a bedtime story beloved by adults and children alike, but few know the story behind their national hero. Would they be surprised to learn that Benson Rose did, in fact, live? Would they be surprised to know he was actually a woman?

Raised as a fisherman's daughter in the crumbling Kingdom of Illiamna, Rose knows nothing of magic, secrets, spies, or sailing ships—she is content playing pranks on her neighbors with twin brother Benson at her side. Her idyllic lifestyle is not to last, however, and her tiny village is destroyed, thrusting upon her young shoulders responsibility for her helpless family. In order to protect her mother and sisters in unfriendly lands (fending off thieves, thugs, and an uncle who intends to sell them for gold), Rose must dress as her missing brother. In this disguise, she receives the help of Fenric, a mysterious scribe from the merchant ship Turnagain, and the charismatic Captain Kaille, a man to whom she feels drawn by fate. Little does she know that, with these interactions, she begins the journey that will sweep her into Illiamna's most clandestine intrigues and endear her to time as Benson Rose, the man who saved the kingdom in its darkest days.

Product Details

  • File Size: 431 KB
  • Print Length: 187 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BGI460A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,443 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dreamy, Demanding, Elegant and Rewarding February 12, 2014
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This is a book that should be read only in the proper circumstances. A cold, gray rainy day, by a fire. Perhaps late at night, on a couch, in a circle of lamplight. Definitely not on a commuter train.

The narrative voice combines cool detachment, elegant distance, dreamy descriptions, mystery, magic, and the emphasis and timing and tone of oral storytelling to create an odd and fantastic atmosphere. Parts of the story are vague or conflicting or ambiguous or irrelevant, but the overall effect is dreamy and light. It works because the hero/heroine Benson Rose's adventures include intrigue, conflict, wandering, magical confrontations and influences, guided dreaming and enough excitement and energy to keep the story from drifting off to sleep.

It also helps that our author knows when to move on. I enjoyed E.B. Cree's walk through The Rose's Garden, which serves as the book's Prologue and sets up the tale, but I especially appreciated the fact that, having set the mood for the tale, the author ended the Prologue and moved on. Benson's encounter with the Man of the Mountain established the magical nature of the tale, but was appropriately cryptic and brief. Lots of times an author will just go on and on and the mystery and magic she's trying so hard to create collapses under the weight of all that effort and overwriting. Here, the author always seems to know when to move on. That gives the reader a breather and leaves the reader willing to forgive the author when the writing does get a little indulgent.

But, all of this is making the book sound too heavy. It is playful and atmospheric and has bits here and there that are just so accomplished and worthwhile that one can only recommend that others sample it for themselves.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Review if The Rose's Garden and the Sea March 10, 2014
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I just couldn't get pass the first chapter I was very disappointed but I had never read any od her books I think I tried it because of the titled.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Could have been so much better November 7, 2013
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I did not review this right away, as I really did not know how to rate it. It is in some ways very well written, and yet, it is that very attempt to be literary, that I feel is one of the flaws of this book.

Before I got to the actual story, I had to read a prologue, which did little to set the stage for the story and was somewhat confusing of itself. Then an excerpt supposedly taken from 'official' history, which would have functioned far better as the prologue. After that there was a confusing dream/vision sequence, which I had a hard time making head or tails of, and would have been better if told from Rose's POV as a simple dream.

I found the additions before the chapters did little to further the story, in fact did the opposite and interfered with the flow, so I soon started to skip them.

As to the story itself, I had several issues. First and foremost was Roses twin Benson. After having read 2/3 of the book and still not knowing whether Benson is dead or alive, and as the clues to his state in the book go both ways, I admit it, I peeked. As far as I could tell, the matter was still unresolved at the end of the book (no doubt so you get book 2), which I find rather macabre. Benson, despite not being there, fills an awful lot of pages in the present tense, interacting with Rose through visions. The lack of any real indications of whether Benson is alive or not, grew to be too much in the end.

Second, the story from the beginning has several different strands, and it was obvious that they would meet up at some time. However, the pace feels like its dragging its feet. I kept wanting to get it over and done with. As I said above I was 2/3 in the book, and yet I still felt like I was dealing with introductory events leading up to the main storyline.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Intrigue, Action, and Lovely Writing October 15, 2013
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Although I don’t typically gravitate toward fantasy literature, I found the idea of a girl who becomes a legendary hero while disguised as a man intriguing. In “The Roses Garden and the Sea”, McCarthy sets the stage for Benson Rose to begin his/her exploits. The story reads much like historical fiction with a touch of magic to occasionally guide the action. Between the lovely prose, charming excerpts from fictional sources, and elements of political intrigue, this story was a delight to read. I look forward to the next installment of this adventure series.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Benson and Rose are identical twins whose life ambitions begin and end with childish pranks. Until one fateful day when bandits attack their peaceful fishing village and their lives are thrown into chaos. Rose is left with her mother and two younger sisters to pick up the pieces. She is forced to pretend to be a boy to support what's left of her family, and advance her search for her missing twin brother, who she firmly believes has survived the attack, against all odds. However, it quickly becomes clear that she is destined for much more, and will eventually play a key role in the history of Illiamna.

The first in a series, Rose's Garden and the Sea is designed very well, with an intricate plot, interesting characters, and a fascinating glimpse into the magic of the Kingdom of Illiamna. Although the pace is a little slow at first - you can skip the first chapter (which is really two distinct stories supposedly setting up the main plot) and not really miss anything - it picks up quickly and draws you into a web of disaster, intrigue, action, and magic. The reader spends most of the novel in the mind of the main character Rose, and we feel her pain, determination, and strength intimately as she battles the various unfortunate events in her life. We also experience her confusion as she struggles to understand the magical talent she has discovered within herself. In her misadventures, she meets several other colorful characters; some honorable and helpful, and others ... not so much. However, they are all fascinating in their own way, and help draw the reader through the tight twists and turns of a plot which is much too big and complicated for one book. So, it's fortunate that this is just the first in what I hope will be a long and amazing series.

This book is not perfect.
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