Veiled Rose / Anne Elisabeth Stengl. (Tales of Goldstone Wood, 2)
HS Grade 8-Adult Rating: 4
Anne Elisabeth Stengl continues her Tales of Goldstone Wood fantasy series with Veiled Rose, a story about Rose Red who is befriended by a Leo, despite the secret she hides behind her veiled face. Together Rose and Leo search for the monster rumored to stalk the mountains.
Veiled Rose is the backstory of Prince Leonard, a character in Heartless, where he was a charming but insincere suitor to Princess Una. After reading Veiled Rose, it is easier to understand his actions in Heartless, her first book.
Rose Red is not whom she seems to be – she wears a veil, hides in the forest, and stays away from the villagers. Leo, a wealthy young man, visits for the summer, and becomes her friend. At first they hunt for the rumored monster as a game, but it becomes much more.
When Rose Red leads Leo into a cave, they discover the monster, and it changes everything. Later Leo takes Rose Red back to his palace as his servant. Princess Daylily from a neighboring kingdom is sent to visit in the hopes of getting betrothed to Leo. The monster is revealed, and a deadly scourge visits the kingdom.
This book is definitely plot-driven with unexpected twists. There are two stories within, one involving Rose Red, Leo and Daylily, the other the enchantment involving a dragon, a goat, the Lady of Dreams, and Leo. There are no direct spiritual references. The ending does not resolve the storylines, and questions are left unanswered. There is no happy ending — like life, things doesn’t always turn out the way we expect.
Recommended for middle and high school libraries, as well as teen collections in public libraries.
— reprinted with permission, Christian Library Journal, February/April 2012.
See also: Heartless by Anne Elisabeth Stengl.