Title: Rose and the Lost PrincessAuthor: Holly Webb
Series: Rose #2
Pages: 256 Pages, Kindle
Publication: April 1 2014, Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Genre: Middle-Grade, Fantasy
Source: To review for a blog tour!
Rating: 4/5 Cupcakes!
Now an apprentice magician, Rose is asked to help find a very special missing person.When I was approached to review this for the Rose and the Lost Princess blog tour, I was excited! I've always wanted to read one of Holly Webb's books since I was small and I was glad that the opportunity finally arose. This was a delightful novel that was so much fun to read. I went into this novel completely blind, as I hadn't read the first one yet, but I still had such a blast reading it!
Turning the worn pages of her spell book, Rose can't believe how much her life has changed. Once a poor orphan, she is now an apprentice to the king's chief magician. But when the country's beloved princess vanishes, everything changes. As rumors of dark magic fly through the city, the king asks Rose for help. She must find the missing princess, before all is lost.
In the second installment in the Rose series, Rose is not just an orphan anymore. She is a servant...and a magician's apprentice. However, Rose and her fellow magicians are in trouble. After a rogue magician went wild, murdering children and drinking their blood to try and find the recipe to being immortal, the majority of the population are shunning all magicians of every kind, deeming them all to be murderers. Although she has kept a low profile, the servants she lives with are terrified of her and are making her life a misery, not even the magical lessons she receives with Freddie are able to keep her in good spirits. A dark, mysterious spell has been set on the whole of England. Lakes are completely frozen over, there is a constant fall of snow...and the scent of magic hangs heavy in the air and the population is convinced that this is some sinister spell. Things turn from bad to worse for the magicians, as the beloved Princess Jane is captured without a trace. Accusatory fingers are being pointed at Rose and others of her kind, and if they don't find the princess, dispel all the terrible rumours and find a way to stop this eternal winter, it could spell death for Rose and her friends.
When I first started reading Rose and the Lost Princess, I was slightly lost. I hadn't managed to read the first book in time and I was entering the book completely blindfolded. However, once I had gathered my bearings, I was completely captivated by this novel and I flew through the pages. I love middle-grade books, especially ones involving magic and fairy-tales and R&tLP was a fantastic read that contained just that!
What I loved most about this book was Holly Webb's writing and the imagery she depicted. The writing is quaint and magical in itself, which adds to the uniqueness of the story. I loved the setting, as well! I could just picture the endless snow, the mind-numbing cold and the struggle it was to find the princess's captor in such extreme weather conditions. I could picture everything clearly and I loved the how at times the book had a warm, relaxed, humorous atmosphere present but easily switched over to a captivating tale with an undercurrent of chilling, sinister mystery and magic. I adore Holly Webb's writing, whimsical, charming, descriptive, which added such charm to this delightful story!
I liked the characters, although I would've liked to see more character development perhaps. In the beginning of the book I couldn't quite connect with Rose, but throughout the story I found myself admiring the strength and determination she possessed and grew to become very fond of her. She's extremely brave and feisty, but she also manages to be sweet and polite and I think she was perfectly balanced out. I absolutely adored Bella, the magician's spunky little girl with a sharp tongue and quick thinking, she was definitely one of my favourites! Freddie and Bill were also lovely and I loved watching the banter that passed between them and Rose!
I thought the plot was thought-out quite well. I loved the whole idea behind this book and it reminded me slightly of the Disney movie, Frozen. I did find the beginning quite slow, but when Rose was sent to live with the princess to protect her, I couldn't read the book fast enough! I would've liked to see more action from the beginning and possibly more clues leading up to the revelation of who the villain was. I do think the was the princess was hidden was genius and I wasn't expecting it in the slightest!
Overall, Rose and the Lost Princess was a truly charming read and I can see myself, in the near future, diving back into that world. I will definitely be reading the rest of the books in this series, as well as the first one! I grew to love the feisty characters with their vibrant personalities, I absolutely loved the whole feel of this book that was laden with mystery and magic, I thought the ending was exceptionally clever and the writing was truly gorgeous. An enchanting, captivating book that was beautifully crafted. I loved reading about the Frost Fair and the way England was back in the olden days. An original read I would recommend for a wintery day when you want to be transported to a magical, yet sinister, world. Rose and the Lost Princess will sweep you away!
I give it: 4/5 CUPCAKES!