Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Blood Red, Snow White” as Want to Read:
Blood Red, Snow White
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Blood Red, Snow White

3.77  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,005 Ratings  ·  105 Reviews
It is 1917, and the world is tearing itself to pieces in a dreadful war, but far to the east of the trenches, another battle is breaking out - the Russian Revolution has just begun...

Blood Red, Snow White captures the mood of this huge moment in history through the adventure of one man who was in the middle of it all; Arthur Ransome, a young British journalist who had fir
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published July 6th 2007 by Orion Children's Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Blood Red, Snow White, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Zee No. Unless you want your pupils reading how Rasputin was caught with no clothes on and his penis hanging out! Or how some Russian aristocrats prefered…moreNo. Unless you want your pupils reading how Rasputin was caught with no clothes on and his penis hanging out! Or how some Russian aristocrats prefered men instead of women. Might confuse or upset the little ones. This is for age 14 and up. Year 8 in UK terms is roughly 12 y o. (less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Emily May
“Stories twist and turn and grow and meet and give birth to other stories. Here and there, one story touches another, and a familiar character, sometimes the hero, walks over the bridge from one story into another.”

I think we need to clear some things up about this book.

This is just my theory, but I'm pretty sure something like this happened: Due to the popularity of fairy tales and retellings in American YA, publishers have been scouting out the next bestseller - both among upcoming manuscrip
Feb 01, 2009 Rosianna rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone
Sedgwick's authorial voice is nothing short of sensational, the fairytale quality running under his retelling the bloody Russian Revolutions through the eyes of Arthur Ransome. The novel is split into three parts, and Sedgwick jumps between stories until they lace into one another and never once lose pace or connection with the reader. It is an exceptional piece of writing, and reminded me strongly of other quasi-factual works such as The General in his Labyrinth, The Red Necklace and The Book T ...more
Nov 23, 2014 Amy rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013, historical
Wow. I have to say that this was one of the best historical fictions that I have ever read. The author is absolutely fantastic in the way that he manages to weave such a gripping story while still making it completely historically accurate. I loved the style of writing as well and the way it changed, as though the narrator was speaking right out of the book and reading it to me, in the first third of the book, but then the style was slowly altered until the story was being told from Arthur Ranso ...more
Brittany (Brittany's Book Rambles)
DNF at 25%--my standard policy for DNFing a book.

While I enjoyed the writing style and the premise, it didn't hold my attention. In the beginning, it seemed as if the reader was going to get a Russian fairy tale but it's less fairy tale and more of a Russian history lesson. I kept waiting for the story to take off but up to the point that I read, it didn't. I found the characters, the ones not based on real people, to be confusing and superfluous. Maybe I'll try again at a different time but for
"Let me tell you a fairy tale.
I used to tell stories like this all the time; it used to be so important. It even saved my life once. Now let me see, how do fairy tales begin?"

My first Sedgwick novel was back in June 2015. Like this one, it was historical fiction, but was set in WWI in England. I was gripped by the first few chapters, and soon found myself finishing it in two sittings around two days. I adored the story, the writing style, and the voices of the characters. It was a 5 star rea
Like all fairy tales, this story is told in three parts. The main story is the adventures of Arthur Ransome, yes that Ransome, in Russia during the revolution. The first part of the novel is told like a fairy tale. In fact, Sedgwick captures the tone and feeling of Old Peter's Tales. The second is told in third person, and the last section is told by Ransome himself.

Sedgwick includes some interesting things in the appendix.

While the book does get classified as fantasy, it is fantasy more in tone
Sep 20, 2015 Marina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-star, own
I really enjoyed this novel. The research done by Sedgwick is superb.

I loved how magical the novel was, at least at first, and then the fairytale faded away and the reality of a Russia at war with itself and others became true and brutal. The difference was rather jarring and I almost wished for the fairytale style to have been used throughout.

I enjoyed the naivete and an almost innocence of the main character, his belief in the path of good and that people can get along. He wasn't a good perso
Miriam Joy
This was a reread, but since the last time I read this book was long enough ago that I didn't have Goodreads, that sort of doesn't matter for the sake of this review.

Honestly, this is quite a peculiar book. I like it because I'm interested in the Russian Revolution -- it was the only piece of History I studied at school that really caught my attention, and I was disappointed that so much of GCSE History was about OTHER things. I remember writing huge amounts of notes on the revolution and then f
Dec 01, 2010 Robert rated it did not like it
Shelves: historical
Don't read this book; it is really bad.

It's a stylistic disaster; it is divided into three parts, the first of which is a confused mish-mash of inter-related "fairy-tales". It mixes up Russian history with ideas from Arthur Ransome's book about - Russian fairy-tales! This, I think, is supposed to be clever, because the book is a fictionalised tale of Arthur Ransome's time living in Russia, before, during and after the revolution that brought Lenin to power. In fact it's just an incoherent mess.
Feb 06, 2014 Kate rated it it was ok
Revolutionary Russia, and Arthur Ransome as spy... what's not to LOVE... but what a clunky and disjointed mix of styles. It's a "Concept". Ugh. First, allegory and fairytale prose in Part I, then pseudo-mysterious present-tense in Part II, and then past-tense spy novel Part III. I just wish he'd stuck with the story, and used the fairy-tale pieces to knit it together a little more artfully--and less "art-ey". Could have been great. Interesting reading about Ransome, though, and the beginnings of ...more
Brianna and Angelina
I received the book for free from Netgalley, this doesn't change my opinion of this book at all :)

PLEASE keep in mind that these are my opinions! Not everyone will feel the same way about Blood Red Snow White as I did, you might enjoy it so give it a try :D

I read two of Marcus Sedgwick's books, Midwinterblood and The Ghosts of Heaven. Both were a little hard to get into, but ended up being really good (in my opinion). I wish I could say the same from Blood Red Snow White....

Maybe my problem was
Jan 10, 2011 Yolande rated it liked it
I bought this book because of the gorgeous cover, and the fact that it was about Russia. I didn't know it followed the lifeline of a historical figure until I finished it. I thought the characters stayed a bit flat, and it took me a while to get 'into' it. Nevertheless, it was a good read a nice way to read about the Russian Revolution.

Favourite quote: "He lived, and now, being a character in a book who has survived to the final page, he lives forever." (p. 202)
Kim Dyer
Jul 17, 2014 Kim Dyer rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed-on-blog
My views with regards to this novel are incredibly mixed.

All three stories - especially A Russian Fairy Tale - were beautifully written and rich in symbolism. The image of the sleeping bear for the attitude of the proletariat and reoccurring contrast between red and white were both incredibly striking and memorable.

It was also nice to read a story that presented an unbiased view of Bolshevism as so many simply use communists as villains. This novel made the appeal of communism very clear, showin
Ringo The Cat
By his own admission, “a sense of place” is what often inspires Marcus Sedgwick’s storytelling. Combined with Sedgwick’s almost gothic flair and often Unheimlich and atmospheric way of writing, this has resulted in a couple of gems. In Revolver, for instance, that setting is the Arctic, suitably evoked in an almost claustrophobic way. The 2007 novel, Blood Red Snow White, is quintessential Sedgwick too: a unique setting (Russia during the Russian Revolution) and a mesmerizing style (especially i ...more
Nov 21, 2012 Rita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the plot. I was intrigued at once. Russian fairy tales? Come on, that sounds awesome!

The story evolves around Arthur Ransome, a British journalist, who travels to Russia to report from there during the First World War.

The story is divided into three parts.

Part One - A Russian Fairy Tale:
That first part was just magical. It was told like a typical Russian fairy tale and I loved every part of it.

Part Two - One Night in Moscow:
That part was not that great. I had to force myself through it a
Mar 02, 2010 Maryse rated it really liked it
Once upon a time, there was a young woman who loved fairy tales. While browsing through the YA section of a bookstore, she notices a book "Blood Red, Snow White" by Marcus Sedgwick. Never heard of him, but she's heard of Snow White (and she loves Snow White), so she buys it. A few chapters later, she's mildly surprised to find that this was not about Snow White (or at least Baba), instead it was about a man called Arthur Ransome (never heard of him, either) and the Russian Revolution (which she ...more
Mar 26, 2015 Karin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love the style of writing. It changes within the 3 different parts. First as a fairy tale, then as an observer and lastly in the first person.
I enjoyed the story, the writers craft and the reader's skill.
Hannah J.  Shaw

I have mixed feelings about this one. There were elements of it that I loved and there were also long stretches of time where it failed to hold my attention (a rare occurrence). This is a story about Russian fairy tales and the Russian Revolution. Arthur Ransome, a writer, travels through Russia on a mission to write a book of Russian fairy tales. Due to his timing, he ends up in the midst of a revolution.

I thoroughly enjoyed the historical setting, the historical plot, and the fairy tales, bu
Jul 13, 2015 Hayley rated it really liked it
Such a dark premise and theme throughout this Sedgewick novel, I wasn't expecting it to be so heavily political, but it gave a FANTASTIC insight into the era of the Russian Revolution. I've been looking for a novel based around the Tsar, so I was quite excited about picking this up. As always, Sedgewick structures his novels in a really unique way, I couldn't quite imagine this story having the same effect as a movie. The plot didn't always have me hooked, but it was a fast read and enjoyabl
HNC Library
May 09, 2014 HNC Library rated it it was amazing
This book was read by student Denise Erandio as part of the Six Book Challenge. Her review won the 4th Top Review prize - here are her winning comments:

"Blood Red, Snow White by Marcus Sedgwick is set in three parts all of which are set in the time of the Russian Revolution. It successfully captures the brutality, danger, and mystery of Russia in the time of revolution through both the narrative of the character Arthur Ransome, an English journalist, and also through the story-telling narrative
I loved the fairy tale aspect of the opening chapters. It was a useful framing device for introducing the characters, sketching out the history and evoking the mood of the Russian revolution. I was intrigued by the spy-history plot in the second half but wanted the pacing to move a bit faster. I'm unfamiliar with the war but it made me curious to look into it more - especially the historical spy background of the character Arthur Ransome. 3.5 stars.
Brogan Bertie
Sep 05, 2007 Brogan Bertie rated it it was amazing
i think this book is great. it is not a full on war book, but more a story of a fairy tale point of view, of the Russian revolution.
The story line comes from many different places and meets each other in the middle.

It is quite a difficult book to understand.
It, to me, comes across poetically written. I do not think it is a light book.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ain Mc
May 22, 2014 Ain Mc rated it liked it
I'm torn between giving it 3 or 4 stars. Probably it should fall under 3.5 stars. I've never read anything by Sedgwick before but I did read some reviews on his books and most people described him as a brilliant writer who writes beautiful stories.

I agree, though.

There's something about the way he tells his story. Its fairy-tale like vibe and the poetic words used, makes it more complex than just a simple read. But in a good way, of course. Another reason of me instantly liking the book is proba
Mrs Mac McKenzie
This was a little confusing at first, with the three different styles of writing making up the book, however, it all comes together at the end. This story deals with the politics and relationships of the Russian revolution in a fictional way based on the life and trials of the British journalist and author Arthur Ransome as he negotiates life in Russia during World War 1 and the revolution. There are spies and intrigue, favours requested and granted, and wheeling and dealing. Historically accura ...more
Dec 13, 2013 Mizuki rated it liked it
It's a the book is decently written, you can give it a try 3.5 stars.
Dan. Thompson
I wasn't sure what to make of this book when I first approached it, simply because it is split into three sections, and many people have criticised how the author has changed 'style' for each. But having read many Marcus Sedgwick novels, I knew I shouldn't have worried - and in fact, you can see how this 'changing style' novel has influenced his more recent works.

I thought the fairytale first section was wonderfully done - crafting a magical, and often mysterious Russian retelling of folklore an
"He tried to take the magic from Russia, but the magic would not go."

MUY interesante!

Creo que me hubiera gustado muchos más si todo hubiera sido como estaba relatado el primer capítulo (ej. amé la metáfora del oso. // Y quería y creía que el Tsar y su familia iban a ser mayor parte de la historia, osea a tener más parte de la narración porque en la historia estaban), pero luego gran parte de los libros II y III se me hicieron confusas o aburridas y eso no me dejó conectar tan bien con todo lo
Helen Corcoran
Mar 16, 2009 Helen Corcoran rated it it was amazing
The first thing that comes to mind is that at its very heart, this book wants to be a fairy tale and, in that respect, it is very beautiful and pretty much succeeds. One review of this on amazon stated that the style of this book is written to appeal to YA audiences and, as such, adults won't enjoy it at all. I definitely disagree. In regards to tone, this book reminds me of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. It may appeal to MG and YA readers, but there are times where the writing has a sarcastic ...more
I didn’t realize until the epilogue that the main character, Arthur Ransome, was a real man and the author of [book:Swallows and Amazons|125190, the classic British children’s adventure series.

This book is kind of trapped between being a fairy tale and being a historical fiction. It’s closer to historical fiction, with some fairy tale allusions.

It also felt like a Russian Revolution For Preteens! Book. It’s hard to get involved with the characters – it’s all very surface-level. And Ransome’s a
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Into the Forest: Blood Red, Snow White - No Spoilers 9 19 Jul 03, 2012 09:06AM  
Into the Forest: Blood Red, Snow White SPOILERS! 1 9 May 30, 2012 06:22AM  
Into the Forest: Blood Red, Snow White - No SPOILERs 1 6 May 30, 2012 06:21AM  
  • Life: An Exploded Diagram
  • Odd & True
  • A Darkly Beating Heart
  • At the House of the Magician (At the House of the Magician, #1)
  • Vassa in the Night
  • Razorhurst
  • The Blood Stone
  • The Wall
  • Here Lies Arthur
  • The Gilded Cage
  • Girl on a Plane
  • Starseeker
  • A World Between Us
  • The Obsidian Dagger: Being the Further Extraordinary Adventures of Horatio Lyle (Horatio Lyle, #2)
  • Transported: The Diary of Elizabeth Harvey, Australia, 1790
  • Spare and Found Parts
  • The American Future: A History
  • The Nightingale
Marcus Sedgwick was born in Kent, England. Marcus is a British author and illustrator as well as a musician. He is the author of several books, including Witch Hill and The Book of Dead Days, both of which were nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Award. The most recent of these nominations rekindled a fascination with Poe that has borne fruit here in (in The Restless Dead, 2007) the form of "The Hea ...more
More about Marcus Sedgwick...

Share This Book

“There never was a story that was happy through and through.” 17 likes
“He had learned something already in the course of his journey. If you carried a closed wooden box, people want to know what is in it.” 5 likes
More quotes…