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Snow White and Rose Red (The Fairy Tale Series)

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3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  6,752 ratings  ·  299 reviews
Snow White and Rose Red live on the edge of the forest that conceals the elusive border of Faerie. They know enough about Faerie lands and mortal magic to be concerned when they find two human sorcerers setting spells near the border. And when the kindly, intelligent black bear wanders into their cottage some months later, they realize the connection between his plight and ...more
Paperback, 273 pages
Published February 19th 2009 by Firebird (first published April 28th 1989)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Rachel Piper
I love Patricia C. Wrede, so I had high hopes for this book, especially since it takes on a fairy tale that has not been retold to death.

Apparently this was one of her earliest works, and it shows. Set in Elizabethan England, the characters speak in the dialect of the time, and it usually comes off sounding stilted at best--especially against the not-Elizabethan descriptions of everything else, as well as occasional bursts of modern-day speech by the characters--and at the worst like something
...more
Erin
Jul 10, 2010 Erin rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: older children, teens, and adults who like fairy tales and Shakespeare, fans of Patricia C. Wrede
This is definitely not Disney's Snow White. True, there is no sex or bad language, and violence is only discussed, not really depicted, but that's really where the similarities end. In Patricia C. Wrede's version of the classic fairy tale, Snow White and Rose Red are the daughters of a poor widow who ekes out a living by making herbal remedies to sell to the townsfolk. They live next to a forest, on the edge of the border of Faerie, in the Elizabethan era of England. Living in the village of Mor ...more
Moira Russell
A beautifully retold tale, if at times a little overelaborate. The Elizabethan setting and especially dialect are very well-done. Not a book to rush through -- you are almost forced to reread sentences to savour nearly every word. Robin is the best character -- everyone else is a little flat, and the Faerie characters are slightly cliched (beautiful, icy, heartless, cold, unearthly, &c &c). I liked the relationship between the two sisters, and the mother and her two daughters, very much. ...more
Delores
I thought the pros were well done. It took me a little while to understand all of the conversations as the characters speak in Elizabethan England's English. I was disappointed in the character development. I didn't get to know the characters or how their relationships developed. I felt that they were kind of stagnant - not much character growth to speak of.
Tabitha
I didn't make it past the first chapter. I was so disappointed because I have loved other works by Wrede. I just couldn't get past the dialogue. First it was "thees and thous" in one paragraph and then "you and yours" in the next! Stick to one or the other.
Ewan Watson

Patricia Wrede is generally a fantastic writer, but this is quite a bit different from her usual work. The mix of a fairy tale and an Elizabethan historical fantasy are an interesting experiment that I think are even better than her usual genre.

For those who love the fairy tale in its traditional form, this is a fabulous gift, the ablility to find "another fairy tale". Most of us have exhausted the fairy tale genre and, sadly, there is only a set amount of authentic fairy tale out there. Snow
...more
Nicole
There was once a poor widow who lived in a lonely cottage. In front of the cottage was a garden wherein stood two rose-trees, one of which bore white and the other red roses....

Rosamund and Blanche are the daughters of a poor widow in a small town in Elizabethan England; the three of them gather herbs from the woods to make remedies for the citizens of Mortlak. They are extremely careful when in the woods, for it contains the ever shifting border of faerie, a border they are wary of but cross ov
...more
Kristy
you know it's not a good book when all you can think is 'when is this going to end'! I had no expectations for this book, but the story really could have been good, but it just wasn't written in a very reader-friendly text. Part of my problem was the dialoge was in an Old English Vernancular and the narration was in modern day English. Doesn't sound like that big of a deal, but really it was just a little too random for me. And, the particular dialoge the writer chose to include was just ridicul ...more
Heather
I don't have that many skeletons in my closet, but the ones that are there are all wearing Renaissance Faire costumes and this book is largely to blame. If I gave stars based on how much I loved a book when I was 15 this one would get 10. And it's holding up well -- I don't have to feel faintly embarrassed for my former self. PCW did a good job with the language -- I appreciate it more now than I did as a teenager, especially since it's so rare that anyone even bothers to try. She did her histor ...more
Kari Chapman
I couldn't really get into this book. The dialogue was written in Elizabethan English, which to a modern English speaker comes across as very stilted and overly formal. It would have been less historically accurate, but more easily accessible if it had been scaled back a bit to modern English with a hint of Elizabethan in it. Aside from that, the plot wasn't that good. We've got two sets of bad guys, apparent from their words and the hints of mustache twirling whenever they gather, but no reason ...more
Brittany (The Book Addict's Guide)
This was such a fun read and surprisingly quick! Thanks to Alyssa for suggesting this one for an OtSP read! :)
Well. The best thing about this for me was the personalities. I loved the characters and thinking back on it (well, after having just finished), they're what really stand out for me. I LOVED every single character and the ending was just perfect.
Well, this also takes place in an Elizabethan sort of setting and the language matches soooo. It was a bit much for me at times. Like, if I wa
...more
Angela
Fun little story with an interesting take on the world of "fairie." I loved the relationships between the sisters and their mother. I also really enjoyed the Elizabethan dialect - it took a couple of chapters for me to get into it, but I quickly found my footing in the language and it was a wonderful addition to the setting. Overall, a really great fairy tale re-telling.

When I first read this book, I made the mistake of completely missing the point that this fairy tale was being placed in a pseu
...more
Claire
Sep 25, 2009 Claire rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 11 and up who like stories set in medieval Europe with a touch of magic.
Another edition in the Fairy Tale series edited by Terry Winding.

Set in Elizabethan England, Snow White and Rose Red are sisters living near a small village near the Thames. Their mother is a wise woman who keeps a low profile to avoid any accusation of witchcraft. She and her daughters become entangled in Faerie matters...
In a bit of sorcery gone awry, Hugh the half mortal son of the Faerie Queen is robbed of his faerie essence and turned into a bear. Blanche, Rosamond and their mother along w
...more
Jenne
I enjoyed this retelling of Snow White and Rose Red and I liked how the author set the book in Elizabethan times. However, I wish she had stuck a little more closely to the original story, when it came to the girls involvement with the dwarf. In the fairy tale, Snow White uses her sissors to cut off the dwarf's beard to rescue him from the tree and the fish. In this tale it is a whole new character, the brother of the enchanted bear, who does the rescuing. One of the nice things about this parti ...more
Bethany
One of my very favorite fairy tale retellings! Highly recommended.
Whitney

This book takes a bit of getting used to, because (unlike most recent fairy tale retellings) this book sticks largely to the fairy tale format and its place of time.


I normally can't stand anything like historical fiction. It sets my teeth on edge and I don't finish unless I have to, or if the plot is interesting enough, I just skip to the end so I don't have to deal with all of the various mistakes. The thing that always bothers me more than anything else is the language. I'm no philologist, bu

...more
Holly
Two beautiful girls live w/ their mother in a cottage on the outskirts of a small village. The mother makes a living by providing herbal remedies to the people of the town; they live comfortably but always w/ some fear that they will be tried as witches, esp as some of the herbs they collect in the forest are on the edge of Fairy, which accounts for their potency. Late one night, wizards from the town rudely capture the spirit of a man who is 1/2 fairy. He turns into a bear and hungerly finds th ...more
E.A.
I love the Enchanted Forest series, so when I saw this book, I was really excited. The Fairy Tale of Snow White and Rose Red isn't done as often as many of the others and this take on it really held true to the fairy tale retelling tradition. I knew how the story was going to end but I had no idea how it was actually going to get there. I loved this book and look forward to reading it again in the future.
Sarah
A decent fairy tale retelling, set in Elizabethan England, but not up to Wrede's usual standards. After the hysterically funny Dragons Quartet, I expected something more from this retelling.

Yes, it fleshes out the story. Yes, her writing is neat and elegant. But there's no extra spark to the story to make it memorable.

McKinley remains the finest fairy tale re-teller out there.
Marife
I would not recommend this book. I was expecting more descriptions of the faerie world, more character build up. As this is written in Elizabethan English this was really hard to enjoy. Some chapters were interesting but i thought it was a waste of time to spend another day trying to decipher the events and conversations. Too sad. I was hoping a more interesting story.
Michaela
I was apprehensive about reading this book. The author was chosen by Terri Windling among a few other authors to write a series of updated versions of classic Fairy Tales. An unofficial Fairy Tale Series so to speak. Wrede has written this classic tale from the original Grimm's version and has done it with Elizabethan English which was one of the reasons I was unsure if I would like this book. Some authors cannot write like that without it sounding forced. I have been pleasantly surprised. This ...more
Becca
I really enjoyed the contrast between the modern writing and the Elizabethan dialogue in this book. Why? Because I didn't notice it, most of the time. I like this story (I think I have read this book before, though I don't know when) and like how each chapter is tied into a paragraph from the original story.
Tabitha
While I loved this book in my teens, upon rereading as an adult I found the language style very difficult to push through. The dialogue is written semi-old English, and while I love the concept of a fairy tale retold, some of the plot points seemed just a bit too intentionally shaped.
Rachel
I couldn't get into tis book AT ALL. The language was weird. ANd this is coming form someone who read "Pride and Prejiduce"... Which is barely understandable{but good!} I kind of just, stopped after a while. Sorry??
Renee
I usually love this author, but the language was hard to get through, all the thee, thou, thoust, old english crap. It really made this less enjoyable for me.

Also it was a little meh.
Gillian Farnsworth
If you like a faerie tale, this is the book for you. The title doesn't mean anything. The book is nothing like the Snow White movie. Nothing. It is completely opposite of that. There is a dwarf, but he is an evil little thing.

In the land, there was something known as the Faerie land. They are not the typical run of the mill fairies. These faeries look like humans and are very powerful. They detest Mortals and wish to remain apart, but sadly the two princes of the Queen were half mortal and ther
...more
Shari
After a class on fairy tale this past semester, this more recent offering was a pleasure to read. Each chapter headed with the Grimm version, Wrede has taken this story and given it a heavy mediaeval feel, including John Dee, historical figure, to give it heft and to bring difficulties of the wise women, whose simples brought a more satisfying relief to the ill and suffering than the medical regimens of the doctors of the era did, to the fore.

There is also the weaving in of the faerie world, th
...more
Mabel
I definitely have a soft spot for fairy tales and I loved the enchanted forest by this author too.

It was really cool seeing the original words and then the retelling. I know that she wanted to stay true to the time but reading their speech was so difficult when the words of descriptions weren't in that pattern.

So while it was a good idea to have this real world colliding with the faerie world, it wasn't real enough. The whole hating mortals was a little weird and not fully developed. Especiall
...more
Jams
Bleh. What a boring book. I'm usually like thee and thou and ere but this was just not worth my time.
Audrey
I think Terri Windling's Fairy Tale Series is a stroke of genius, and I really liked this novel, but I didn't LOVE it like many of the others in the series. I think Wrede does a great job of recasting this fairy tale into an Elizabethan novel of manners, and the historical aspect makes it intriguing. Still, there's just something that falls a little flat here -- I really think it's the characters. There was a distance to them, and so I didn't FEEL for any of them -- there was just no connection ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 3 Nov 20, 2014 11:24AM  
¿Por qué no una traducción al Español? 1 4 Oct 22, 2014 12:49PM  
Translation to Spanish, why not? 1 3 Jul 07, 2014 03:56PM  
Into the Forest: Snow White, Rose Red No Spoilers 10 37 Nov 03, 2012 01:47PM  
Into the Forest: Snow White, Rose Red Spoilers 1 10 Oct 02, 2012 05:26PM  
  • Black Thorn, White Rose
  • Fitcher's Brides
  • The Nightingale
  • White as Snow
  • Tam Lin
  • Winter Rose (Winter Rose, #1)
  • Jack of Kinrowan
  • The Door in the Hedge
  • Snow in Summer
  • Spinners
  • Spirited
  • Winter's Child (Once Upon A Time Fairytales)
  • Mira, Mirror
  • The Night Dance : A Retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses
  • Once Upon a Winter's Night (Faery Series, #1)
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  • Firebird (Fairy Tales #1)
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Patricia Collins Wrede was born in Chicago, Illinois and is the eldest of five children. She started writing in seventh grade. She attended Carleton College in Minnesota, where she majored in Biology and managed to avoid taking any English courses at all. She began work on her first novel, Shadow Magic, just after graduating from college in 1974. She finished it five years later and started her se ...more
More about Patricia C. Wrede...

Other Books in the Series

The Fairy Tale Series (8 books)
  • The Sun, the Moon, & the Stars
  • The Nightingale
  • Tam Lin
  • Briar Rose
  • Jack of Kinrowan
  • White as Snow
  • Fitcher's Brides
Dealing with Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles, #1) Searching for Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles, #2) Calling on Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles, #3) Talking to Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles, #4) Sorcery & Cecelia: or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot (Cecelia and Kate, #1)

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