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Snow White and Rose Red (The Fairy Tale Series)

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  7,425 Ratings  ·  328 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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StrwbrrysNChoco8 It has been a few years since I read it, but I think not. I can't put my finger on why, but I remember it being a darker book than her Enchanted…moreIt has been a few years since I read it, but I think not. I can't put my finger on why, but I remember it being a darker book than her Enchanted Forest series (which would be fine for children 8+). I think this one is best for older children (I first read it in middle school, and to my memory, that seems like a good age to start it). I believe it is the most lighthearted entry of a multi-author collection of stories that were to be darker, more grown-up versions of fairy tales. Often young adult and children's books will have a recommended age or grade level, if you don't know where to look or how to find it on the book, ask your local librarian for help. (less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Rachel Piper
Sep 13, 2010 Rachel Piper rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
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
Jul 10, 2010 Erin rated it really liked it  ·  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
Ewan Watson
Feb 23, 2012 Ewan Watson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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
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
Jan 23, 2011 Delores rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Feb 24, 2012 Tabitha rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned-books
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.
Oct 30, 2016 Joe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
Once upon a time Patricia Wrede wrote a new take on an old fairy-tale. But this wasn't your ordinary re-imagining, there was no modern parlance or sarcasm and precious little fracturing.

The story stars a pair of mortal sisters; one adventurous, one pragmatic; a pair of half-mortal brothers similarly mirrored and a pair of scientist-magicians divided by ethics. The villains are a cabal of bumbling magical creatures led by an elitist lady-in-waiting bent on ruining everyone's fun and building a w
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
Nicole R
Sep 30, 2012 Nicole R rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 25, 2016 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 06, 2016 Stephanie rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-mg
I kept expecting all of the villagers to die in bloody massacres or profane rituals and was pleasantly disappointed.

This was such a *cozy* fairy tale I didn't know what to do with it but I want to cuddle it forever. There was still plenty of risk and danger and curses and tricksy Fae to keep things interesting.
Tabitha Vohn
I truly wanted to like this book, especially after having just visited the Black Forest in Germany and feeling in a faery tale mood.

I've found with this particular series (which markets itself as Faery Tales intended for adults) that, as a reader, you're bound to get one of two things: either a salacious, shocking adaptation of a faery tale (White as Snow, Fitcher's Brides; both very good if you can stomach sexual deviance) or a bland snore-fest (Tam Lin, egads). Jane Yolen's Sleeping Beauty ad
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
Sep 25, 2009 Claire rated it liked it
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
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
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
Apr 14, 2011 E.A. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
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.
Jun 14, 2015 Becca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reread
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.
Apr 05, 2015 Vida rated it liked it
I was a bit disappointed with this book, actually. I had been expecting a more imaginative retelling from the author of the Enchanted Forest Chronicles. But (possibly unfair) expectations aside, this was a pleasant enough read. I know some people complained about the language but it wasn't as bad as Wuthering Heights, really. This one you get used to after a while.
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.
Jan 12, 2015 Tabitha rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Abigail H. Leskey
Lovely Shakespearean dialogue (and the surname Arden!), John Dee, Robin Goodfellow (funny and charming), faerie princes, and two nice romances.

Content PG-13 (there's a girl, one of the villains, who is not pure; human magic; and faerie magic).

Feb 17, 2010 Rachel rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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??
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.
Sep 26, 2011 Jams rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Bleh. What a boring book. I'm usually like thee and thou and ere but this was just not worth my time.
Feb 07, 2014 Bethany rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my very favorite fairy tale retellings! Highly recommended.
Miranda the Gayvenger
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aislinn Forbes
Nov 24, 2016 Aislinn Forbes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Language is pretty old school, but if you like any of the original Grimm Fairy Tales, this book captures that feel and expands on it effortlessly. I completely loved it.
Christie Powell
Oct 18, 2016 Christie Powell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The fairytale "Snow White and Rose Red" meets the setting of "A Midsummer Night's Dream". The dialogue is comprehensible Shakespearian English, while the narration returns to more modern phrasing with just a hint of Shakespearean flair. The characters are endearing; the two girls retain both spunk and obedience which is a rare but invaluable combination in female main characters. I highly recommend reading this one!
Hazel West
May 30, 2013 Hazel West rated it really liked it
Thoughts on the Overall Book: I've long been a fan of Patricia C. Wrede ever since I first discovered her through the Enchanted Forest Chronicles (still one of my all time favorite fantasy series). This one, though not as funny as some of her others, was still really enjoyable and I liked it a lot.

Cover--Yea or Nay: Despite the fact it's a photograph, I do actually like it. It's pretty, and definitely promotes the fact that this is a fairy tale re-telling.

Characters: Blanche and Rosamond (Snow W
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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 39 Nov 03, 2012 01:47PM  
Into the Forest: Snow White, Rose Red Spoilers 1 11 Oct 02, 2012 05:26PM  
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  • Black Thorn, White Rose
  • White as Snow
  • Fitcher's Brides
  • Tam Lin
  • Winter Rose (Winter Rose, #1)
  • Snow in Summer
  • Spinners
  • The Door in the Hedge
  • Jack of Kinrowan
  • The Night Dance:  A Retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses (Once Upon A Time, #8)
  • Mira, Mirror
  • Winter's Child:  A Retelling of The Snow Queen (Once Upon A Time, #17)
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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

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