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Blood Red, Snow White

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3.65  ·  Rating details ·  1,635 Ratings  ·  259 Reviews

There never was a story that was happy through and through.

When writer Arthur Ransome leaves his unhappy marriage in England and moves to Russia to work as a journalist, he has little idea of the violent revolution about to erupt. Unwittingly, he finds himself at its center, tapped by the British to report back on the Bolsheviks even as he becomes dangerously, romantical

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Hardcover, 304 pages
Published July 1st 2007 by Orion Children's Books
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Mrs Mac McKenzie I think you need to read it yourself to see if it is going to fit your students. Personally I think it is more appropriate for older readers. Extracts…moreI think you need to read it yourself to see if it is going to fit your students. Personally I think it is more appropriate for older readers. Extracts might be useful.(less)

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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
...more
Jaidee
Feb 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: romantic spies with hearts of gold
Recommended to Jaidee by: lured in the by the book title and book cover !!
Shelves: five-stars-books
5 "charming, disarming, sweeping, romantic" stars !!

10th Favorite Read of 2017 (tie)

This is one unique and delightful read. This semi-fictional book is about Arthur Ransome (an author and journalist) who was one of Britain's first spies and possible double agents with the Bolsheviks. This is also a love story of his deep feelings and bravery in the rescuing of the beautiful Evgeniya who also happened to be Trotsky's secretary. In the background we have his yearning for his estranged daughter
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Cait • A Page with a View
Apr 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: russian-inspired
Usually I can't get into stories written in present tense, but this was totally mesmerizing!

The story's more like a bunch of pieces of Russian history woven around British author Arthur Ransome's character as he writes fairy tales and gets wrapped up in events. He sees the downfall of the Tsar, some rather graphic violence, interviews Trotsky, and eventually becomes a spy. And the part where he had to break into Russia totally reminded me of The Bronze Horseman trilogy.

I'm always fascinated by
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Alyssa
Oct 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-releases
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

Blood Red Snow White by Marcus Sedgwick
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publication Date: October 25, 2016
Rating: 4 stars
Source: ARC sent by the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads):

Russia wakes from a long sleep and marches to St Petersburg to claim her birthright. Her awakening will mark the end for the Romanovs, and the dawn of a new era that changed the world. Arthur Ransome, a journalist and writer, was part of it all. He left his family in England a
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Elise (TheBookishActress)
Blood Red Snow White is a book about Communist Russia, but above all, a book about ideological hatred. It is a book about how despising all communists and all British is always the wrong idea; people are people above all else.

It's an important message and important story, but somehow, I just ended underwhelmed. Let's talk about why.

Perhaps my biggest problem is missed expectations; the creativity and pull of the story is just not on par. Sedgwick's books get their power from being different; f
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Saleh MoonWalker
اگه به کاور دقت کنین میبینید که بالای گل سرخ خونین، در انتهای راه، یه سرباز ایستاده.
نویسنده به شرح داستان آرتور رنسام پرداخته و بازنویسی جالبی انجام داده اما برای خواننده ای که آرتور رو نمی شناسه، خواندنش کمی سخته و گیج کننده خواهد بود. از طرفی من با اینکه داستان آرتور رو میدونم اما باز کامل نتونستم با داستان ارتباط برقرار کنم، چون داستان بیشتر به داستان های پریان تبدیل شده. عاشق روسیه و یه زن روسی هم میشه که برای لنین کار میکنه. داستان به همین شکل ادامه پیدا میکنه.
کتاب لحظات مرگ و زندگی رو به خ
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 Megan • Reading Books Like a Boss (book blog)


BLOOD RED SNOW WHITE is a set of three short stories and a fictionalized account of author Arthur Randsome's time in Russia during Russian Revolution. Sedgwick brings readers on a thrilling journey, detailing both sides of war between the Red and the White. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. The writing is quite beautiful in parts, especially in A Russian Fairy Tale.
"Once upon a time beyond the sunrise, halfway to the moon, and so very far away it would make your feet weep to th
...more
Olivia-Savannah  Roach
I was highly anticipating Blood Red, Snow White because it was going to be the first Sedgwick novel that I’d ever read. He is an author I am constantly hearing about, so I was very excited to read this book. And although I did enjoy it, I didn’t love it as much as I truly wanted to.


This novel is told in a fairytale writing style. In the beginning, I was in awe of it. I thought it added a sense of magic to the entire story, and it worked well with the symbolism that was in place for the Russian R
...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
...more
Amy
Jan 10, 2013 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
Rosianna
Feb 01, 2009 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
Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight
This book was such a gem. It's historical fiction, yes, but so much of it is just plain authentically historical, with some fictional bits. So if you are going into this expecting a fairytale, this isn't one. In fact, the protagonist is a real person , an author in fact. But the fictional and fairytale bits brought the story together so well for me, and made it so appealing!

The story is
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Sabrina
Oct 23, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, arc
Checkout my full review + giveaway on my blog! http://omgbooksandmorebooks.blogspot....

It was a tough book to get through. I normally love historical fiction but this one was hard to get through. I'll admit, I solely requested this book just for the cover. It's great right? I enjoyed the 3 novellas that made up the story, the first one being my favorite. Each gives an insight of Russia during the Russian Revolution told by different perspectives.

I thought this book would be more about Russian f
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Jenn
I'm going to be honest, I thought this was a completely different book from the title and cover. So color me a little shocked when I read the description right before starting the book and found out it was more historical fiction set in Russia. And while this book wasn't my normal cup of tea, I found myself completely sucked into the beginning. This wasn't my first Sedgwick book, but it had been awhile since I read him and I had forgotten how different his writing is. He has a way of putting you ...more
Aj Sterkel
May 31, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
The Good: You could probably argue that Russia has the most interesting history of any country on Earth. It’s full of unruly monarchs, revolution, corruption, secrets, scandals, and whatever the heck Rasputin was. Blood Red, Snow White is a fictionalization of real events that took place around the Russian Revolution. The main character, Arthur Ransome, was a real journalist and children’s book author who got roped into spying for Russia and England. His story is strange and harrowing. He’s a pa ...more
Batool
"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
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Marina
Sep 19, 2015 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
...more
ALEXA
Oct 07, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
What I enjoy most about Marcus Sedgwick novels are how unusual they are and how different they are from one another. It took a bit of time for me to warm up to this one. While it's definitely interesting to learn more about Arthur Ransome, I just found the storytelling style a touch dry.
Suze Lavender
Oct 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Arthur Ransome is a British author. Because he isn't happy with his wife he wants to get away from her as far as possible and decides to travel to Russia. He taught himself the language, so it seems like a natural choice to find out more about the country. This is his introduction to journalism. It's a time of unrest in Russia and the English newspapers need someone to report about it. Through his work Arthur makes important friends among the Bolsheviks and he even falls in love with Trotsky's s ...more
Chris
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
...more
Trisha
I don't know what the story was I thought it would be. A snow white re-telling maybe? The blood, the rose....this is definitely a case where I should have read the synopsis.

But I did like this one. History abounds on an area and culture and time I know very little of. The story of Arthur was a new one and I did enjoy it. But the story telling, at first, is more fairy tale. it takes you through a bear and a forest and through quite a few timelines and tales.

But it slowly morph, so stick with it,
...more
Yolande
Jan 10, 2011 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)
Betelgeuse
I was expecting something different based on the aspect. I know, I know - ''never judge a book by its cover'' but I couldn't help it. The cover was fabulous, the pages had a vintage touch and the text was red = love. Furthermore, the beginning was super fairy tale-ish with beautiful writing and a style that induced a dreamy mood.

I know this is a historical fiction BUT I was still expecting more fantasy to it. I felt as if the first half of the book was in a story and the second in another. At p
...more
Bec (Two Book Thieves)
Well. I absolutely adored this book.

I'm just going to say a couple of things first - it seems that some people are or were under the allusion that this is fantasy/a retelling, even though the blurb makes no such claims. This is straightforward historical fiction, much of it not even all that fictional, and that is just what I expected it to be. As for the title, Blood Red = communists, Snow White = tsarists. This is not any sort of Snow White retelling or similar.
If you're looking for high fan
...more
Robert
Aug 18, 2008 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.
...more
Erin
Oct 22, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
What happens in a fairy tale is no more or less in anyone's control that what happens in life.


OK folks, do not be fooled by either the cover or the above quote. What lies in between the pages Blood Red, Snow White is not a fairy tale. Had I adjusted my reading stance properly from this Soviet-era thriller could easily have been a 3 star.

Blood Red, Snow White actually is the very real historical events of the rise of the Bolsheviks in Russia and the fall of the Romanovs during the early 20th ce
...more
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
...more
Kate
Feb 06, 2014 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
Claire
Dec 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Thank you, Netgalley for the chance to read this novel. My review is in no way biased.

While not a book that would ordinarily be my cup of tea, I did find this read to be engaging, imaginative, immersive and thoroughly researched - all qualities I value in a book that has any sort of historical premise. I will definitely read more of this author's work.
Olivia (The Candid Cover)
DNF at 25%

This book was just not very captivating for me. I was really hoping that there would be more action and excitement, but I just couldn't get into this one.
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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
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“There never was a story that was happy through and through.” 19 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…