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Snow White and Rose Red
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Snow White and Rose Red

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  8,081 ratings  ·  366 reviews
THE FAIRY TALE SERIES — Created by Terri Windling — ONCE UPON A TIME... — ...fairy tales were written for young and old alike; it is only in the last century that they have been deemed fit only for children and stripped of much of their original violence, sensuality, and power to frighten and delight. — Patricia C. Wrede, the best-selling author of Caught In Crystal and ot ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 288 pages
Published December 15th 1993 by Tor Books (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)

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3.75  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,081 ratings  ·  366 reviews

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Rachel Piper
Sep 10, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club
Once upon a time Patricia Wrede wrote a new take on an old fairy-tale. But this wasn't an ordinary modern re-imagining, for there was no contemporary slang and precious little fracturing.

The story starred a pair of mortal sisters; one adventurous, one pragmatic. For love interests there were a pair of half-mortal brothers similarly mirrored. Opposing the heroes emerged a cabal of bumbling magical creatures led by an elitist lady-in-waiting. She was intent on ruining everyone's fun and building
Jun 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
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 rated it it was amazing

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
Jul 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 23, 2011 rated it it was ok
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.
Brittany (The Book Addict's Guide/Novelly Yours)
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 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 30, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
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
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
Mar 16, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
May 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Dec 20, 2010 rated it liked it
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
I love retold fairy tales, and I love how this one was set in Elizabethan England as opposed to a fantasy realm. The magic was herb magic, something more suited to the setting than the usual kind you get in fairytales.
If you're looking for some fairytale romance this isn't the book you're looking for; while it is clear that the girls fancy the two brothers, there is no physical contact between them, not even hand holding.
I enjoyed the uniqueness of this book, especially in relation to fairytal
Sep 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Extremely clever rework of the Grimm tale of Snow White And Rose Red. It uses a lot of the frame tale but not in completely obvious ways, reworking it all into something fresh and smooth. Setting it in Elizabethan England was especially interesting. Of course, the language took a bit to get used to but it is far simpler than Shakespeare and it doesn't read as try-hard at all. It still flows naturally so long as you keep remembering that "an" means "if". The layers of the story manage to form som ...more
Mar 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Kat B.
Apr 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-books
I've always loved the story of Snow White and Rose Red, so when I came across this book, I was ecstatic. It started out slowly, and I was a little put off by the "thee's" and "thou's," but the further I got into this book, the more I was drawn into the story.

Picture a quiet village: common people terrified of magic, a duo of sorcerers longing for power, a trio of faeries who hate mortals, two half-breed boys cursed and exiled from their mother's lands, and the Widow Arden and her daughters caugh
Aug 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
I've enjoyed other works by Patricia C. Wrede and I love fairy tales (especially this one!) but Rose Red and Snow White fell very flat for me. It took a long time to get into the book (about 50 pages) and the dialogue was frustrating and distracting. The characters were one-dimensional; the widowed mother was either reprimanding or fearful, Rose Red was either indignant or impetuous and Snow White was either sweet or quiet. The novel gave a great backstory to the fairy tale but the interchanges ...more
Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
While not a terrible book, it definitely could have been better. My biggest complaint was that this book just seemed to drag. The beginning was ok but the middle was sooooooooooo slooooooooooooooow. I had a hard time making myself pick it up and finish it.
Found this to be fun -- it combined two of my favorite things: Snow White and Rose Red, and John Dee. Interesting re-telling!
Tabitha Vohn
Jul 27, 2015 rated it it was ok
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
This book was a bit ... disjointed? Not disjointed in plot, but disjointed in language. All the dialog is in Elizabethan English, while the narration is all in modern English. While I like Shakespeare and other authors/playwrights of that time period, I just couldn't get into this one. As soon as I would catch the rhythm of the language in a long couple lines of dialog, there would be a break in it with a "she said" or "they walked out the door" etc. It broke the illusion of the language and mad ...more
Sep 25, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 10, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fantasy writer Patricia Wrede's has crafted a tale based on Grimms' fairy tale. (Incidentally, the Grimm brothers were uncles to my great grandmother.) As much as I enjoy this author, I felt some weakness that I believe was from the effort to use authentic Elizabethan words and phrases in the dialogue, but modern English in the narrative. It felt somewhat disjointed, almost like reading something where all the dialogue is in a foreign language. I can understand much of the language of Shakespear ...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 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jan 16, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jun 13, 2007 rated it liked it
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.
Apr 05, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Apr 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
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.
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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 12 Oct 02, 2012 05:26PM  

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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