A young boy, Leo, is sent to visit his aunt and cousin every summer. When he’s 11, he hears rumors of a monster living on the mountain behind the manor house and decides to go hunting it. After all, being in the house and garden is boring and his cousin is insufferable. Leo is shocked to meet a little girl named Rose Red swathed in veils up on the mountain. Though Rosie has some strange talents, like disappearing in the blink of an eye, the two become friends and spend the summer building dams, sailing leaf-boats, and clambering all over the mountain.
Leo hasn’t forgotten why he escaped the garden in the first place, though, and Rosie isn’t very convincing when she tells him that there is no monster and if there was, he should definitely not go hunting it.
There is a path that only Rosie can find and when, late one evening, Leo forces her to show him what dwells in the cave at the top of that path, both their lives are changed forever.
For all that the first half of the novel is about Leo-the-child, Veiled Rose is not truly a children’s story, because when the two meet again five years later, the story takes a darker twist. What did Leo find in that cave? And what, exactly, is the secret Rose Red is hiding behind her veils?
This novel is the second installment in the Tales of Goldstone Woods. I was expecting this to be a continuation of Una’s story begun in Heartless (which I reviewed here), but it was an all new tale. While you might well enjoy Heartless, there’s no need to read it before picking up Veiled Rose.
Anne Elisabeth Stengl is the author of the Tales of Goldstone Wood, a series of fantasy adventure novels told in the classic Fairy Tale style. She is married to the handsome man she met at fencing class and lives with him and a gaggle of cats in North Carolina. Veiled Rose is her second book.
I received this book free of charge from the publisher through the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance tour, for the purpose of review. Opinions are, as always, mine alone.