About the Book
Title: Veiled Rose
Author: Anne Elisabeth Stengl
Publication Date: July 1st, 2011
Blurb: Rose Red trusts no one with her secret. She hides in the forest, her face veiled in rags, shunning the company of all save her old father and her nanny goat. Her life is bleak and lonely.
Until she meets a privileged young man sent to spend his summer in the mountains. Headstrong young Leo startles everyone by befriending Rose Red, and together they begin searching for the monster rumored to be stalking these lands.
But the hunt, which began as a game, holds greater risk than either imagines. Soon both are forced to test their trust in each other as a far more terrifying scourge puts their entire land at risk.
In the second book in the Tales of Goldstone Wood series, Anne Elisabeth introduces new characters that readers will fall in love with. Mysteries and secrets abound everywhere, masking timeless allegorical themes.
In Heartless, Anne Elisabeth Stengl introduced a large and varied cast of characters with unique personalities and goals. I didn’t think the cast of characters could get more complex, but it did. Before reading Veiled Rose, Una was my favorite character. However, now that I have been introduced to Rose Red in Veiled Rose, she is now my favorite character.
Rose Red is a girl who lives in the mountains with her nanny goat Beana (another awesome and funny character,r there). She has been shunned by the townspeople and lives with her faces shrouded by a veil. Up until the very end, Stengl prevents us readers from learning what hides behind Rose Red’s veil, creating tension and mystery that only builds throughout the story. I never could have guessed what lay behind her veil.
Then Rose Red meets Leo, who is none other than Lionheart, (highlight to view spoiler): the jester and troubled Prince of Southlands that we met in HEARTLESS. In HEARTLESS, we learn that Lionheart has a guilty past since he made a deal with the Dragon instead of fighting him.
However, we didn’t get much of a glimpse of his past, and we finally get to see it in Veiled Rose. I loved how the bits of Leo’s past that I recognized from Heartless seamlessly connected to the events in Veiled Rose. It lends a gorgeous continuity to the series, and helps me understand the world of Goldstone Wood even more.
I also enjoyed seeing the relationship between Rose Red and Leo grow and change. Leo was soon berated for being friends with Rose Red as the townspeople shunned her, and at times, this view of their relationship was pretty painful. This is why I love Rose Red so much. Throughout the book, she goes through so many trials from the townspeople hating her to Death trying to tempt her. However, she braves the Dragon poison and the dangerous paths through death to save the very people who shun her. To me, that is true selflessness, and I loved Rose Red for it.
There were so many other great aspects of the story, including the suspense, the mystery and the amazing allegorical themes of friendship, temptation, and the honest yet painful truth that not everyone will achieve what they want in the end. The world building in this book is thoroughly carried out, and the action was broken up by bits of humor. In short, this book is one that you can’t miss. In fact, the whole series is one that you can’t miss.