Snow & Rose, by Emily Winfield Martin

Emily Winfield Martin is best known as a visual artist, but her recent novel Snow & Rose proves she's a competent writer as well. Inspired by the little-known “Snow White and Rose Red” fairytale, Martin has reworked it into a full-length children's book that is greatly enhanced by her delicate, richly colored illustrations.

When their beloved father disappears, sisters Rose and Snow lose almost everything. Their home is taken away, their mother abandons herself to grief, and their sense of safety and security is gone. As they struggle to adapt to a new life in the strange, wild woods, the two girls are grateful to have one another—but the woods are full of dangers, and Snow and Rose keep getting tangled up in forces beyond their understanding.

Snow & Rose is a straightforward adventure story for children, pleasantly if not remarkably written. Along with the elegant illustrations, the best thing about this novel is its setting, which is beautifully spooky and frequently reminded me of the early scenes in T.H. White's The Sword and the Stone. Martin's plot, alas, is less imaginative than her world-building, and a several intriguing ideas are left half-baked. If you're hoping for a dazzlingly creative, emotionally engaging fantasy about two young sisters immersed in a fairytale world... well, I'm going to recommend reading this series instead. But if you've already read that, this is a perfectly lovely follow-up.
Posted by: Julianka


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