Wednesday, May 09, 2018

The Rose Legacy

George, Jessica Day. The Rose Legacy
May 1st 2018 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
E ARC from Netgalley

Anthea is an orphan who has been sent from family member to family member her whole life. She's been with an aunt and uncle for several years, and it's not too bad, but when her aunt is expecting, the stress of havin Anthea around is too much, and she is once again sent away. This time, however, she is sent to live outside Kalabar's Wall, which was installed hundreds of years before because of a plague that killed horses. Anyone living beyond the Wall is certainly uncivilized, and Anthea's dream of being a Rose Maiden, like her mother, is dashed. When she finally gets to the Last Farm, she finds a family who greets her warmly, even though she doesn't remember them. She also finds herself strongly drawn to one of the horses, even though she is scared of these creatures whom she thought did not exist. It turns out that Anthea's father ran the farm, and Anthea has a power called The Way that lets her communicate with the horses. Unfortunately, Anthea writes to her aunt back in "civilization" and sets in motion events that may cause the demise of the farm that she has grown to love. Will the love and strength of family be able to overcome these challenges?
Strengths: This was very different from George's more traditional, fairy tale based stories, but was intriguing. It's a great horse-based FANTASY, and I can't think of too many of those (Prineas' Winterling, perhaps?). It combines a lot of popular elements in a fresh way; dystopia, Victorian-era orphan tales, and horses. This kept me turning the pages!
Weaknesses: This was set in a fantasy world that had elements of our world, so I kept wanting to get a year for the setting. My best guess is about 1920's England, since there is a strong royal connection, but also motorcars. My students might not care, but I had to pin it down in my mind.
What I really think: Definitely purchasing. It's not necessarily a book for all readers, but fantasy fans and horse lovers will both find this intriguing. 

Ms. Yingling


  1. Judith Tarr does horse-themed fantasy. My favourite, A Wind In Cairo, is pretty much YA. It has a thirteen year old girl in it, anyway.

  2. I read another review that also wanted a more defined setting. Too bad! World building is one of my favorite things in fantasy books!