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Posted July 24, 2012
Reviewed by Laura Carter for Readers Favorite
When a rogue mage threatens the peace of the continent of Gaia, Sonia of Tapin and Ivánstan of Daháka must journey together to find the legendary Green Rose: a magical rose created hundreds of years earlier to defeat a dark wizard and the creatures he commanded. On their travels the two must fight the traitors who wish to see them fail in their mission as well as their attraction to one another. Merely finding the rose won’t be enough as they must also keep it safe from those who would use its powers for harm as they rush to defeat the mage in time to save those that they love.
Stephanie Burkhart has a great balance between the romance and the action creating a story that will be enjoyed by both fans of fantasies and romances as neither of the two elements overpowers the other. The fantasy world is well-developed with people of noble birth having magic in their blood and the ability to bond to an animal. I loved the characters of Ivánstan and Sonia and the romance growing between them is sweet and believable. The two protagonists are also brilliant, especially Gabriel as he is just so easy to hate and so you really wish him to be defeated. This book is short for a fantasy but the length really seems to be perfect as the story doesn’t seem either rushed or dragged out. I would definitely recommend this book and I plan to read more by Stephanie Burkhart in the future.
Posted April 30, 2012
I've read a lot of Ms. Burkhart's books and this one is right up there at the top of my list. She nails the medieval time period and her characters are well-rounded and their conflicts are really well done. This book reads fast and the pacing is superb. I'm a fan of history of all eras and this was a great story set in an unusual era. I recommend.
Posted April 18, 2012
A Fabulous Paranormal Romance!!!
"The Green Rose" by Stephanie Burkhart is a fabulous paranormal romance that will have you hooked right from the very first page. After a brief Introduction which author relates the history and context of the locale - the continent of Gaia and in particular the country of Ravenrock - as well as the significance of the title image, The Green Rose, the author launches into one of the most intense, exciting and imaginative opening scenes I have ever had the pleasure to read.
Suffice it to say this gripping scene includes action on every level: battling with wyldebeasts, a dragon-character named Draco, witches, and a hero and heroine with instant electricity and chemistry who are also mutually impressed with each others' bravery. This talented author creates an atmosphere filled with sensory details that make the entire scene come alive - you the smells, you hear the sounds, you see the landscape and the materials used to make the swords and shields, you are right there in the thick of this fantastic, action-packed read. More than that, "The Green Rose" reaches the reader on an emotional level that rings very true and very sincere - the sign of very good writing. My heart was pounding during this scene, and it didn't stop until I finished reading the very last page.
Stephanie Burkhart has created an unforgettable romance here, too, creating her hero and the heroine with personality, depth and reader appeal as they travel through a teetering, uncertain world. The tone, tension, plotting and pacing are all wonderfully engaging and skillfully executed. Her facility with dialogue makes reading her work a pleasure, and her ability to paint a scene with words totally transported me as a reader. This versatile author's has designed a whole world, which is impressive in itself. Since I am a relative newcomer to this genre, I was not quite sure what I would encounter with it. I read this book with a totally open mind and I have to tell you - I was delighted. It's an exciting, well-written work which is satisfying on every level. Lucky me, to be initiated to this genre with "The Green Rose," a high-quality, imaginative and engaging work by the very talented author, Stephanie Burkhart.
Posted April 11, 2012
What an amazing and incredibly well-written story by Stephanie Burkhart!
The Green Rose is a romantic fantasy for its specific magical realm and the main story of its two main characters. At the same time, it is an action/adventure tale for its intrigue, characters’ exploits, and fast pace.
The story begins with the abduction of two kings from the empire of Gaia by an evil mage. From among their offspring, a prince and a princess plan to set out on a journey to find them, but first, they have to obtain a magical green rose from three witches. The rose will help the prince and princess and the remaining two kings to win the fight against the evil mage. The adventures of these two protagonists and their quest is for the reader to find out.
What amazes me about this work is the skill of the author in world building. The magical setting, Gaia, is matchless and fascinating with four kingdoms, plenty of rivers, and an enchanted forest. Moreover, time portals are possible for the beings like the mages and those who are on their side.
In Gaia, nobility is bound to animals, unique to each region, and marriages are arranged in proportion to the accordance of the animals with each other, and for a twist, falcon and dragon do not make an acceptable match, as Prince Ivanston is bound to a dragon and Princess Sonia to a falcon. In addition, to battle against, exist hordes of horrible creatures and the princess’s ex-fiancé who betrayed her and became a disciple of the evil mage.
In this passionate romance between the Prince Ivanston and Princess Sonia, tension and the pressure of emotions and their surroundings never cease to exist. In fact, once I started reading the story, I had a very difficult time to tear myself away from it to attend my real life.
Even if you are not a reader of romance, fantasy, and action/adventure stories, Stephanie Burkhart’s incredible skill will keep you engaged and deeply interested. Give it a try; I recommend it.
Posted April 10, 2012
Stephanie Burkhart weaves a delightful blend of action, intrigue and adventure into her fantasy romance, The Green Rose. The fascinating magical land of Gaia is very unique and interesting. The nobility are bound to animals, each specific to their region. With a modern twist on Romeo and Juliet, the couple must decide if the falcon and the dragon can ever be joined. The scenery is vivid, the action is fast-paced and the characters are deep and well-rounded.
When two of the four kings of Gaia are abducted by an evil Mage, it is up to their two crown heirs, Sonia and Ivánstan to save them. With tensions mounting and the country on the verge of war and threatened by monstrous creatures, their only hope is to find the mystical green rose and use its powers to defeat the dark mage. Torn between their intense attraction and their call to duty, Sonia and Ivánstan will travel into the Tagrassé Forest to retrieve the rose from three witches sworn to protect it. Their fathers, their country and their lives depend on their success.
The Green Rose is an intense romance, with several very heated scenes. The tension between the couple and the urgency of their quest will keep the reader enthralled until the last page.
Posted April 10, 2012
I was intrigued by the title of this book and really excited to read it. I am a fan of Stephanie Burkhart, and have read and reviewed several of her werewolf themed books.
The Green Rose is a giant leap into the fantasy realm for Ms. Burkhart, and I am amazed how effortlessly she made the jump.
The story flow was flawless, the writing crisp and clear, and the world building is the best I have ever read.
The Green Rose was filled with action, intrigue, passion and excitement.
Her characters were believable, flawed while still being strong and very compelling. The plot twisted and turned, yet I never felt lost, only egger to see what would happen next.
The love scenes between Sonia and Ivanstan are for mature audiences, yet did not over shadow the true love story or beauty of the emotional side of falling in love.
Fantasy lovers will devour this story, and for those who have yet to try a fantasy romance; this is a story that will draw you into the realm and have you searching for more.