Until she meets a privileged young man sent to spend his summer in the mountains. Leo, a lonely lad, befriends Rose Red, and together they begin hunting for the Mountain Monster which, rumor says, stalks these lands.
But the hunt which began as a game holds greater risk than Leo supposes. Rose Red can scarcely guess at the consequences should he insist on continuing his search. Dare she trust him with her secret? Or tell him what dwells at the top of the mountain in the cave only she can find?
Above all, when Leo asks Rose Red to leave the mountain and follow him to the low country, dare she agree and risk the wrath of a Monster that is all too real?
About the Author
Anne Elisabeth Stengl makes her home in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, Rohan, a passel of cats, and one long-suffering dog. When she's not writing, she enjoys Shakespeare, opera, and tea, and studies piano, painting, and pastry baking. She studied illustration at Grace College and English literature at Campbell University. She is the author of Heartless, Veiled Rose, Moonblood, and Starflower. Heartless, Veiled Rose, and Dragonwitch have each been honored with a Christy Award. Learn more at anneelisabethstengl.blogspot.com
Read an Excerpt
By Anne Elisabeth Stengl
Bethany House PublishersCopyright © 2011 Anne Elisabeth Stengl
All right reserved.
Chapter OneThey said a monster lived in the mountains.
They couldn't say where it hid. They couldn't say when it had come. They certainly couldn't say what it looked like, though they had plenty of conflicting ideas on that subject. But they all agreed that it was there. Somewhere.
They being no one in particular and everyone in general who lived and worked at Hill House, where Leo spent the summer of his eleventh year. At first, Leo assumed it was simply another one of those sayings that grown-ups liked to bandy about, such as swearing "Silent Lady!" when frightened, or "Dragon's teeth!" when angry.
"Best come in, it's almost dark," his nursemaid would call from his bedroom window when he was playing out on the sloping lawns and gardens of Hill House. "You don't want the mountain monster to carry you off."
This wasn't true. Leo wouldn't have minded much if the monster did carry him off, or at least made the attempt. He put off coming in until the very last minute, just before his nursemaid would feel obliged to sally forth and fetch him. But no matter how long the shadows in the mountainside garden grew, he saw neither hide nor hair of anything monsterlike.
Then one day he took the servants' stairway down from his rooms, for it was a quicker route to the gardens. He overheard furtive voices and could not have stopped himself from eavesdropping for the world.
"I swear on my hand, I saw it!" said the voice Leo recognized as belonging to Leanbear, the carriage man. "I was on my way up the mountain trail to my old granna's house, and I saw it clear as day!"
Leanbear was a strong man, used to working with the tough mountain ponies that pulled the carriages in this rough part of the country. But his voice quavered and remained low as he spoke.
"What did it look like?" Mistress Redbird, the cook, asked in a tone rather too dry to be sympathetic. "Was it big and shaggy? Did you see the Wolf Lord's ghost? He was said to prowl these parts back in the day."
"This was no wolf, Redbird, I'll tell you that straight," said the carriage man. "I've hunted down my share of wolves, and I'm proud to say I've yet to feel even a twinge when they set up their howling on winter's nights. But this was no wolf."
"What, then?" demanded Redbird. "A troll? A goblin? A sylph?"
"More like ... a demon."
Leo shuddered in his dark stairway, a delightful shudder of terror such as only boys of a particular spirit may experience. But Mistress Redbird laughed outright. "I'd have sooner you said dragon, Leanbear."
"You know as well as I that it's out there," the carriage man growled.
For a moment, Mistress Redbird's voice became more serious. "I know what I know, and the rest I don't pretend to understand. But I say it's best you keep such fool talk to yourself, especially while the little mister is running about the place."
Leanbear grunted, and both of them moved on without seeing Leo where he stood in the dark stairway.
Leo did not move for a long moment. He'd made plans for his day already, packing up the fine library chess pieces into a leather sack to sneak them out to the garden, where he intended to dig a dirt fortress and wage a battle that had nothing whatsoever to do with chess. But such paltry games were as nothing to the inspiration that now filled his soul.
His chess pieces rattling in their sack, Leo turned and raced back up the stairs and on to the Hill House library, where he could be certain to find his cousin, Foxbrush.
Foxbrush was a pale, sickly, self-styled cherub, and a favorite of Leo's mother. She thought him a good influence on Leo, so she insisted the two of them be the best of friends. Leo wouldn't have minded this so much—not even his mother's constant nagging of "Why can't you be more like your cousin?"—if once in a while Foxbrush could have been convinced to put down his books and get out of his overstuffed chair.
"Foxbrush!" Leo cried, bursting into the library. His cousin looked up from behind the cover of his book. It was one of his "improving reads," something like Economic Concerns of the Trade Merchant's Status, full of numbers and dates and other hideous things of that nature. Foxbrush pretended to enjoy them and was so good at the pretense that Leo sometimes believed him. He'd even picked up one or two of these books himself but had found them to be rubbish.
"Foxbrush!" he cried. "There's a monster in the mountains!"
"No there isn't," said Foxbrush.
Hill House belonged to Foxbrush's widowed mother, which meant that when any disagreement arose between the boys, Foxbrush could usually win with a final swipe of, "This is my mother's house, so you have to do what I say!" However, Leo's was by far the stronger personality, so if he made the effort he could sometimes barrage Foxbrush with so much enthusiasm that his cousin forgot to employ that dreaded line.
Foxbrush took one look at Leo's face, flushed and bright-eyed with the prospect of adventure, and ducked behind his book as though sheltering from a siege.
"Yes there is!" Leo said. "The carriage man saw it!"
"He also sees pixies dancing when he's been into last year's cider."
"We must hunt it!"
"No, we mustn't." Foxbrush nestled more solidly into his comfortable chair.
"Aunt Starflower wouldn't like it."
"Mother's not here!"
"She'd find out."
"And praise us for catching a demon that's been terrorizing the countryside!"
"There isn't any demon."
"How do you know?"
Foxbrush's face emerged from behind the book, this time wearing his patient expression, the one that made Leo want to poke him in the eye, and said, "I've lived here all my life. I've heard people babble nonsense for years. But I've not seen it. I've not heard it. It doesn't exist." Back behind the book again, he added, "Go away."
Leo stared at the thick red cover for several fuming seconds. Then he took the sack of chess pieces from his belt and tossed it so that it came down on Foxbrush's head, eliciting a satisfactory "Ow!"
"You're no better than a girl, Foxbrush," Leo declared, storming from the library. It was much too fine a day to waste on his cousin.
Out in the gardens, Leo stood for some time a few steps from the door, gazing about. Hill House was so named because it rested high in the mountains in the southern part of the country. It commanded a fine prospect, looking north toward the spreading landscape of Leo's homeland. The weather was pleasant here, a little cool due to the altitude, but fresh and invigorating ... the right air for an adventurous heart.
On regular days, the mountainside gardens of Hill House were interesting enough to occupy the boy. But now that he knew there was more to this monster talk than a mere nursemaid's warning, the gardens were suddenly much too small and cramped. No monster would come within the bounds of Hill House's gardens. Leo would have to venture out after it himself.
But first he must be properly armed.
"I need a weapon," he told Mousehand, the gardener. Mousehand was probably the oldest, creaking-est man in the world, and his face was a mass of beard. At Leo's words, the beard wrinkled into something that was probably a smile underneath, and the gardener's little eyes winked.
"A weapon, eh?" said Mousehand.
"Yes. A sword, if you have one."
Mousehand grunted, pausing to contemplate the row of parsnips he was weeding. "I think I know what you need."
With a splendid cacophony of crackling, the old man rose from his knees and hobbled to his toolshed with Leo close behind. In moments, Mousehand undid the various chains and latches that had baffled Leo every time he'd tried to get into the shed on his own, and the door swung open with almost as much creaking as Mousehand's joints. The gardener stepped inside and emerged with his selected weapon, which he handed to Leo with great ceremony.
Leo took it and frowned. "A beanpole?"
"A mighty sword, good sir knight, if you look at it right."
Leo wrinkled his nose. "You mean, use my imagination?"
"I might. Or I might not," said the gardener.
If there was one thing Leo disliked about grown-ups, it was their tendency to treat him like a child. "I'm going to hunt a monster. Is this really going to help?"
Here the gardener seemed to really look at Leo for the first time. He put his gnarled hand on the doorpost, leaning against it as his eyes traveled up and down the boy's slight frame. He took in the fine clothing, slightly mussed from play. He took in the scrapes on the hands that indicated a willingness to plunge into any activity with a will. He noted the spark that shone behind the sulkiness in a pair of large black eyes.
"What monster do you hunt?"
"The monster up the mountain," Leo replied. "Have you heard of it?"
The gardener nodded. "I have."
"Have you seen it?"
The gardener's beard shifted as the mouth somewhere in its depths worked back and forth in thought. "What I've seen and what others've seen ain't likely to be the same thing."
Leo shouldered his beanpole. "What have you seen?"
Mousehand shook his head. "You must see for yourself, lad, and decide for yourself. So, you're setting off up the mountain, are you?"
"Does your nursemaid know?"
Dragon's teeth! He hadn't thought of that detail. "Um ..."
"I'll just tell her you'll be home by nightfall when she asks, eh?"
Here Leo gave the old man a real smile; a smile that Mousehand, who had been a spirited boy himself ages ago, returned. Then the gardener escorted the boy up the mountainside to the edge of the garden and saluted solemnly as Leo stepped through the gate.
"Which way is quickest to the monster?"
"Never be in too much of a hurry to catch your quarry, young master," the gardener responded. "The adventure is the hunt, not the catch, remember." Then he pointed an arthritic finger up the beaten trail. "Follow that a good hundred yards, then look for the deer path on your left, beginning just under the silver-branched sapling tied with a red scarf. Follow that path, and you'll make a wide loop around that side of the mountain and end back where you started. Be careful you don't stray, now."
"I won't find a monster while following a path."
"If you're meant to meet with the monster, you'll meet it on that path. I swear to you. Do you believe me?" His eyes met Leo's and held the boy's gaze for much longer than Leo was comfortable. But Leo was not one to look away, so he studied the old man and considered what he'd said.
Oddly enough, he found that he believed Mousehand.
"All right," he said. "I'll follow the path."
With those words, he adjusted his grip on the beanpole, squared his shoulders, and started at a trot up the mountain.
"Hey!" the gardener called.
Leo looked back over his shoulder.
"Try not to get eaten whilst you're about. Might be kinda hard for me to explain to your folks, eh?"
Leo nodded, saluted the gardener, and continued up the path.
At first, it was a fantastic feeling. The forest at that time of year was a heavy dark green that breathed mystery. The birds sang tempting tunes like sirens, not so cheerful as to destroy the ambiance. Leo felt that surge of manliness common to all young adventurers and tried the mettle of his beanpole on an offending sapling or two. Perhaps it was a little lonely sallying forth on his own. Perhaps he would have preferred a brave comrade-in-arms. But there's a certain spirit that follows the solitary adventurer and prevents any real loneliness from setting in.
The path was broad, for many lived in the higher reaches of the mountain and trekked down to the lower village once or twice a week. It was hardly the right location to hunt monsters, but to Leo it was nonetheless exciting. He'd never before been so far away from home on his own. In fact, he had never before been so completely alone.
This thought struck him just as he came upon the silver-branched sapling tied with a red scarf. It was a threadbare scarf looped around the thin trunk. The red dye was so faded with age that it was lucky it caught Leo's eye. Obviously, someone had placed it there as an unobtrusive marker, not for the whole world to see. Leo might have stopped to wonder how the gardener knew about it or why he had decided to point it out to Leo ... but he didn't. His mind was much too caught up in the sudden decision presented him.
The deer trail led around the mountain rather than up, and it led deep into the forest. The dark forest. Like a pathway into the blackness of a mine, the light dimmed and then vanished only a few paces in.
Leo had to make the choice. Did he truly desire the adventure he had come seeking? Did he truly wish to make that plunge and hunt the monster? Or would he rather turn around and call it a day after a brisk and relatively interesting walk? No one would blame him, after all.
For a terrible moment, he stood undecided, doubting his own courage, excusing his fear.
Then from the depths of the mountain forest, so distant as to sound like an echo, he heard a trill of silver notes from a bird that might almost have been singing words had Leo known the language.
And something about that song told him, It's all right. Make the plunge. Hunt your monster and see what you find.
With a mighty cry to prove to himself how unafraid he was, Leo smacked his beanpole against the sapling as hard as he could, making it sway and tremble. Then he pushed through low growth and on down the narrow trail.
The going was slower now, since he had to watch the ground for roots and duck to avoid branches that swung at his eyes. His heart raced, but it felt good to let it race, and his grip on the beanpole tightened until his knuckles were white. In his mind he pictured the monster again and again, remembering the bits and pieces he'd overheard.
A demon, Leanbear had said. Leo imagined a towering, lurching, spine-shouldered fiend with dripping jowls and red eyes. He imagined his beanpole really was a sword, slashing away grasping claws and driving home to rid the world of this abomination.
A dragon, Redbird had remarked. Leo saw in his mind scaly wings, smoke-fuming nostrils, and a long, sinuous tail. Of course, it would be difficult for a dragon to crawl about in this overgrown forest without making a terrible racket.
Perhaps a sylph, a creature of the wind, wafting and horrible, with sharp white claws. Leo liked this idea better. Immaterial monsters were frightening, but they were less likely to cause physical harm ... and when one was venturing out with only a beanpole for protection, this was just as well.
Monster after monster flitted across Leo's imagination. The day lengthened, and the path beneath him did as well. He could not guess how long he had been traveling; it seemed like forever. All that tramping around, even sheltered as he was from the hot sun, made Leo hungry, and the monsters in his mind swiftly grew less interesting.
His beanpole out at an awkward angle to push aside a clump of nettles, Leo froze. Then his heart started to pound wildly, yet still he could not move. Other than the birds' random twittering and the crunch and crash of his own feet on the uneven terrain, he hadn't heard a sound that deep in the forest. Not until this moment.
It was closer now, he thought. Was it moving his way? He'd never pictured seven-foot spine-backed fiends making noises quite like that, but who was to say what monsters sound like? He brandished his beanpole, leaving the nettles to swing back and bite him in the leg. "Dragon's teeth!" he yelped.
Leo whirled around, for the sound had come from behind him. Peering into the brambles through which he had just come, he saw fur and an inhuman body. And for a second, he saw the glint of an evil yellow eye.
Then the goat pushed her nose through. "Bah!" she said.
Leo only just stopped himself from swinging his pole. He stared at the goat, which stared back at him, and the accusatory gleam in her eyes made him feel very stupid.
"Dragon-eaten beast," he growled. "What are you doing out here all alone? You're not even wearing a bell. Did you wander away from your flock?"
"Bah," said the goat, stamping a cloven hoof.
It was embarrassing how fast his heart was still drumming. Leo bent down to rub his leg where the nettles had caught him, muttering to himself about goat stew. What a waste this afternoon was turning out to be! He'd have been better off with chess pieces in the dirt like a stupid little boy rather than all this adventuring nonsense. Monster indeed! Nothing but a stupid goat.
Something cracked behind him.
There it stood, not ten feet away. Swathed in veils, white and incorporeal and horrifying in the shadows cast by the tallest trees.
Leo did not wait for a second look. Pushing past the goat, he crashed headlong back through the forest as fast as his feet could carry him, leaving his beanpole behind.
Excerpted from Veiled Rose by Anne Elisabeth Stengl Copyright © 2011 by Anne Elisabeth Stengl. Excerpted by permission of Bethany House Publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
After reading Heartless, I was quite eager to pick up the next book in the series. Would the writing peter out? Also, realizing it was a companion novel, not really a sequel, I wondered what it would be like to read some of the same scenes (albeit from a different point of view) again, wondering if that would be interesting or if it would bore me. I needn't have worried - Stengl writes beautifully and sets up the story in such a way that when it does overlap the story line in Heartless, it's smooth and effortless and really puts things into perspective, giving us a greater understanding of some of the events that occurred that we were familiar with. One encounters several moments of going "Ah" in satisfaction as another piece of the puzzle falls into place (little tantalizing tidbits that were hinted at in Heartless) The story sets up well for the next book - Moonblood, but it's by no means a cliff-hanger ending (which can sometimes be a little irksome) - it's a good ending, in my opinion, but I try not to have pre-conceived notions as to endings, and it’s refreshing not to have an “expected” ending, so to speak. What’s also really refreshing is a sense of realism. For instance, a lot of stories deal with a great lord or prince who is friends with a servant or someone of a much lower social class. It’s not realistic, merely convenient to the plot. Why would a prince befriend his servant? His valet, maybe, but not the scullery maid. Stengl deftly handles this by having her main characters meet as children, when such things as social standings don’t weigh heavily on the mind. And the bonds of friendship formed at childhood are a special thing, because as children we tend not to wear the heavy veils of accepted social norms. So in this case, when they both grow up, it’s much more natural that they should be close, though even in this sense, she is not his buddy, per se, but in public rather a servant that is held in higher regard by him. Her secondary characters are enthralling, and don’t ever have the feeling that they were written merely to support the main characters – they have their own stories and their own lives that intersect with the main plot, thus enhancing it and again, adding a lovely sense of realism to the whole work. I look forward to reading the next one.
This is the first fantasy book that I have read as an adult, and I have to say...I LOVED it!! Veiled Rose is the second book in the Tales of Goldstone Wood series. This story details how Prince Lionheart (Leo) and Rose Red met as children, and weaves a tale of unexpected friendship. Rose Red is considered a monster by the villagers, so she wears a veil to cover herself and hides in the forest. Leo does not see her in that way, and only sees the true friend that she is. They go on many adventures, one of which is to catch the "monster" that is hiding somewhere in the mountains. The monster is very real, and both of them will go on their own quest to defeat it. I would have liked to have read the first book in the series, but it was not necessary since this book definitely stands on its own. Give this book a try, even if you never read fantasy, because this story is beautifully written and captivating. I received this book from the publisher in order to write an honest, unbiased review.
In fairy tales not all of them end with a happily ever after. Sometimes there are parts of the story we never really get to know. There are people that seem like the supporting character in the story, but once we learn their part of the story, it really does change how we view the story. Leo at only eleven had been told what to do, when to do it and how it should be done. Yet what a boy at eleven really wanted was adventure. Adventure the was best lived outside the fairie tales of books, once that existed in the real world. When he learned that a monster lived in the deepest, darkest woods just outside his home in Hill House, he began in earnest to seek out its secrets despite his overwhelming fear. Armed with a beanpole as a sword given to him by the old gardener on the property and a warning that what he seeks isn't always what it appears, he tries to hold on to bravery as he searches for a path in the darkness of the forest. What he finds there is just an old nanny goat, who scares him more than any monster would. But the goat isn't alone, it belongs to Rose Red, a girl cloaked in rags from head to toe and veils that show only her kindest eyes. Seeking true friendship for both is what unites them and keeps them company during the long, hot days of the summer, until the day Leo mentions hunting the monster once more. When she leads him to the cave where the monster dwells it will lead them both on an unforgettable journey into the lands of legends and fairie tales. In the sequel to the Tales of Goldstone Woods series, Veiled Rose by Anne Elisabeth Stengl, picks up as a prequel of sorts to Heartless. You won't figure it all out until the end, and just when you think you have uncovered the secrets that lay hidden in the darkness, you'll be surprised once more. For those that love fantasy in dealing with dragons, dreams and mythical creatures, like Lord of The Rings Trilogy or the Chronicles of Narnia, then this one is perfect for you. Set amid the hope of romance and love, some things will never be the way we want them to be and for this reason, I loved this book. It's unpredictable in so many ways and thus rates a perfect 5 out of 5 stars. I received this book compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review.
Okay, I'll admit it. I didn't like Prince Lionheart when I read Heartless, the first book in this series. I thought he was selfish and a coward. I only knew that he lied about who he was and felt that he used Princess Una in a horrible way. I grew to think of him just as Leo in this book and I loved him. I guess that shows you how important knowing a person's back story can be. lol I think I liked this book overall even better than the first. Maybe it's the series effect (growing to love the characters and setting more over each book) but I was glued to the pages of this book. I think a lot of it had to do with Rose Red. I loved her character and the author did a masterful job of keeping up the suspense of who and what she really was. Rose herself didn't know - and this aura of mystery and very real danger made you want to keep flipping pages until you knew what was going to happen to her. I also was impressed with the ... complexity of the relationships explored. It isn't as simple as boy meets girl, boy chases girl, boy loses girl, boy wins girl again, and then boy and girl live happily every after. This was filled with lots of intertwined and complicated relationships that (although this is a fantasy novel) mirrored the way real people might interact with one another. Nothing is as simple as all black or all white. This story still has some allegorical or symbolic elements, but it isn't as pronounced as in the first book. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and would suggest it to anyone who likes to read this genre. I want to thank Bethany House for providing me a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
Last year I had the privilege of reviewing the first book in the Tales of Goldstone Wood series, Heartless by Anne Elisabeth Stengl. I fell in-love with the fantasy world Stengl created. When the second book in the series, Veiled Rose, was released I knew right away that I wanted to read it. Veiled Rose is an epic fantasy where dragons are feared, beauty is praised and things are not what they appear to be. This story is centered around two main characters. Leo made an appearance in Heartless. In this book we learn all about Leo's history from the time that he's a boy. He's a precocious lad ready to take on the world despite his fears. While visiting his cousin for the summer he vows to slay the monster that lives in the mountains. While traipsing through the woods he meets a young girl, Rose Red. Rose Red is covered from head to toe. She is a mystery. However these two become fast friends and share many adventures together. I liked learning more about Leo. In Veiled Rose Stengl gives more of an insight into his character. I felt that I understood his motivations a lot more in this novel. Leo has some really good qualities but he also has some really annoying qualities as well. I like the relationship between Leo and Rose a lot. It seemed that the only time his character was authentic was when he was with her. Rose was the one who wore the physical veil but Leo is the one hiding behind a metaphorical veil. I really liked the mystery behind Rose Red. Her appearance is a complete mystery. Her only friends are a goat, the man she calls father and her imaginary prince until she meets Leo. You can tell from the beginning that Rose Red is no ordinary girl. She possesses strength, courage and inner beauty. Rose Red is plagued my nightmares. She dreams of a mysterious man that claims to be her friend. He desires just one kiss from her. He uses everything in his power to persuade her. He is the protagonist in this novel and is cunningly evil. As he sets out to get what he wants, he destroys everything in his path. Stengl has created a truly deplorable character. Evil is just a game to him. The story line in this novel is good. It has a religious undertone with many poignant themes. The adventure that Rose Red and Leo have to embark on help shape their characters. I love seeing the character growth with these two characters. Veiled Rose is a fast paced, well written novel. It had me hooked from beginning to end. I can't wait for the next book to come out.
A monster, a maiden named Rose Red, and a hero by the name of Leo. Veiled Rose brings another adventure that will make anyone's heart beat with anticipation. Veiled Rose is a fairytale that is so outstanding. It is written amazingly and I congratulate and thank Anne Elisabeth Stengl for writing such a fantastic novel! I'm in love with this book and will always cherish it. Veiled Rose has a marvelous plot that is greatly thought over and created. The characters are splendid and adventurous. Veiled has everything you would want in a novel. A fantastic read about a fairytale that all will love!
This book runs parallel to her first book Heartless and it was fascinating having two stories in different locations cross each other. I only wish Moonblood was already released! Ms. Stengl has created a world which speaks to the heart. Find her blog online and learn more about the Tales of Goldstone Wood.
Last year I had the privilege of reviewing the first book in the Tales of Goldstone Wood series, Heartless by Anne Elisabeth Stengl. I fell in-love with the fantasy world Stengl created. When the second book in the series, Veiled Rose, was released I knew right away that I wanted to read it.Veiled Rose is an epic fantasy where dragons are feared, beauty is praised and things are not what they appear to be. This story is centered around two main characters. Leo made an appearance in Heartless. In this book we learn all about Leo's history from the time that he's a boy. He's a precocious lad ready to take on the world despite his fears. While visiting his cousin for the summer he vows to slay the monster that lives in the mountains. While traipsing through the woods he meets a young girl, Rose Red. Rose Red is covered from head to toe. She is a mystery. However these two become fast friends and share many adventures together. I liked learning more about Leo. In Veiled Rose Stengl gives more of an insight into his character. I felt that I understood his motivations a lot more in this novel. Leo has some really good qualities but he also has some really annoying qualities as well. I like the relationship between Leo and Rose a lot. It seemed that the only time his character was authentic was when he was with her. Rose was the one who wore the physical veil but Leo is the one hiding behind a metaphorical veil. I really liked the mystery behind Rose Red. Her appearance is a complete mystery. Her only friends are a goat, the man she calls father and her imaginary prince until she meets Leo. You can tell from the beginning that Rose Red is no ordinary girl. She possesses strength, courage and inner beauty. Rose Red is plagued my nightmares. She dreams of a mysterious man that claims to be her friend. He desires just one kiss from her. He uses everything in his power to persuade her. He is the protagonist in this novel and is cunningly evil. As he sets out to get what he wants, he destroys everything in his path. Stengl has created a truly deplorable character. Evil is just a game to him.The story line in this novel is good. It has a religious undertone with many poignant themes. The adventure that Rose Red and Leo have to embark on help shape their characters. I love seeing the character growth with these two characters. Veiled Rose is a fast paced, well written novel. It had me hooked from beginning to end. I can't wait for the next book to come out.
I fell irreversibly in love with Anne Elisabeth Stengl¿s writing after reading her spectacular debut novel Heartless (which you can find for free digitally ¿ Kindle, Nook, Epub etc. right now). It is without a doubt a five-star read (you¿ll have to wait for my full review because it is still in a moving box somewhere!). In any case, if you read, and loved Heartless know this. Even though Stengl¿s first novel stands well on its own without the need of a sequel, Veiled Rose adds even more depth, more characters, and more mystery to the world inhabited by dragons, princesses, princes in exile, and ancient forces of darkness.At first (feel free to call me dense), I couldn¿t see the connections between the two novels. I was caught up in the splendidly mysterious friendship between a young nobleman named Leo and a mysteriously veiled girl who became his constant companion during an unforgettable childhood summer. Only halfway through our story did the pieces start to fall into place. I won¿t let you know what I discovered; perhaps it is already obvious to you. What I will assert is that Veiled Rose adds another layer of meaning to Heartless so flawlessly that I simply cannot wait to read Moonblood the series¿ conclusion.Now, you do need to read Heartless at some point, but you could read it before or after. I think I¿ll actually double back and read Heartless again through the new eyes Veiled Rose has given me. Whatever you do, you should certainly read it. Stengl has woven another thread of allegorical meaning into her series (though not as pronounced in this second novel), and her new heroine ¿ Rose Red ¿ is so richly imbued with sweet, strong virtues made naturally evident through her life, that she has burst off the page and into my heart.Tales of Goldstone Wood is a must-read series for fans of Christian fantasy ¿ and, even if fantasy isn¿t normally your cup of tea, I can still confidently suggest that Anne Elisabeth Stengl¿s works have the potential to just possibly change your mind.I received a physical copy of this title in exchange for this review. All opinions are genuine and entirely my own.Reviewed at quiverfullfamily.com
Lionheart, or Leonard the jester, was an interesting character from the first book. He disappointed me then, and he continued to disappoint me in this book. I don't mean this in a negative way. All of the characters in this series have their faults, their imperfections. It's what makes them human and relatable. He was a believable human being, victim to the follies of youth and the chains of duty. He desperately wanted to be free, but freedom wasn't what he thought it would be. I couldn't help but love him, cheer for him, and hope for him. He disappointed me so many times, yet I continued to wish him success and happiness. Rose Red was a beautiful character. She also had her faults. Most of which had to do with her fears and her lack of trust in others. But she was brave and selfless. She gave everything to the prince she adored and the woman he was supposed to marry. I wanted her to find happiness, and in a way, I think she did. The ending was different. I don't want to spoil it for anyone, so I'll just say that it surprised me, yet it didn't. It's not typical, yet it was a perfect fit for this story. I'm interested to see where this series leads next. The only downside to this book was the length. There were times I got impatient (just like in the first book), but for the most part, I loved it. Anne Elisabeth Stengl captured an adventurous boy's spirit perfectly. I adored the friendship that developed between Lionheart and Rose Red as children and continued through adulthood. Content: some fantasy violence, but still very clean.
These books are awesome! Unique characters, well written & a story line that is wonderful! The parallels between love, forgiveness & looking past what you see with mortal eyes to see beneath the person is amazing!
After reading "Heartless," I was eager to pick up Veiled Rose. Veiled Rose is Leo's story, and while you may think you hate him after the end of "Heartless," his side of the story is a bit more complex. The beginning of the story takes place before "Heartless," with Leo as a child. The unusual friendship between him and Rose is a pleasure to read about. As the book progresses, there are some big time jumps, but if you pay attention you shouldn't get lost. The ending is bittersweet and will leave you wanting more, so be sure to read Book #3 ("Moonblood") as well to get the rest of the story!
Ilove theses books
Leo's story. If you've read Heartless, then you will know the main character of this book. It is his side of the story, and we do see bits and pieces of Una, the main character in Heartless. First, I must apologize to Leo, Prince Lionheart. I had a bit of a grudge against him for his behavior in Heartless, but now we know why. Reason don't excuse a person's choices, behavior, but it does help to understand where they are coming from, and it helps us give grace. Something that I find true in my own life. Prince Lionheart yearns for a different life, one not dictated by the showy, yet constrained lifestyle as a prince who actions are controlled by his mother and tradition. He wants to be a jester and travel the world. He gets his wish, just not now he would imagine it, and spends the rest of the book trying to do the right thing. But Veiled Rose isn't just about Prince Lionheart, it's also the story of Rose Red. A young goat girl who lives on the mountainside with her adoptive father and a nanny goat. She is different than the others and must wear veils to hide how different she really is, but even so, everyone despises her, except Lionheart who, after Rose Red's father dies, determines to care for her. But the terror that hunts Rose Red will descend on the Southlands, testing her friendship with the Prince, challenging her, and revealing her true identity. Love the creativity and the way the writing flows, how the author worked in elements of mythology and making it her own. Rose Red's "journey" was mind bending at times, but awesome. Such a good read. On to the next book!
O yeah its pretty awesome.
Although I enjoyed Heartless slightly more, Veiled Rose, was equal in its imagery and captivating writing. Rose Red is a wonderful character with so many admirable attributes, yet she is shunned and feared by the society around her. Readers have plenty to learn from her character--very thought provoking. Again Ms. Stengl's writing gift shines through.
Thisbeautifully written story adds to and deepens the plot and characters of Heartless, yet also stands on its own as an amazing fantasy tale. I can hardly wait for book 3, Moonblood, to release. Highly recommended!
Veiled Rose was a fascinating novel that had me excited for what was going to happen next. This novel followed Rose Red and Leo and the friendship that blooms between them. Rose Red was used to being alone until one day a boy shows up on the mountain where she lives. After that the two became friends. Leo is a prince who wants to be a normal kid. The summer they met becomes an important time in their lives. Time and many troubles try to break the pair down and apart but they persevear and overcome. This was a wonderful book. I was imediatly drawed in and found myself wanting to look ahead to find out what was going to happen. I love suspense and this book did not dissapoint. Thank you Bethany House for my free copy!!!
Veiled Rose is an intricately woven book, full of fresh fantasy with a classic feel. The story follows two complex main characters, Rose Red, a mysterious girl who covers her secret with veils, and Leo, a young prince who is always ready for adventure. Veiled Rose reads like a timeless classic, a bit slow going at times but well worth reading. Ms. Stengl weaves an ethereal spell throughout the book, with complicated plotlines laid down ever so subtly. It is a rich, engaging and all together enjoyable book. At first, I worried that I might not "get it" because I haven't yet read the first novel in the series, but I soon found that Veiled Rose stood on its own splendidly. Another thing that I wanted to bring up was that this book was far away from being predictable, and I think that's what made it enjoyable. I could never fully guess what was coming next, it pretty much always took me by surprise! And I loved that. Overall Veiled Rose is a beautiful book that is entirely too easy to get lost in. I believe that it will thrill fans of the Classic Fairy Tale, as well as fans of Christian Fantasy, and some who aren't fans of either! Final Rating: 4.75 out of 5 Thanks to Noelle Buss & Bethany House Publishers for furnishing this book free of charge to me for review! Thanks!
Leo is a boy who dreams of a life beyond the weight of the responsibility that is destined for his shoulders. Rose Red is a mysterious mountain girl who dreams of nothing save escaping her nightmares. When they meet and become friends, little do they realize the havoc that will be wreaked on their lives as a result, or the power of their friendship to bring them through it.<br/><br/>I really enjoyed this book. When I began to read it it seemed fairly cut and dried, and I thought that I would have endure a book to which I already knew the ending. But then little twists began to appear in the plot. Soon the plot developed into something much more intricate than I had expected, and I was hooked. Even two-thirds of the way through the book, when I still thought I knew the basic premise of the ending, I was very much invested in the story playing out before my eyes.<br/><br/>Turns out, I didn't know the ending after all. This happens to be part two of a three part story, and while the story that begins in this book comes to a definite close, there is much more to tell and much more that I want to know. I never felt like I had come in on the middle of a story without knowing all the details, which is always a concern when beginning a series in the middle. I felt like this was a complete story about well developed characters with histories more detailed than even they know. Even the character names (Leo, Foxbrush, Daylily, Rose Red), which were somewhat annoying at the beginning of the story, ceased to be so as the story went on -- they became a part of the culture represented in the book.<br/><br/>I really liked this book. The prequel, Heartless, came out last year, and Moonblood, the final book in the trilogy, will be released next year. But you don't have to read them in order. I may not have picked up Heartless initially, but thanks to Veiled Rose, I just became a fan of another series.<br/><br/>.<br/><br/>I received a review copy of this book free from the publisher, Bethany House. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own.
Another great book to add to my library! I love a book that has a little mystery and love in it! Veiled Rose by Anne Elisabeth Stengl is another book that takes you outside the box of traditional love. It shows you how love can surpass all outside or social standards. That love is deeper than appearances and wealth but is rooted in selflessness, understanding and compassion. It is a fairy tale that leaves you guessing and wondering what will happen next, and although a great story, unfortunately, leaves you hanging just a bit in wait for the next book in the series. Young Leo follows his instincts for adventure despite what those around him say. He journeys off in search of a monster and instead he finds friendship that he has never known. Rose Red veiled and hidden listens and talks and shares with Leo that hot summer, and eventually, leads him to the monster he went in search of the first day. The book leads you on a fairy tale that involves legends and dragons. Although I have not read Heartless, I was able to understand and keep up for the most part and can't wait to read it for myself as well as pick up the next book in the Tales of Goldstone Wood series, Moonblood. Leo, Daylily and Rose Red are all characters you fall in love with, fight for, argue with and hate in turn. It is said that in the book Heartless, you meet young Leo as an adult. Veiled Rose gives you a new insight into who he is and how he became a man. Veiled Rose is unlike most modern day fairy tales. There is love, there is complication and hurt and pain and more love, but in the end, it isn't wrapped up neatly in a "happily ever after" way. It leaves you wondering what will happen next and what the end will be. If you like fairy tales, dragon lore, adventure and romance, you can find them all in the Tales of Goldstone Wood series, especially in this book Veiled Rose. Although it is a Christian Fiction series, it is not "preachy" or pushy in theme. The love of God and Christianity is a slight undertone in the book that does not overpower or annoy the reader. It could easily be considered a "crossover" book that you could recommend to anyone who likes a good fantasy or fairy tale novel. Overall, I enjoyed this book and will be purchasing others in the series in the future. It is a bit confusing at times, but in a good way. Veiled Rose is a very enjoyable read. I give this 4 out of 5 stars.
If you loved Grimm's Fairy Tales and Hans Christian Anderson, this book will win your heart immediately. The moment I opened the book, it was like I strayed into a dream. A strange dream with so many details that a second reading would bring more information to light. You don't know who the bad guy or good guy is in this book. You are lost in the confusion in a good way. I loved the details and the descriptions. I could see this land, that mountain, and the cave. I can follow Rose Red's movements as if I stood behind a camera and filmed the movie. It's about a friendship that deepens between a young prince and a maid living in the mountains. It's about a struggle between good and evil. As I got near the end of the book I began to see the Christian message and the lesson Stengl weaves in her words. It's an excellent novel and one that has earned a permanent place in my library. It's worth rereading.