*Series: Rose #1
Author: Holly Webb
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Pages: Paperback; 240
Release Date: September 3, 2013
Content Screening: Mild Violence
HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers who enjoy stories filled with lessons, magic, and adventure.
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Rose isn't like the other orphans at St Bridget's Home for Abandoned Girls. Instead of dreaming of getting adopted by loving, wealthy parents, Rose wants to get a job and be independent. She doesn't need anyone but herself. She finds her escape working as a maid for Mr. Fountain, an alchemist. Unable to ignore the magic that flows throughout the grand residence, Rose realizes that just maybe; she might have a little bit of magic in her too. This new series featuring magicians, witches, talking cats, mist-monsters, and friendships will have young readers in a trance!
It's no secret that my absolute favorite part of books is falling in love with the characters. It's actually why I tend to read so much Middle Grade fiction. Characters like Rose make me smile. Vibrant, witty, and much braver than I could ever be, she stole my heart and made this book fly by for me! Even if the story hadn't been absolutely stellar, which it was of course, I would have read on just to follow dear Rose. Holly Webb's brilliantly showcases why MG fiction isn't just for one age group.
The real draw for me was that Rose had such big, and yet so simple dreams. While other girls dreamed of being adopted and fawned over, all she wanted as to make something respectable of herself. Despite her young age, Rose has a definite understanding of how the world around her functions. She's hardworking, intelligent, and polite. Even when faced with the possibility of magic, her level head keeps her calm. Who better to navigate a world filled with magic, both good and bad? I loved Rose.
Better still, she has a wonderful cast of characters surrounding her. Freddie, the boy apprentice with just a bit too much ego. Isabella, her master's daughter and a definite spoiled child. Even Gus, a cat a first glance and yet so much more than that, is fleshed out and fun to read about. It was these children that kept the story moving. Their interactions, the lessons learned, and of course the battle against the ultimate baddie at the end. Oh no, you won't get more from me. The synopsis doesn't spoil it, and neither shall I. You'll have to read Holly Webb's gorgeous book to find out what happens to Rose and her friends.
I honestly wish I had better words to describe how much I was enamored with this book. There's something about the old world charm of it that held me under its spell. Even at the ending, which I was satisfied with but made me want so much more, I couldn't stop smiling. Rose is a stellar start to the series. I simply cannot wait for the rest of her story, so I can devour it all over again. If you're a fan of magic, mixed with a bit of mystery, this is a book you'll adore.
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.