Book Club: “Scarlet in the Snow” by Sophie Masson
A beautiful young lady in a black & white with a vine accent around the edges. Smack bang in the middle of the cover is an exquisite rose bloom in a wonderfully vivid scarlet. The title is in red, and I quite like the effect.
Magic practitioners, young women climbing the social ladder, and the stereotypical hero and heroine can be found in this one.
Old Bony. She’s a bit of a nasty character, but her heart is in the right place.
Ivan. I know this is a fairytale retelling, but seriously?
A Beauty and the Beast retelling: girl becomes the prisoner of a beast and this is where it all gets a little too convenient.
Girl is sent home, but things occur to make her want to go back to the beast.
Not quite the Disney version of the happy ending, but it’s close enough.
This was a quick read, but some things fell into the way-too-convenient basket for my liking. However, I do appreciate that Natasha is a brilliantly strong female lead character.
This would definitely be a nice entry-point to fairytale re-tellings for the middle grade crowd. But for the older YA audience, it’s just not as strong as other versions.
“Tonight, you ride in the sleigh with my pretties.” ~ Old Bony making evening plans for Natasha
The cover had immediate appeal to me, the red really stands out with the white background and represents the story.
Natasha and Ivan. Beauty and the Beast, Natasha comes from poor family, Ivan from a rich. They both come under the care of Luel for the beginning of the story and the relationships blossom from there.
Luel, the care taker of Ivan, an intelligent and magical woman who brought a wonderful motherly element to the story.
The villain. Usually, I really enjoy the drama the villain adds to this story, but with this one I just didn’t like him much.
Natasha gets caught in a snow storm in the forest; she runs from wolves and finds sanctuary in a mansion. She finds there is nobody around and finds herself drawn to one red rose in the garden. Upon her touch, the rose falls apart and the home-owners demand repayment for their loss.
Even though, at first, Natasha is held at the mansion until her debt has been paid, she soon learns of the mystery of the man-beast, Luel and the magic that keeps them in hiding. Natasha soon grows very fond of Ivan and Luel and wants to help him release him from the curse.
Very powerful, eventful, and big moments that really made this story a beautiful read.
I was a little wary at the beginning but once it really gets going, Natasha begins her travels and meeting the witch it really took off. Set in an alternate Prague, the story recreates the landscape, cultures, and languages. Great world building and characters that you really want to root for. Natasha is a strong and admirable character. I very much enjoyed this fairy tale story and highly recommend it. I love stories that take us on a trip, getting a glimpse at different cultures and social life. Great story telling all around.
For who as seen Old Bony these days? Not a single soul. Not once in a hundred years has she shown her long thin nose and sharp teeth to people anywhere. Who knows, maybe her brand of magic, the magic you hear of from the old stories, cannot survive in our modern world of telegraphs and trains and typewriters.