Review: The Rose Bride – A Fairy Tale Retelling and a Greek Goddess

Posted August 17, 2015 in Reading, Review / 2 Comments

Review: The Rose Bride – A Fairy Tale Retelling and a Greek GoddessThe Rose Bride by Nancy Holder
Series: Once Upon A Time
Publisher: Simon Pulse (2007)
Paperback (245 pages)
Also in this series: Snow, Water Song, Sunlight and Shadow
Reading Challenges: 2015 Birthday Month, 2015 Color Coded, 2015 Fairytale Retelling, 2015 Mythology, 2015 Re-Reading, Read 2015


When Rose’s mother dies, her only comfort is the exquisite rose garden her mother left behind. The purple blossoms serve as an assurance of her mother’s love. But Rose is dealt a second blow when her father dies and his greedy widow, Ombrine, and her daughter, Desirée, move in and take over the manor in true Cinderella fashion.
Fate has been cruel to Ombrine and Desirée, too. So despite their harsh ways, Rose has compassion. But these feelings are bitterly tested when, in a rage, Ombrine tears out the garden. Rose nearly gives up all hope—until a chance meeting with the king. Happiness might be within her reach, but first she must prevail over Ombrine. And then she must determine if she has the courage to love.

Find the book: Goodreads

My Review

This fairy tale retelling is based on a lesser known fairy tale called The White Bride and the Black Bride. I like the original tale quite a bit and this retelling is much more than the original. The tale is set in a French-esque setting. The Greek gods, particularly Artemis, play a role in the story.

Rose is the daughter of Celestine and Laurent Marchand. Her father is a merchant who is rarely home. Celestine wants to ensure that Rose always knows that she is loved. This prompts Celestine to make a wish to Artemis:

“Let her know that she is loved with a love that is true and will never fade as the rose petal fades. If she knows that, it will be all that she needs in this life.
… If she knows she is loved, she’ll be rich and safe for all her days.”

It is at this point that the story becomes reminiscent of Cinderella. Celestine dies. Then Laurent remarries and dies. Ombrine Severine is left as Rose’s stepmother and her daughter, Desiree, makes no attempt to hide her dislike of Rose. It all seems rather dire for poor Rose but that is not the end. Artemis is still working with Celestine’s wish on Rose’s behalf.

I really, really like this story. I love Rose’s strength to keep going when she had the legitimate choice to give up multiple times. She kept going and did not want to settle for what was not hers. I love the purple roses that whisper “You are loved.” If such roses truly existed, I would want my own bush. I love this story of a lesser known fairy tale told in such a creative manner.

Which Reading Challenges?

  • You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge
  • Birthday Month Reading Challenge (August)
  • Hard-Core Re-Reading Challenge
  • Color Coded Reading Challenge (Other Color)
  • Mythology Reading Challenge (Greek)
  • Fairytale Retelling Reading Challenge (The White Bride and the Black Bride)


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