Rosehead by Ksenia Anske
A Young Adult Fantasy Novel published on amazon.com (3/31/2014)
Lilith, along with her mother and father, arrive in Germany for the funeral of Lilith’s grandmother. During her stay, Lilith discovers some very peculiar happenings at the Bloom & Co mansion, where Roses of immaculate red color and scent are grown. She investigates the peculiarities with her trusty Whippet, Panther, and all trails lead to the roses. How do they maintain their color and beauty longer than any of their counterparts? Lilith is determined to find out.
Roses, Germany, twelve-year old, peculiarity, investigation, magical roses, tradition
There is almost always something I find fault with as a reader nowadays, but reading Rosehead by Ksenia Anske broke all of my expectations. I could not put the book down and though there are close to 400 pages, I devoured the novel in one day. The only comment I would give is to the format of the book, the font is too large for my liking, which is entirely my own personal preference. There were also a larger-than-average number of minor spelling and grammar issues, but I read over them, noted, and kept going because the style of writing was so easy to follow and read through, even with the errors.
The author’s writing style was quite sophisticated. She crafted her sentences with care and her dialogue with entertaining closeness to reality. The dog’s voice is adorable and true to form of both dog and sidekick, “Pink is my favorite color. Besides, it’s more blush. Very delicate. Matches my tongue.” (Page 47). The Whippet is described as a, “…talking cat in a dog’s body with an unrivaled passion for steak, rosy jackets, and squirrels.” (Page 366).
Lilith is also a very well-drawn character. Immediately Anske lets us know that she is no ordinary twelve-year old girl because she, “… only felt sill when she was moving and [she] could smell things other people couldn’t.” (Page 366).
Lilith has her faults and eccentricities, such as her unique vocabulary and the way she is always trying to utilize as many sophisticated words as possible in her speech and the author will even italicize them to give them more emphasis. Lilith also, instead of getting emotional and angry at any bad thing done to her, finitely controls her language to be poisonously polite.
Lilith is such a loveable character because of her stubborn single mindedness. She gets fixated to a fault and she sometimes cannot seem to control her outbursts of accusations. It may be maddening for her to momentary lose control like this, but for the reader it adds tension and excitement. Panther, her Whippet companion puts it well, “I simply love your attention to detail and your inability to hear what others are saying once you set your mind to something.” (Page 186).
I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys the hijinks and imagination of Calvin and Hobbes, the sidekick element of Pantalaimon in Philip Pullman’s Dark Materials series, or the whimsical darkness of Pan’s Labyrinth.
TLDR Star Rating: 5.0
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