The Rose Crown by Catharine Glen
“Elite soldier Marian serves and protects the royal family—a responsibility she does not take lightly. But when she thwarts an assassination attempt on the king, she unwittingly becomes a prime suspect. Worse, she is left with a terrible, pulsing wound and vile, intrusive thoughts that are not her own. Now, the mysterious cult behind the attack has targeted her, and Marian soon learns of their goal to restore a devastating relic: the legendary Rose Crown.
Former mercenary Henryk has vowed to prevent the restoration of the Rose Crown at any cost. When he encounters Marian, he discovers the terrifying truth of her involvement—and the mortal danger they both face. Drawn together by the very thing that could destroy them, Henryk and Marian must forge a bond of trust—before it’s too late.
Can Marian battle against the ancient darkness consuming her soul, or will it utterly destroy them both?” – From Amazon
Story – Well-Presented
We will be honest; we were blown away by Miss Glen’s book. We loved Marian and Henryk. The word Miss Glen has built is beautiful, her characters are admirable but believable, and she makes excellent use of Henryk and Marian while pushing the story forward. By the end of the story, everything felt as if it were there for a reason, an elegantly crafted, if not completely original story that will leave lovers of the genre yearning for more. Honestly, we want to gush more, but we do not do spoilers – read the book!
“She leapt on top of him before he could stand. Grabbing his sword hand, she twisted hard, prying the blade from his fingers. He released a strangled cry, swinging his other arm up. His fist struck her ear. Trying to ignore the ringing, she ripped the sword from his hand and flung it away from them. Marian thrust her own blade against his neck, pinning him there.”
Style and Formatting – Admirable
We enjoyed Miss Glen’s style as well; her use of dialogue and thoughts to build vivid mental images of her characters cannot be understated. As well, the dialogue was believable, which can be difficult for new writers. It all comes together to enhance the story that we cannot find a thing that detracts, save perhaps for a couple of small formatting mistakes.
“Marian trailed behind Anselm as they made their way through the keep. She didn’t have to wonder long where they were going. He stopped before a door that was all too familiar and she couldn’t help but wonder if this was some cruel twist of the knife.”
Literary Value – Noteworthy
Feminism? The trouble of being a woman in a man’s world? Those are big here. Miss Glen uses Marian’s gender to explore these issues in the proper way. While we will not call the social message the central theme of the book, one would have a difficult time loving this as much as we do if they were looking for a ham-handed bro-fest that many dark fantasies can seem to devolve to from time to time. That being said, even as she explores these issues, you learn to respect both Marian and Henryk not as a woman and a man but as people, and maybe that is what matters most.
“Instinctively, she reached for her sword. But even as she cleared the blade from its scabbard, she detected no animosity from the ethereal woman. She only watched. Another brush of curiosity danced over Marian’s skin.”
Overall –4.5, Highly Recommended
Indeed, we can hardly recommend this book enough. It was a bit of a surprise, to be honest, we find that good covers rarely show the quality of any book, but we were wrong here. Miss Glen goes as far as to thank her cover artist, and for a good reason. We can say, without a doubt, that the book Miss Glen has placed that cover on is worthy of the art. It is a work of quality and care that seems rare in the indie publishing world, and we would recommend to anyone who asked us for a good fantasy, or just a good book.
Want to read The Rose Crown? You can find it on Amazon.
Want more art like you saw above? Check it out here.
Hmm I’m going to have to give this one a try I think. I’m off to add it to my Goodreads TBR list. Thanks for the recommendation.