I have to apologize to readers and authors for the lateness of October reviews. A pet emergency at the beginning of the month just threw me off entirely (although thankfully, it ended happily). On to the reviews!
Another gorgeous cover for this series! As you may recall from this review for The Jewel, Book 1 of the “Lone City” series totally sucked me in. After reading the novella The House of the Stone about Violet’s friend Raven, I was totally ready to continue the ride.
NOTE: This review contains spoilers for Book 1, The Jewel.
THE PLOT: When we left off at the end of The Jewel, poor Violet had been caught with her boyfriend, Ash, who was supposed to be the male “companion” of Carnelian, niece to the Duchess of the Lake. This is pretty much a death sentence for Ash, and the Duchess makes it clear that Violet’s life of luxury is over…she’s now just a baby-making vessel. Luckily for Violet, a resistance movement that includes the Duchess’s own son, Garnet, is ready to help them escape. But Violet isn’t leaving without Ash or her friend Raven.
The first half of the book is really about the escape. Can Violet possibly hope to make it out through the various levels of society to safety? And even if she can, will all her friends be as lucky? And where can they possibly be safe?
The second half of the book is the start of learning much more about the history of this dystopian world, a bit about the augeries, But answers seem to lead to even more questions, and the girls begin to really take hold of their powers…all building toward another surprise ending that leaves the reader waiting for Book 3.
MY TWO CENTS: I felt that this book was obviously divided into the two parts I mentioned above. The escape includes quite a bit of tension. There are a lot of near-misses, the friends are split up, and the reader can never be sure they’ll all make it.
I have to give a shout-out to my new favorite character: Raven. I absolutely loved her novella, and her strength is incredible. If you haven’t read The House of the Stone, you really need to. What poor Raven goes through makes Violet’s life look truly cushy.
You also learn more about Ash, and his horrible life as a male prostitute. The author does a nice job of fleshing out the character with some depth and real emotions, like shame and worthlessness. I mentioned in my review of The Jewel that men are almost unnecessary in this society, and here is a prime example of how man are treated as “things.” It’s a turnaround to see men in this position instead of females. In the meantime, our female protagonists are gaining power as they learn to take full advantage of their magical gifts.
BOTTOM LINE: Still enjoying this story; still calling it a guilty pleasure. If you enjoyed the first one, you’ve got to continue. If you haven’t read The Jewel, it’s out now in paperback. I’ll be waiting impatiently for the next book.
TEACUP RATING: Out of five teacups, I give The White Rose between three-and-a-half and four.
ON SALE DATE: The White Rose is available now in hardcover and eformats.
Note: Review is based on an ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.