R: Recommended (This is at the top of the pile.)
Creative Must (Does something different really well.)
A young orphan is chosen to become a maid in the house of an alchemist, Mr. Fountain, but as she learns her duties around the house, she becomes aware of the magic that permeates it. Magic that the other staff can’t see or feel. Not long after she starts work, news comes that children are disappearing off the street, and Rose soon finds herself looking for a missing orphan friend.
I received this book from the publisher in anticipation of the sequel’s release and blog tour. (Look for my review here with a giveaway of Rose and the Lost Princess on May 18!)
Originally published in the UK, there are numerous facets of this book built towards a UK audience; however, since the story is set in a magic-filled Victorian England, there is no required fore-knowledge. Especially since the author takes plenty of time to set up the orphanage and the world building around Rose. The rest of the world beyond Rose is absent except for the occasional passing mention. For example, since Rose lived at an orphanage too poor to afford magic, there is no mention of magic at all before she learns of her new master’s position, but Rose brushing this information to the side with very little concern until she discovers she might have a magical side.
The pacing for this book flowed so well, I didn’t realize I was halfway through the book the first night I picked it up. The villain was incredibly creepy and reminded me of the Elizabeth Bathory legend, but that plot point seemed to come from almost nowhere as there was very little build up. The climax of the story made sense though and left the reader with a sense of wanting more from these characters and this world. I look forward to finishing Rose and the Lost Princess.
This title is especially suited for young readers who enjoyed the movie Annie or the Harry Potter series and for those who enjoy reading something light now and then.