The Crystal Rose by Ruth Karas
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
Genre: Contemporary, Fantasy
Length: Short (132 pages)
Rating: 4 Suns
Review by: Orchid
A young man and woman rebuild new lives out of the ashes of death and loss, with the help of an old sorcerer, a beautiful, powerful dragon, and its ridiculous dragon pup. Together, they guard the secret of Dragon’s Lair and discover the terrible injustice that brought them all together.
Dragons! An evil king! A sorcerer! The Crystal Rose is a true fantasy novel.
An orphan baby prince is hidden away from his evil uncle who takes the throne as his own. The realm suffers under the false king and some of the knights plot against him.
Breanne and her father run the Forest Edge Inn. One night Breanne dreams of a woman's corpse wearing a crown. The corpse shows her a murder, then gives her a rose. A frightened Breanne goes outside to cool off, but while she is gone the inn is set on fire by some of the king's men and her father is killed.
Running into the forest Breanne rests beside a stream. She leans on a rock which turns out to be a small animal. Breanne is fond of animals and pets the little fellow, but a dragon arrives and picks up both of them. It flies to a cave high in the mountains.
In the cave she finds Bevan an orphan boy and the sorcerer who tutors him. The dragon is also part of the group and the small animal is her pup. Breanne joins them and becomes a pupil of the sorcerer but unlike the boy, she is taught magic.
The evil king sends his knights to kill the dragon and the sorcerer. He is helped by his own evil magician. Bevan and Breanne become friends and look after the dragon. The magician takes care of them all. Behind it all is the quest to regain the throne for the rightful heir.
I enjoyed the story which was really a fairy tale. Breanna was stronger than the usual heroine of this type of story, but she and Bevan were typical teenagers. At first shy with one another, they became almost like brother and sister, although Breanne felt something more.
I did feel at times that the story could have had more depth to it. Years were skipped over which left vague questions about what had happened during this time. I don't want to spoil it for readers but I will say that the ending has an unexpected twist to it.
On the whole I would recommend this book to lovers of fantasy books. It's not spectacular in its tale, but it is a very enjoyable read.