Rose and the Lost Princess
Rose Series Bk#2
Now an apprentice magician, Rose is asked to help find a very special missing person
Turning the worn pages of her spell book, Rose can't believe how much her life has changed. Once a poor orphan, she is now an apprentice to the king's chief magician. But when the country's beloved princess vanishes, everything changes. As rumors of dark magic fly through the city, the king asks Rose for help. She must find the missing princess, before all is lost.
Rose has had a hard start in life from being an orphan to now a magician’s apprentice. But from scullery maid to having magic is proving to have hard beginnings. Being a friend to a princess has taken a turn for the worse for Rose, and with dark magic encroaching upon her life, Rose is struggling to balance her power with her obligations.
Instead of being revered for aiding their country magicians are now deemed dangerous and having to be identified with their government. Rose’s teacher Mr. Fountain, the magician to the King, is now scrutinized and Rose is trying desperately to find what dark magics are afoot that has stolen the Princess from her kingdom.
Will Rose find the Princess, or will her countrymen’s fears take hold of the populous cause grave implications for any magic user, especially Rose. While living at the home of her teacher Mr. Fountain, Rose is finding people’s anger towards magicians escalating, but also she is feeling animosity at home also being a maid, because the staff at her household is beginning to fear and hate her. With her trusty friend Gus the cat, Rose journeys to find out what magician has stolen away her city’s children and especially her friend the Princess.
Finding the answer to what happened to the missing children will be a shocker to some, and was surely devastating to Rose, but she gets down to the bottom of this evil and helps to correct many wrongs. Rose is a strong and unlikely character. Having a past of being an orphan has only helped to keep Rose on the tips of her toes, and her trial an errors really being out her humanity. With magic using prejudice on the rise, Rose is feeling the hostility in town from the citizens.
What really caught me about Rose’s character in this middle grade read was that she works hard to get what she wants, compared to her upbringing and situations in life. Even when she is not as enthusiastic as she could be in some circumstances, Rose perseveres in her determination and pries out the truth in what is happening to her kingdom and her friends. Rose wants a good future and she works hard to create it. While some parts of the books felt slow, I remind myself that this is also a middle grade book, so progression does not need to be profound. Many more points of the story need to be addresses, like her parents, but that leaves lots of fodder for other books.
Rose has the potential to be a great heroine in her stories. In her first book, Rose, Rose triumphed over an evil wizard and really captivated readers of many ages. Rose and the Lost Princess begins after Rose has finished and Rose is being recognized for her magic but also persecuted as the citizens of her town begin to fear magic users and their ability to harm mundane humans. Even the household that she lives in is struggling with the possibilities of evil wizards, not that Rose is one, but with wizards in proximity, people are beginning to bring themselves the fear of their friends. Being a maid and a magician seems a lot to Rose, but rescuing a princess now? That needs to be done.
Holly Webb has created a fabulous middle grade read with a believable heroine and sidekick cat, but also a driven plot and creative characters. From front to back this book holds readers’ interests and carries with it the hunger that other books will answer some crucial questions for readers.