The Rose Master by Valentina Cano
Published June 2014
Genres: Fantasy; Gothic; Horror; YA (kind of)
Strange things begin to happen to Anne on the day of her 17th birthday. Birds fall from the sky and that’s just the beginning. Anne has spent most of her life in Caldwell house and that is her home. Within its walls she has found a stand-in for the mother she lost at a young age, as well as a sister in one of the other maids of the house. Unfortunately for Anne, she is dismissed from her post at Lady Caldwell’s house and will be sent to Rosewood Manor to work for a distant relative of Lady Caldwell’s.
I think we all—including Anne—begin to realize Rosewood Manor might be a bit peculiar early on, even before Anne arrives. However, Anne is a reasonably intelligent young woman and keeps her wits about her through some interesting occurrences, before she finally learns the sinister secrets of the grounds and home she now calls home.
This book was a wonderfully creepy read, and I relished the gothic feel of it. Anne was a great character with a special talent, yet she didn’t seem to suffer from “special snowflake syndrome,” which was quite a relief. Lord Grey was interesting and mysterious. While arrogant and a bit of a sarcastic ass, I still enjoyed him as a character. The minor characters in this story were fleshed out enough for me to care about them and their fates, and I wish we learned more of what happened to some of them.
I had a hard time putting this book down once I started it, so I definitely recommend it if you enjoy paranormal, gothic stories. The prose was almost lyrical, but still articulate and efficient. The book has just about 200 pages and the pace is perfect, so there are no points of the story that drag on or move too quickly.
**I received a free copy for review from Net Galley**