The Bear and the Rose
An outstanding debut, from author E.K. Larson-Burnett
Springtide is approaching in Hazelfeur, and the village is on high alert as the bears wake from their winter hibernation. Ever year the bears have grown bolder, and in recent years have started to breach the village. Rhoswen, an orphan and female bear-slayer, has sworn to protect the village from the bear goddess, Artio, who terrorises the village with her army of bears. When a bear enters the village and kills a young boy, Rhoswen travels through the forest to find and slay Artio. While Rhoswen searches for Artio’s lair, she finds a beautiful young woman, named Diomath, trapped in Artio’s nest. Diomath appears to have been attacked by a bear, and has an injury to her leg. Rhoswen is enchanted by the young woman, and goes back to Hazelfeur to get her some help from the village healer. Rhoswen soon discovers that Diomath is the daughter of Artio, but Diomath explains she has no love for her mother who inflicted her with a terrible curse. Can Rhoswen stop the bear attacks once and for all? And can she trust the daughter of the evil bear goddess?
The Bear and the Rose is a beautifully written fantasy novel for young adult readers, by debut author E.K. Larson-Burnett. The novel is pure, wonderful escapism, as the author takes the reader on a fantasy journey into the mesmerising world of Hazelfeur. I was totally immersed in this story and transported into Hazelfeur and Artio’s lair for a period of time. The book comprises short, concise chapters, and has many twists and turns that kept me riveted throughout. This book could be easily devoured in a single sitting.
With beautiful, lyrical prose, fully developed characters, and a rich fantasy world, this is an outstanding debut novel. I cannot wait to read more from this talented author.
The book will appeal to readers who enjoy fantasy, fairy tales, folklore and Celtic mythology.
Star rating: 5 Stars
Summary: A beautifully written fantasy novel for young adult readers. The novel is pure, wonderful escapism, and highly recommended.