Review: Wild Rose, Silent Snow by Angel Martinez

A huge bear at the door, a handsome, naked stranger in the snow, magic fish, enchanted beards – and Rowan thought his life was odd before. 

Content with the quiet isolation of their lake house, Snowden and Rowan Hadley survive on summer jobs and winter hunting, unable to move on since their parents died. Their peace is shattered by a strange, human-acclimated bear who insists on following Rowan like a giant hunting dog and then again by the discovery of a naked, surly stranger in the snow.

Both bear and man lead the Hadley brothers into a strange, surreal world where sorcery and RPG software intertwine. Curses and magical traps lie in wait around every turn. Rowan and Snowden will need to adjust their view of how the world works, and quickly, if they want to live through the process of rescuing their enchanted princes.

Wild Rose, Silent Snow is a retelling of Snow White and Rose Red which I was not familiar with before reading, but I googled right after I finished and it made me appreciate the author’s version all the more. I love that she picked a somewhat lesser known tale and built Snowden and Rowan’s story up from there.

The MC’s in Wild Rose, Silent Snow ticked off every single one of my boxes and I fell hard for them and their stories from the get-go. Snowden and Rowan are fraternal twin brothers who live alone in the woods on the family property. Their existence is a struggle and from the beginning the reader can’t help but wonder why they don’t just up and leave. It’s slowly revealed throughout the tale why they stay together and why they need one another so much. It’s something you really have to read to appreciate, and I will only say, read it, the author did a stellar job of making the lives of Snowden and Rowan completely believable.

The story follows the fairy tale pretty well and the tweaks the author made to accommodate the modern setting fit with the environment the two lived in. The characters are far from perfect and that’s what makes them so good. I loved Rowan’s connection with his bear and the balance with Snowden’s reluctance to let a bear stay in their cabin made the improbable believable.

The personalities and selflessness of the MC’s is what makes this story so good. Snowden and Rowan are as good as they come. I loved their quiet life and how they put the other first because that’s what a good brother and a gentleman does. The way they communicate with so few words said more than pages worth of dialog ever could. Reading Arcadius’ progression from a bear to a man worthy of Rowan made me swoon. It wasn’t easy, but the two of them together just made sense.

The only thing I would have liked was more of Snowden and Griffin. It’s not like anything was missing by any stretch, Snow just made me swoon with his quiet conviction and I selfishly would have loved to have read more of he and Griffin together.

Wild Rose, Silent Snow is everything I love about fairy tale retellings. The story is character driven and the fantastical pieces aren’t overdone so there is just enough mystery to let the reader feel the revelations along with the characters. Getting the balance just so can’t be easy but the author got it spot on for me in this one.

For more information on this edition of Wild Rose, Silent Snow, check it out on Goodreads.

**a copy of this story was provided for an honest review**

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