Sarah's Stars

Charles De Lint. The Harp of the Grey Rose
Firebird Fantasy  $9.99  ISBN 0-14-240060-2  272 pg.
Reviewed by Meghan, Age 14

"She was a stranger to Wran Cheaping, as far as I knew. Since I lacked a name for her, in my own mind I called her the Grey Rose, for the blossom she wore in her rust-brown hair. That rose was the colour of twilight, as grey as the mist upon the West Downs. I swore its petals were still damp with morning dew, for all that the day's end was nearly upon us ... I watched the maid I had named the Grey Rose move through the market. For all that no one else seemed to give her more that a glance, she'd bound me with a spell. Her mantle was oak-leaf green, and under it she wore a rust-coloured smock and a cream-white blouse. Stars appeared to glisten in her dusky eyes, so clear and bright, and there was an air about her like a breath of autumn--a sweet heady scent."

As soon as he sees the maid of the Grey Rose, Cerin falls head over heels in love. But a mystery and a shadow haunts the Rose maid. And though she becomes Cerin's only friend, and although the bond between them is strong, she is reluctant to tell him of her past, or even of her real name. As Cerin soon discovers, the Grey Rose is far more than she seems. When his maid is snatched away by evil forces, Cerin embarks on a journey full of surprising friends and dangerous enemies. Armed only with his harp and his wit, Cerin is on a mission to rescue the maid he knows only as the Grey Rose. In doing so, he will wind up in a battle to save not only the Grey Rose, but also the world itself.

Charles De Lint is an extraordinary writer. The Harp of the Grey Rose is a thrilling tale in which you can never tell who is good and who is evil. I really enjoyed Grey Rose just as much as I enjoyed another book by Charles De Lint, Wolf Moon. Mr. De Lint is no stranger to the world of fantasy and his books are very enjoyable. The only thing I disliked about Grey Rose was the ending, and I'm sure you will understand what I mean once you read it. I would recommend The Harp of the Grey Rose for children ages 11-15. I think that girls will enjoy this book more than boys, but I suggest that boys and girls should try it.

I'd give The Harp of the Grey Rose four and a 1/2 out of five stars.


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