After rescuing her White Bear prince in the previous book, Rose is living happily with Charles and their children Estelle and Winn, but not happily ever after. When she travels to visit her parents, she learns that Charles’ own ship has been shipwrecked. As Rose tries to trace his whereabouts, Winn and Estelle disappear, and Rose learns that the Troll Queen is still alive…plotting revenge. With the help of a friend who can control the winds, Rose must risk everything to save her husband and children, traveling first to Mont Blanc in the Alps and then to a mythical island outside of Scotland where three otherworldly sisters have some impossible tasks for her to accomplish.
When I read the first book in this duology, East, I was dazzled by the beautiful portrayal of the fairy tale and the strong narrative voice of Rose and the White Bear. As a sequel, this second book does not disappoint. Rose demonstrates that being a mother has only increased the power of her devotion and the lengths to which she will go to save those she loves. (No spoilers, but look out for the scene with the “bone key” at the end….) Charles in his human form gains more of a personality in the book, and the delight of seeing him fall in love with Rose a second time echoes through the clean, crisp prose. This book would make a wonderful fantasy film. Recommended.
“I had a strong feeling that it was going to take much more than washing a shirt to best her this time. All I had was a sword I barely knew how to use and my love for Winn and Estelle and my white bear. It would have to be enough.”