by P. C. Cast

March 2006
ISBN: 0-425-20891-5
Reviewer Graphic Button Berkley
Mass Market Paperback

Mikado “Mikki” Empousai has always had a special affinity with roses. Little does she know that this bond is only the beginning of a journey that is going to take her to a world she can only find in her dreams.

It all begins when Mikki starts having wild dreams about a mystery lover. He’s definitely not your run of the mill guy. There’s something almost beastly about him, and the more Mikki shares her dreams with him, the more erotic in nature those dreams become. However, it is not until Mikki takes a late night walk in the Tulsa Rose Gardens that her dreams take on an uncomfortable and confusing reality.

After a series of mishaps in the park, Mikki, quite by accident, awakens the Guardian of the Realm of the Rose. The great beast has been stationed in the park for a long time and has finally awakened due to the power in Mikki’s blood. He recognizes the High Priestess of the Realm of the Rose, Goddess Hecate’s Empousa. The Guardian then carries Mikki back with him to the Realm of the Rose. When she awakens, she has a whole new world to discover, a whole new way of life to unravel, and a devastating crisis on her hands. Watch as Mikki comes to grips with her powers…and the powerful and handsome Guardian.

Impressive and scintillating! P.C. Cast’s latest mythological tale is a extraordinary ride into the unknown and the beautiful. This is a tale that I don’t want to give too much away because it should be discovered on your own. Ms. Cast ingeniously builds upon the infamous Beauty and the Beast fairytale with Goddess of the Rose. The love story between Mikki and the Guardian is a clever manipulation of loneliness, need, and an unwavering desire to right old wrongs and heal the Realm of the Rose.

Ms. Cast will draw you in and keep you spellbound as she describes the magnificent beauty of Mikki’s new home, while also adding threads of danger and deceit in the form of Dream Stealers. No home, no matter how beautiful and compelling, is without its opposite force, a fact which Ms. Cast plays on again and again. The texture of this story is enhanced by the minor characters. Their role cannot be ignored as they enable Mikki to truly conquer her powers. The Guardian’s need for love and acceptance is yet another remarkable feature of this story. The Guardian shines under the tutelage of not only Mikki’s love, but also her friendship, humor, and her own uncertainties.

Goddess of the Rose is truly one of those stories that transport the reader to a different time and place. Effervescent with its fascinating characters and seemingly sublime setting, Goddess of the Rose is reminiscent of an ancient tapestry. The surface beauty shines and draws you in, but it is the hidden layers, the characters who grow and learn, and the compelling history of the Realm of the Rose that will leave you satisfied.

Reviewed in February 2006 by Sarah.

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