The Rose Labyrinth by Titania Hardie
This book instantly caught my eye when I was in chapters. I picked it up and examined it to find that there were two parts to the book itself. I had gone in with the intent of buying a specific book so I had put the book down. It was not until after that I could not stop thinking about this book. I had even called that chapters location, describing the cover and the exact location where I had found it, because I had forgot the title of it to search it and buy it online. I went into that chapters not long after only to find the reason the employee could not find this book was because they had moved the displays around, and the book was nowhere to be found. It’s easy to describe a books cover but if you have no clue of what the title or author is that makes things quite difficult.
Naturally, you have assumed I found it as I am now reviewing it, so we shall move on. As I mentioned the book comes in two parks. There is a detachable cover to the book that holds a pocket of pages. They are all sealed together like that of a note pad. On one side are pictures, the other, riddles. “The parchments tucked inside this package are crucial to the quest in The Rose Labyrinth. The heroine, Lucy King, will not uncover them for many chapters; you have the advantage. Can you decipher part or all of them and discover where the quest will lead? Do so and you may claim a permanent place at the heart of The Rose Labyrinth.” I suppose this is what drew me to the book. The challenge and the fun of it. The book follows a few characters, and sometimes jumps from time periods. This made it confusing at first, until it stuck to one place and time and only jumping slightly. I admit that I had a bit of a hard time getting into this book. I thought perhaps working on the puzzle may help me get into it, but that was hard in itself. On the reverse side I started working on the pictures which create a maze, or a “Labyrinth.” Throughout the path there are pictures that don’t really make sense or are meaningless until you take that journey through the story. There is also one larger picture only visible when put together. On the reverse side there are riddles, which could be considered a bunch of nonsense. There are a few riddles on each page, whether they are references some other information or poems. Within the story they refer to a few of the riddles and begin to solve them, however many of the riddles are not in the book. Unfortunately, I am at a loss when it comes to the overall puzzle. You can actually take a challenge on the authors website if you were to solve the riddle she would send you a personal certificate. Sadly, I will not get said certificate because I cannot solve said puzzle.
As mentioned before the story was a little hard for me to get into, but once started I was rolling. It can be a rather gripping thriller, making your mind work and you are always trying to put pieces together. It’s rewarding when you were able to figure things out, whether it be where the story was going, certain things you thought would happen, character connections, and even the answer to some of the riddles. There were some parts that put me off, and there is large amount of historical information. Many of the references in the story are of real texts, people, and events. This helps to make the story more intriguing. The characters in the book, while trying to solve the riddles, all seem to have a vast amount of knowledge on these subjects. Much of it is from reference books they each had read during the time, but it seems that naturally these people are robotic and can recall dates, events, names and quotes from anything. I can’t say I am at this robotic level, therefore it was a little discouraging.
The storyline was very gripping, but also rather bland at time. As long as there was a mystery or events going on you were entertained. Towards the end you want them to get on with their talking and find out what the conclusion is. Unfortunately, they tied the conclusion with a different sort of ending leaving me with some possible questions, as well as a handful of assumptions. While trying to connect things to everything else during the story, when it comes to the end you continue to try and do this. Personally, I think the ending means more than it says, but I could be horribly mislead and just going off on some wild thought.
Overall it was a rather entertaining book. I enjoyed the concept. I loved the physical interaction with the puzzle and the riddles, despite me getting nowhere. The characters were engaging, and the amount of historical information that is given in the story was really quite interesting. I enjoyed pausing to search events or people to find they were real and the story behind it all. I recommend that you read this book, and perhaps if you solve the puzzle… you could let me in on a bit of the secret ; )