Darkest Rose

Young Adult - Fantasy - General
344 Pages
Reviewed on 06/14/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Cecelia Hopkins for Readers' Favorite

Darkest Rose by Vera Morgana commences with an archetypal star-crossed lover theme. Ella Desouza is ordered to marry Wilkin, the Duke of Kroukhesta, but hides in a rosebush and shares a forbidden dance with Edmund Gilmore. Gordon Gilmore arrives with a warning, and the priest shows Prince Kai an omen in the skies. Ella and Edmund are secretly married by a mysterious priestess before Wilkin can claim her as his bride, but the events of the past cycle draw increasingly closer to the present. Ella enters a dream state and Edmund commences his quest. Wilkin is revealed as a villain from the past, and an intimate connection with the royal family unfolds. A battle is fought on several levels and in several dimensions, leading to a satisfactory resolution.

Darkest Rose by Vera Morgana is an entertaining new young adult paranormal romance. I enjoyed my journey as a reader from ignorance at the beginning to understanding toward the end of the narrative. I was amused by the character of Leofrick who pulled strings behind the scenes and was instrumental in the outcome. I also loved the role played by Nurse Marcie, who was so much more than an average attendant. I liked the original and bold introduction of mythology. The story combined timeless fantasy elements with an ancient setting, and yet every word was refreshingly contemporary to read. I believe concerns such as love, justice, and independence speak directly to the target audience. This book will surely inspire a fan following when it is released!

K.C. Finn

Darkest Rose is a work of fiction in the romantic fantasy and adventure subgenres. It is suitable for the young adult and adult reading audiences alike and was penned by author Vera Morgana. In this sweeping romance with plenty of dramatic highs and lows, we meet our central pair of protagonists, Ella and Edmund. Whilst Ella has been granted a magical gift and a pre-arranged engagement that she couldn’t care less about, Edmund is spurred on as a proud adventure-seeker, though he doesn’t seem to be able to find what his soul yearns for. But when these two young people meet, it feels as though they’ve met before, in another lifetime, perhaps.

Fated romances are a classic of the young adult genre and they can often be overdone, but author Vera Morgana does a splendid job of breathing fresh life into this trope and bringing something original to the concept. I especially enjoyed the magic and mystery elements that built up around Ella and Edmund and how the more we learned about their pasts, the more it affected their future and really amped up the tension. I also felt that the dialogue was a real highlight of the work, serving to deliver amusing lines and clarify plot points whilst also characterizing the pair wonderfully well. Overall, Darkest Rose is a novel that romantic fantasy fans will not want to miss, and one which is packed with adventure, magic, suspense, and thrills in every chapter that will keep you flipping pages through to its startling conclusion.

Miche Arendse

Darkest Rose by Vera Morgana follows Ella Desouza, the only daughter of the Desouza household, who meets a young man on the night of her coming of age ceremony. The two fall in love instantly; however, there are obstacles standing in the way of their love. The biggest obstacle is that Edmund is from the Gilmore household, the sworn enemy of the Desouza family, and the fact that Ella is to be married off to another. Magic, love, twisted plots, and past lives all play a part in the tangled web of the love between the two. Can their love overcome all the odds and right the wrongs of the past?

Darkest Rose by Vera Morgana is any romance fan's dream, incorporating various elements such as magic, past lives, and a bit of mythology. This book is the gift that keeps on giving and I found it hard to put down once I started reading. I loved the little plot twist throughout the story which made it exciting. I really liked the main characters and their love story which very much gave off the same vibe as Romeo and Juliet, considering the fact that their families had such a long-standing rivalry. The writing in this story was good although at times it did seem a bit fast-paced. However, that can be forgiven considering the overall plot. Other than that, I genuinely enjoyed reading Darkest Rose and would highly recommend it to any fan of romance novels, especially those who love romance with a twist.

Rolanda Lyles

In Vera Morgana's Darkest Rose, Elizabeth Desouza has a gift she doesn’t understand and a future she doesn’t want. She has an unusual love for roses and when she is happy, they bloom. Ella's father has arranged for her to marry Wilkin Bodolf, but something about Wilkin makes her suspicious. One day, Ella meets Edmund Gilmore, son of their family's enemy, climbing up the side of her balcony and they fall in love. Ella and Edmund decide to secretly get married before the date of her arranged marriage to Wilkin. As their feelings for each other grow, they start to have strange visions--memories--and learn that their encounter is a repeat of a tragedy that happened twenty years ago. Ella is an elf half-breed and Edmund finds that he has powers. They are reincarnations of Virgo, a werewolf, and her lover, Vaughan. As the pair gain more memories, they learn that none of the people surrounding them is what they seem. Some who present themselves as their friends are actually wolves in disguise. Even now in their new identities, the same unknown enemy stalks them once again. Will the pair's love and magic be enough to defeat their enemy this time?

Vera Morgana's Darkest Rose is an action-packed fantasy/adventure love story that is sure to suck you in and you don't leave until the story ends! Morgana's writing is so vivid and descriptive that I felt like I could see the characters transforming and the epic battle happening right in front of me. All the characters had depth and complexity because many of them had double lives. Join Ella and Edmund as they travel back and forth from the dream world to the real world in this riveting fantasy romance story in the epic battle against good and evil. Will love be enough to defeat the power-hungry evil Wilkin and his minions? I really enjoyed this book. It is an amazing story.