The Rose and the Sword
Publisher: Rivershore Books
Publication Date: 2016-03-06
Format: Paperback (Autographed)
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Can a rose survive in winter?
Rebecca Veritas is a new college graduate, eager to pursue her dreams as a clinical psychologist. After receiving a full scholarship for an internship recommended by her old professor and friend Dr. Everson, she leaves the quiet suburban town of Cedar Heights for the big city of Los Angeles. As she adjusts to her new surroundings, beginning to work with her assigned mentor and a wide variety of clients with all the enthusiasm of a fresh intern, she finds solace in a mysterious antique bookstore. Yet, as her thoughts still linger on someone from her past, she is unaware that the present has the potential to haunt her the most. As time passes, a growing sense of unease quickly transitions into more disturbing events that make her question if all is as it seems. When circumstances take an eerie turn, Rebecca will find herself a player on a larger scale than she had ever anticipated, a scale that could cause one to pay the ultimate price.
In this riveting sequel to I Thirst (2013 YATR Literary Award for Best Prologue), the adventures of Rebecca Veritas, the young, introspective dreamer with an inclination toward random insanity, continue.
A male character who appears in one scene eyes the female protagonist inappropriately. This transitions to a vague discussion of purity among coworkers following his departure.
A girl is grabbed inappropriately (vaguely implied, but never specifically stated, as her behind) when in an isolated, but public, area with two questionable males. She defends herself and flees. It is suggested, though never specifically verbalized, that more could have occurred if she had not managed to leave.Violence & Gore: Mild
A teenaged girl is threatened with a knife held at her throat, but rescued in time. No graphic detail.
A kidnapping, which involves a chase and rough handling, occurs. A gun is fired in two depicted scenes (No graphic details).
An event (not seen) is described in which two men fight and a gun goes off in the struggle, to the detriment of one.
A woman is found murdered, as referenced in a news article.
A professional is psychologically abusive to her clients (mostly verbal demoralization depicted, other than roughly pulling one individual. Hitting referenced, but not seen.)
Kidnappers verbally intimidate and mock their victims.Profanity: None Alcohol/Drugs/Smoking: None
“Icy pillars of serenity, spun from airy mist, entered my quiet vision in echoes of worlds unknown.”
“A girl locked in a tower with no life experience. But, you know, Rebecca . . . this isn’t a fairy tale. Your tower will never protect you from the darkness outside.”
“And your tower will always be a prison,” I said softly.”
“It was a gaze that held the comfort of familiarity. There was no mystery, no enigmatic depth, but unrestrained length, the length of years—the laughter of childhood games and Christmas carols of home— lining its pathways with simple, yet easily overlooked, understanding.”
“Knowledge can be powerful. But it can only be beautiful if there is more to it. If it is guided by something greater than the simple desire to enhance the potency of the mind.”
Gina Marinello-Sweeney is the author of The Veritas Chronicles, a YA trilogy. The first book in the series, I Thirst, received the 2013 YATR Literary Award for Best Prologue from Young Adult Teen Readers. Gina has been writing ever since she was a little girl and turned her bedroom into a “library,” complete with due date slips and a check-out stamp. As her own stories were “checked out” by family and friends, she dreamed of a day in which her stories would be available in public libraries worldwide. Her dream of publication came true in 2013. Gina is also an avid poet in both the English and Spanish languages. In 2009, she was asked to present some original Spanish poems at an international literature conference in Costa Rica. Although unable to attend this event, a presentation of the poems was well-received at another scholarly event that same year. Graduating summa cum laude, Gina holds credentials in both elementary education and Spanish. In her spare time, she enjoys producing videos, going to the beach, reading, and traveling. Gina lives in southern California, where she is at work on the next volume in The Veritas Chronicles, as well as a short story collection.
The Rose and The Sword is the second book I’ve read by Gina Marinello Sweeney and many of the same characters are back! The story is told in first-person from Rebecca Veritas’ view. Rebecca is an intelligent, joyful, often care-free character with compassion, virtue, strong faith, and a quirky sense of humor. She is extremely well-developed through her thoughts and actions.
Sweeney has a unique poetic writing style. Many chapters contain or end with a sort of poetic or symbolic daydream that expresses the main character’s mood or concerns, reminding me of how we often don’t have adequate words to explain how situations make us feel. I especially enjoyed the elements of faith in the story and the lovely poetic thoughts about St. Therese the Little Flower and the Blessed Mother.
This story has so much packed into it! While Rebecca works on her internship with a popular psychiatrist, who is not what she seems, mystery, danger, and an unpleasant surprise sneak up on her. Rather than simply go along with things, Rebecca struggles to find the best way to handle the challenging situations that she faces. She is an admirable character and a good role model.
The Rose and the Sword by Gina Marinello- Sweeney, is the second novel in her Veritas Chronicles series. These delightfully charming books follow the life of college student, Rebecca Veritas. If you enjoy beautiful, poetic prose, these books might be just what you’re looking for. Marinello-Sweeney’s writing style is unique and incredibly creative. The imagery she creates in her stories is unlike any other books I’ve read. And, as a fan of mysteries, I thoroughly enjoyed the elements of mystery and suspense added to this novel.
Many young adult novels center around main characters that are in high school, these books, however, are about college-age students. While this series is completely appropriate for teens, the depth of the relationships and topics put them on a slightly different level than most YA. This book is full of snippets, thoughts and moments of Rebecca’s world as she moves into a new phase of her life, living away from home and working at an internship in psychology.
There are many interesting issues Rebecca has to face in this novel, such as deepening relationships, discovering just how strong she is, standing firm for her beliefs and faith, speaking up for those who are unable, and protecting the vulnerable. I loved seeing the growth of this young woman through the two books. Rebecca is an incredibly likable and relatable character. In fact, I wish I could meet her for coffee at the fictional Coffee Bean, although she would be drinking “anything but coffee” (This line made me smile, reminding me so much of myself at that age).
The readers of Ms. Marinello-Sweeney’s previous novel will be happy to know that many of the characters are back, friendships grow, relationships deepen and Rebecca remains wonderfully quirky. This is a beautiful, faith-based book for teens and young adults.
If I had to choose a word to describe The Rose and the Sword, I think I'd go with "eclectic." Part poetry, part prose, contemporary with a touch of romance, humor, suspense, peril, and Catholic apologetics, I understand now why one reviewer described it as poetic.
The breaks within chapters develop a rhythm somewhat like verse, leaving the reader to discern reality from imagination. (In that respect, it reminds me of Falling for His Madness by Katharine Grubb.) While the narrative advances with conflict and resolution, it often dallies with simple musings or slices of life that also contribute to the poetic quality.
The characters are well-developed, the writing solid, and the editing excellent. It's also a "clean read" appropriate for both teens and adults. I look forward to reading more from Gina Marinello-Sweeney.