The Rose Legacy
Jessica Day George
Published on May 1, 2018
About The Rose Legacy
Orphaned Anthea Cross-Thornley has been shuttled between family members her whole life. When she receives a letter from a long-lost uncle, she dares to dream that she will finally find a home. Upon her arrival she is shocked to learn that her uncle secretly breeds horses–animals that have been forbidden in their kingdom for centuries. More alarming is Anthea’s strange ability to sense the horses’ thoughts and feelings, an ancient gift called The Way. Confused and terrified, Anthea is desperate to leave, but when dangers arise that put her family and her kingdom at risk, she has no choice but to embrace The Way and the exciting future adventures it will bring her.
I found myself both intrigued and hesitant about this story. I’m a huge fan of Jessica Day George after reading Dragon Slippers and Tuesdays at the Castle, but something about this premise didn’t make me want to drop everything and leap into the book.
However, once I started the first chapter, I got lost in this fascinating, well-developed story-world where a young girl raised with a very specific sense of propriety gets tossed into a rural farm life with a family who have totally different values to her own. Anthea proves a strong heroine, facing each new challenge with determination and poise. I love her horse, Florian, too, and the relationship they develop.
The whole story is filled with great characters—Jilly is my favorite. I liked that the story also follows the hierarchy of the herd of horses and shows some elements of the story from their point-of-view.
The Rose Legacy is a great start to a series perfect for middle and late elementary-aged readers. I loved it so much, and I can’t wait to find out what Anthea and company do next.
The story has an English/Scottish feel to it. I don’t remember racial descriptions of the characters.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
One brief kiss between boy and girl.
Anthea and some other characters can communicate with horses via thoughts.
A horse gets caught in a hunting trap. Two horses fight for dominance. A horse nearly injures a girl and threatens to kill another animal.