Rosehead is a novel by Ksenia Anske. The story takes place at a family reunion when a mysterious rose garden attracts the attention of a young girl named Lillith Bloom. Misunderstood, often dismissed, and ever curious, Lillith and her pet whippet set out to uncover the secrets lurking about in the garden.
Lillith, our immensely intelligent and persistent lead, is an underdog who struggles to be heard and validated by her parents. They attempt to medicate the child to suppress her outlandish imagination. As the story progressed, I found myself wondering if the young girl was delusional just as her parents assumed or if the things that she encountered could actually be happening.
The fantastical occurrences in her grandfather’s mansion, as well as an ominous presence in the garden, are by no means material for a light-hearted read. The character interactions between Lillith and Panther do provide a certain level of humor, but as the adventure unfolds like a sickly sweet flower, I began to realize that this is very much a fantasy tale for adults. Try to imagine Guillermo del Toro and Tim Burton in a collaborative effort, and you will understand the scope of the mood and often gruesome occurrences.
This is a story that you will find lingering in your mind afterward, and personally I had become so attached to Lillith and Panther that I simply did not want the story to come to a close. Although Lillith is a twelve year old girl, it’s surprisingly easy to follow along with her as the tale unfurls like a mysterious fog. This is in part due to the fact that I felt as though Lillith wasn’t just attempting to prove to everyone at the reunion of the evil lurking right under their noses, but me as well. What she uncovers is an ancient family secret filled with horrors and mischief unlike anything I’ve read before.
Ksenia Anske masterfully weaves a tale that I couldn’t put down. It’s a book that will not disappoint, and I encourage all my readers to pick this one up. You’ll find yourself pulled into it’s dark, mysterious world that will grip you in a thorny embrace, drawing blood.
Check out an excerpt from the first chapter HERE