I want to thank all the Lutheran authors out there. I’ve been out of sorts since the accident, but I’ve found good comfort and some great distraction while reading your books! Thank you, thank you! Today’s review will be on Lutheran author Rachel Kovaciny‘s Cloaked (Once Upon a Western Book 1).
How can you tell when there is a wolf in sheep’s clothing? How can a girl know when to trust her gut and stop watching for clearer signs? For that matter, what can you do when a guy is just creeping you out but few others? So could ask a lovely sixteen year old protagonist, Mary Rose, as she faces adventure far from home and the family she loves.
Cloaked was a very enjoyable read: a combination of historical fiction and westernized fairy tale. There’s realistic hesitation and social/familial complications, some racial stereotyping, and good friends who know how to lend support. And throw an ax.
Narrated in the voice of a young female Christian protagonist, I got to explore some of the wild western beauty on a ranch in Wyoming Territory, replete with shared longing for simpler times, freedom, and finding one’s place.
Mary Rose is young, perhaps naive, and winsome. Her emphasis on being called Mary Rose reminds me of a certain Anne with an E. 🙂 Her romantic aspirations are unhurried and respectful, as she longs to be her own spunky self, read novels, and dip into a bit of novel excitement for a time.
I love the concept of westernizing fairy tales and Rachel Kovaciny has done an excellent job. I went from reading this book straight into reading Dancing and Doughnuts (Once Upon a Western Book 2) and “A Once Upon a Western Short Story” No Match for a Good Story. Obviously the author excels at using character narration, incorporating different aspects of western and historic charm.
This book can be a great way to bridge older kids into western genres. The characters are mostly sympathetic and honorable, although obviously in a re-imagining of Little Red Riding Hood there will be actual danger and an antagonist with teeth. There is some forced physical contact and violence, so I wouldn’t hand it to anyone overly young.
Good work! I look forward to reading more!