It is love that forces John to disobey his mother and seek out his enchanted brother, just like it is compassion that draws Blanche to a lonely, distressed bear. The author gives all these emotions the opportunity to grow by themselves instead of becoming a sort of “deus ex machina” to reward the heroines in the end. Rosamund and Blanche have to endure witch-hunting, prejudice, and ostracism before they can be with the Faerie men they have learned to love, while their widowed mother must learn to finally accept her own knowledge and respect for magic and its potential. The most amusing incidents happen during the interactions between the fey and the human characters, e.g. the pixie-led ventures that ultimately save the protagonists from fatal danger.
John and Hugh are undoubtedly original leading men: clever, brave and compassionate with pleasantly handsome, honest demeanors. There are no real romantic scenes in Snow White and Rose Red, but there is enough romanticism throughout the novel to compensate for any “kissing scenes.” The predominant religious “streak” vies with mild action scenes to create a tense atmosphere and environment for three helpless women to live in, as the hardships of life in those times were very numerous for both women and men. The peculiarities of the Faerie world are wrapped in an aura of mystery that is left barely touched, for Snow White and Rose Red is simultaneously pragmatic, logical, and mystical in its retelling of a lesser known fairy tale.