Series: Blood Rose Rebellion #1
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on March 28th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Source: the publisher
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The thrilling first book in a YA fantasy trilogy for fans of Red Queen. In a world where social prestige derives from a trifecta of blood, money, and magic, one girl has the ability to break the spell that holds the social order in place.
Sixteen-year-old Anna Arden is barred from society by a defect of blood. Though her family is part of the Luminate, powerful users of magic, she is Barren, unable to perform the simplest spells. Anna would do anything to belong. But her fate takes another course when, after inadvertently breaking her sister’s debutante spell—an important chance for a highborn young woman to show her prowess with magic—Anna finds herself exiled to her family’s once powerful but now crumbling native Hungary.
Her life might well be over.
In Hungary, Anna discovers that nothing is quite as it seems. Not the people around her, from her aloof cousin Noémi to the fierce and handsome Romani Gábor. Not the society she’s known all her life, for discontent with the Luminate is sweeping the land. And not her lack of magic. Isolated from the only world she cares about, Anna still can’t seem to stop herself from breaking spells.
As rebellion spreads across the region, Anna’s unique ability becomes the catalyst everyone is seeking. In the company of nobles, revolutionaries, and Romanies, Anna must choose: deny her unique power and cling to the life she’s always wanted, or embrace her ability and change that world forever.
Historical fantasy is such a tricky genre, because it’s already happened. It can be hard to lace the real past with monsters and magic, especially if the book is set in an alternate version of our own world. Victorian England is a somewhat familiar setting and adding magic to it was interesting. However, when the events took Anna to Budapest, that’s when everything became more interesting to me. Hungary isn’t familiar to me and I loved the inclusion of Hungarian in the text.
The way magic worked in the world wasn’t specific enough for my taste. Characters said words or waved their hands and things happened. In the book, an example of a big magical display was a realistic illusion painted in the air. While cool, I don’t find it too impressive. However, in my mind this was OK because Anna is Barren. She is incapable of magic. Therefore, it makes sense that she doesn’t understand how it works or what they are doing when they are casting spells. She also doesn’t know what she is doing when spells fall apart around her. Still, I can’t help but think that if what magic is was better defined than what Anna did would also have been explained better as well. Sometimes it’s just better to accept that things are happening instead of searching for the how and why.
When I wasn’t trying to dissect what was going on, I really enjoyed the book. It was interesting and unusual. I did not like the ending but I really want to know what happens next.
About the Author
Rosalyn Eves grew up in the Rocky Mountains, dividing her time between reading books and bossing her siblings into performing her dramatic scripts. As an adult, the telling and reading of stories is still one of her favorite things to do. When she’s not reading or writing, she enjoys spending time with her chemistry professor husband and three children, watching British period pieces, or hiking through the splendid landscape of southern Utah, where she lives. She dislikes housework on principle.
She has a PhD in English from Penn State, which means she also endeavors to inspire college students with a love for the English language. Sometimes it even works.
Rosalyn is represented by Josh Adams of Adams literary.
Her first novel, BLOOD ROSE REBELLION, first in a YA historical fantasy trilogy, debuts Spring 2017 from Knopf/Random House.
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3 winners will receive a signed finished copy of BLOOD ROSE REBELLION, US Only.