Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on March 28th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Historical, Young Adult
Format: Audiobook, eBook, Hardcover
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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.
n Blood Rose Rebellion, author Rosalyn Eves weaves a complex fantasy tale grounded in actual Hungarian history. The imagery is rich and the characters dynamic.
The majority of the book is set in Hungary and cultural and historical details of the time are integrated nicely. There is a very nice plot (it says rebellion right there in the title) but the inner discovery and turmoil within Anna is the real arc of the book. Her development is very well done as she progresses from a young girl ostracized for being Barren (without magic) and banished from society after ruining her sister Catherine’s debutante spell to a young woman in control of her own destiny and decisions. I liked how empowered she becomes. In multiple scenes she is dismissed as “just a girl”. In one she gives back as good as she gets and in another scene she realizes she doesn’t need to even bother with a response and just acts.
While she had family, friends and allies with her throughout, this is her story through and through and she is the heroine.
Overall, Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves is a well-written first novel and I can’t wait for the next book. I very much recommend.
(I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book I received from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my open and honest review.)