Title: Blood Rose Rebellion
Author: Roslyn Eves
Publisher/Year: Random House 3/28/17
Length: 321 Pages
Series: Blood Rose Rebellion #1
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 Romani, 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.
I wanted to like this book – really i did, but it was just ‘eh’ in my opinion. Here’s what we have. There’s a great set up for a story – Anna is trying to belong – when she knows that she doesn’t since her magic isn’t quite working properly – she’s able to break spells but not cast spells. She’s also in an interesting position where her sister is the center of attention since she’s demonstrating her powers, and yet Anna is able to find a few minutes of peace through a relationship that she has with someone who is well established in society and has powers. Of course though, their relationship is a secret since Anna isn’t really welcomed with open arms.
What we see though is that the event where Catherine ‘comes out’ turns into a mess because Anna some how breaks the spell that was being cast at the debut, and all hell breaks loose. Anna’s relationship is revealed and we also learn that Catherine had something with this same man, and well, it all results in Anna being sent off with her Grandmother in the hopes that life will return to normal.
So you can see, a decent set up – and the idea that life could be better or different outside of England holds my attention. Where we go wrong is that the story from there gets all mixed up. We learn that the Binding which is what keeps all the magic with the ‘elite’ is a spell that some want broken. Since Anna is able to break spells, she’s now the focus of a few different folks efforts so that she can go into the spell and break it. While that’s all going on, Anna also learns a bit more about herself and who she is since she’s being used as a pawn.
Throughout this story, we meet a few new folks that are deemed Gypsies and one of whom we can see a love interest forming. We also see a broken family relationship start to build since there’s no choice but to rely on each other.
Where things go wrong for me is that there are so many things happening that don’e really drive the story forward – so i’m left trying to jump ahead a bit to see if there’s something looming in the future to make it better. There are monsters and creatures that are feared if the spell is broken, and there are hopes that may be lifted or dashed at the same time with this spell.
What we do have at the end of this first installment is some level of resolution for what needs to be done to either help launch a rebellion to overthrow the Circle who manages the magic, or to avoid it all together. We also see some of our favorite characters throughout not make it to the end of the story because of any number of reasons.
So where i’m left here is a tough spot. I refuse to let a book beat me, and this is an intro to a series, so there’s a chance that i’ll try to pick up the next one. I feel like the Epilogue teased us with a completely new piece of the series and that in itself gives me a glimmer of hope. So that being said – i’d love to hear if anyone else has read it and maybe has a different opinion. Enjoy!