New Release Review: Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves
Today we bring you a review for the newly released Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves. It’s the first book of a new fantasy trilogy, inspired by 19th century Hungary. Thank you to Knopf and Rosalyn Eves for the opportunity to read & review an advance copy for my honest opinion.
Category: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Romance
Publication: March 28, 2017; Knopf
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.
If you’ve seen me on any kind of social media – instagram, twitter, goodreads – this past year and a half, you probably saw that Blood Rose Rebellion was my number one most anticipated book for 2017. A magical story, inspired by my oh-so-not magical country? Sign me the hell up! So when Rosalyn messaged me about an ARC copy, I jumped on the chance.
Blood Rose Rebellion is a first book of a new fantasy trilogy, set in 19th century Hungary, during the reign of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Anna Arden is exiled to Hungary after disastrous magical events, much to her dismay. She is accompanied there with her grandmother, Lady Zrínyi, to spend time with their Hungarian family. There, Anna meets a group of Romani people, on the verge of rebellion.
In this world, the Luminates, is a magical group all with different abilities. This is the upper-class society Anna grows up, with only one flaw: she is a Barren, meaning she doesn’t have any power in a place where magical power is everything. Only the rich people have access to magic, so obviously this leads to a rebellion from the poor, who demands that magic should be free for everyone. For this, they need Anna, who could be the key to free magic from the rich.
What I really needed to overcome were my own prejudices to enjoy this book. Romani people these days are nothing like the travelers they were in the past and I am glad that this book helped me overcome some of those prejudices. While it wasn’t written in any Romani people’s point of view, it was good to know more about them.
While I found the writing to be a bit slow and not as action packed, I still enjoyed it very much. I really loved that for once I didn’t need a glossary or any dictionary to understand the foreign words. After all it is my own native language. I happen to know Rosalyn spent time here in Hungary, and I loved that my little country inspired this story.
All in all, it was a great start of an intriguing trilogy. If you like magic, romance, and history, which I am a huge fan of, then Blood Rose Rebellion is just what you are looking for.