ARC Review: Rosemarked by Livia Blackburne
Rosemarked by Livia Blackburne is releasing this Tuesday, November 7th! If you like YA fantasy I defintiely recommend this book! For more check out my 4-star review below. We thank Disney-Hyperion for an advance reader copy, which in no way influenced my thoughts or my review.
Category: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publication: November 7th, 2017; Disney=Hyperion
A healer who cannot be healed . . .
When Zivah falls prey to the deadly rose plague, she knows it’s only a matter of time before she fully succumbs. Now she’s destined to live her last days in isolation, cut off from her people and unable to practice her art—until a threat to her village creates a need that only she can fill.
A soldier shattered by war . . .
Broken by torture at the hands of the Amparan Empire, Dineas thirsts for revenge against his captors. Now escaped and reunited with his tribe, he’ll do anything to free them from Amparan rule—even if it means undertaking a plan that risks not only his life but his very self.
Thrust together on a high-stakes mission to spy on the capital, the two couldn’t be more different: Zivah, deeply committed to her vow of healing, and Dineas, yearning for vengeance. But as they grow closer, they must find common ground to protect those they love. And amidst the constant fear of discovery, the two grapple with a mutual attraction that could break both of their carefully guarded hearts.
This smart, sweeping fantasy with a political edge and a slow-burning romance will capture fans of The Lumatere Chronicles and An Ember in the Ashes.
I’ll start by saying I wasn’t sure how much I’d like this book, if at all. But the premise was intriguing enough that I decided to give it a shot.
Now, if you’re expecting a fast-paced, action-packed story, you may be disappointed. If you appreciate the slow build-up with a few tense moments tossed in, you’ll enjoy Rosemarked.
Zivah is a healer. The youngest in her village/town and seemingly the most dedicated. After an unfortunate encounter with infected soldiers, she herself falls to the Rose plague. But worst of all, she becomes Rosemarked. This means that she will die within a year from the disease. She also has markings on her skin that identify her as such. Oh, she’s also a carrier and therefore, still contagious. She is exiled to a cottage outside the village.
Dineas is a member of a warring tribe. He, too, came down with the Rose plague. But his results were far better. He became umbertouched. Meaning that he’s immune to the disease.
Together, they combine to collect intel on the Amapran leaders and their plans. They don’t like each other at first, but as the journey progresses, it’s obvious they become more tolerant of each other. And possibly, actually develop a friendship.
I really enjoyed the “healing magic” aspect. It was something different in a fantasy. Plus, Zivah’s knowledge of such added some great elements to the plot. And then there’s the fact that she has to deal with her imminent death. But even more important is the way Dineas is dealing with his past. He’s clearly suffering from PTSD and for the most part, I think it was handled well. I would have liked to see more of both emotional journeys.
There are several things I wanted and expected to happen. I feel like at some point in the continuation they might. I found the “twist” to be not so surprising. Nothing feels resolved, but as there’s a second book it isn’t so surprising. I do hope that the next installment will provide more answers and resolutions.
I saw this compared to An Ember in the Ashes and I can see that. But, fans of The Winner’s Curse trilogy might enjoy it too. I feel like that may be a better comparison, too! I will definitely continue on with the series.