The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly | Review: Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves
I received this book for free from the mentioned source in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book nor the content of my review.
Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves
Series: Blood Rose Rebellion #1
Published by: Knopf Books for Young Readers on March 28th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, YA, Magic
Format: ARC, eARC
View on: Goodreads
Grab it: Buy on Amazon
About the Book:
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.
Blood Rose Rebellion is the first in a new series by Rosalyn Eves, but after finishing it, I honestly don’t know where the rest of the series would go. I wanted to love this story. The cover is pretty, the plot seemed interesting, I was prepared to love this book and I just couldn’t.
The story takes place in a world where the high borns, referred to as Luminate, run things. The Luminate are the only ones who have access to magic, and there are five different types of magic one can specialize in (to be honest, I don’t remember what any of them are called). Anna Arden comes from a Luminate family, but there’s one problem. She’s completely Barren, unable to cast any sort of magic. Although she is Barren, weird things seem to happen to other people’s magic while she’s around. After accidentally ruining her sister’s debut ball, Anna gets sent to Hungary to stay with her grandma. Soon, Anna finds herself caught up in a plan to overthrow The Circle, the Luminates who are in charge, and give everyone, common or otherwise, access to magic.
Sounds super interesting, right? Well, kind of. All Luminate children go through something called the Binding, which gives them access to their magic. But since magic tends to go haywire around Anna, many rebels think she holds the power to breaking the Binding and therefore, releasing The Circle’s hold on who can and cannot have access to magic. So the story builds itself around who does and does not want Anna to break the Binding, does Anna want to break the Binding, what would even happen if she DOES break the Binding, etc. The whole book felt really really slow, and then the last 10-20% felt completely rushed and left me wondering what the rest of the series is going to be about.
Also, because it’s a YA novel, Anna had herself a few love interests. Which I normally don’t mind, young love is wonderful and new and makes me feel warm and fuzzy on the inside, but there just wasn’t a place for it in this novel, I didn’t think. There are just so many other important things happening, and I feel like Anna is struggling so much with her own identity, that the romance just felt like it was thrown in for funsies.
My favorite character, by far, was Anna’s cousin Noemi. She’s pretty nasty to Anna when Anna first arrives in Hungary, mostly because Anna’s family is much better off than Noemi’s, but she turns out to be very sweet and powerful in her own right.
All in all, the magic stuff was cool, and I enjoyed the Hungary setting, but I found reading this more of a chore than I wanted it to be. 2 out of 5, probably will not continue with the series, but don’t completely regret reading it. I just wish I would have enjoyed it more.