Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Book Review: Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves

Blood Rose Rebellion (Blood Rose Rebellion #1) by Rosalyn Eves
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. 

My Review:
"I did not set out to ruin my sister's debut."

Those words draw you into Blood Rose Rebellion, where sixteen-year-old Anna Arden lives in high society London among the powerful, magical Luminates - except Anna has no power of her own. Thought a freak by her family's social circle and the disappointment of her mother, Anna wishes desperately that she could possess magic and that she could be with the young man she has feelings for, Freddy.

But on the night of her sister Catherine's debut into Luminate society, Anna finds out that Freddy has also been seeing her sister and her anger somehow manages to break her sister's spell weaving and ruin her debut.  As members of the governing London Circle of Luminates begin asking questions as to how a Barren Luminate had the ability to break through her sister's spells, Anna's father and grandmother decide that it's best for her to leave London and travel to her grandmother's homeland, Hungary. 

Anna feels as if her life is over as she is exiled from her home and taken away from her younger brother, James, and from Freddy - who didn't want to marry her anyway. In Hungary, Anna and her grandmother arrive at Esterhaza, a grand palace owned by Anna's grandmother's cousin Janos and she meets her cousins, indifferent Noemi and the entertaining Matyas. As she settles into her new home Anna realizes this might have been what she needed after all, for in Hungary she can be herself. 

By chance, she meets a Romani boy named Gabor, who both infuriates her and intrigues her - and he may be the key to her learning how to do some magic. But will Gabor help? Or is the risk too much for the both of them? At the same time a young revolutionary, William Skala has learned of Anna's ability to break spells and tries to recruit her to break the Binding that holds all the world's magic in the Circle's firm fists. And he's not the only one who wants Anna to break the Binding.

The Revolution is stirring and starting and whether Anna wants it or not she's about to be swept up in the tidal wave for freedom from the Circle's oppressive regime, the Hapsburg dynasty and for Hungary's freedom. As Anna grows closer to Gabor and her cousins, she must decide whether it's worth it to break the Binding - or whether breaking the Binding will cause more harm than good. 

For Rosalyn Eves's debut novel I thought the writing and storytelling were beautiful. I loved the history woven into the story and the fantasy twist on historical politics for the time the book is set in. 

Anna was a strong main character that I instantly liked and I loved the relationship she had with her grandmother and how protective she was with her younger brother. 

The story kept my attention the whole way through and I kept wondering who Anna could trust and who would betray her. From the secondary characters, I loved Matyas, Noemi, Ginny, Gabor, and even Hunger. Also, the Romani beliefs and the world within the Binding fascinated me and I hope to learn more about both in the books to come. 

The only thing I wish there could have been a little more of was romance. While I liked Anna and Gabor's connection and I understand the book was mainly about Anna coming into her own and finding her place in the rebellion I thought that the building of their relationship kind of got lost somewhere along the way. 

Overall, I loved Blood Rose Rebellion and I'm already dying to read the next book. I thought it was a very satisfying read filled with magic, political uprising, hope and heartbreak, and Anna's discovery of who she is and who she will become.  I'm eager to see what the next book holds for her and the others. 

My Rating:
4.90 of 5 Stars

Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves is available today, March 28, 2017, from Knopf Books and Random House. Grab your copy today:

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