Author: Rosalyn Eves
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication date: March 28, 2017
Source/format: e-ARC from publisher
Synopsis (from goodreads.com):
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.
M Y T H O U G H T S
Anna Arden is a Luminate living in England during the mid-19th century. However, unlike her family, she is barren and cannot wield magic. Because of the fiasco during her sister's debut, Anna is sent to Hungary to live with her grandmother's family.
Rosalyn Eves weaves Slavic mythology with historical fiction within this fantasy. Eves touches upon society of the many classes. The wealthy are able to control magic and dictate who gets to cast spells. The poor, however, live in horrible conditions and do not get a chance to wield magic even if they have the aptitude for it, except the Romani. The Romani have their own branch of magic that they will use in order to help their people.
I find the world building thoroughly fleshed out within Blood Rose Rebellion but at times there is a lot of info dumping. Because I am reading an e-ARC, it is very hard for me to keep referring to the glossary for foreign terms that I do not understand. The novel also has Anna being infatuated with so many guys in such a short period of time. Instalove is prominent throughout the whole book. She literally kisses three guys within the first half of the book.
Rosalyn Eves starts off the novel strong but I found the middle of the book slightly slowed down in pace and it was hard to keep my attention. The character development is flat and I was hoping for more personality, especially from the main characters of the novel. I do applaud Eves transporting readers to Hungary since there are not that many novels set in Eastern Europe. The Slavic mythology, such as stories about the Rusalka, fascinate me since I love reading about folklore from around the world.
Blood Rose Rebellion is a historical fantasy novel that will intrigue readers who love magic and folklore. Blood Rose Rebellion will pique readers' interests especially those who enjoyed Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard and Ruined by Amy Tintera.