Release Date: March 28, 2017
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult \ Fantasy \ Historical
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 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.
Series Overview: Sixteen-year-old Anna, never capable in magic, finds she holds the key to reshape the nature of magic and the ways of society—but it will be a dangerous journey.
Blood Rose Rebellion, by debut author Rosalyn Eves, is the first installment in the author's Blood Rose Rebellion trilogy.
Sixteen-year-old Anna Arden, (soon to be Seventeen), never capable of magic, finds that she may hold the key to reshaping the future of magic and the ways of society deals with those who have access to magic. But, it will be a dangerous journey. One that begins after she somehow manages to destroy her older sister Catherine's coming out party in front of a collection of Luminate's who govern all magic.
Anna is part of a Luminate family in England. Unfortunately for Anna, when the time came for her to gain her magical abilities during her confirmation, something terrible happened. Anna is considered to be Barren, which means she has no access to magic. But, Anna seems to have the strange ability to disrupt magic. Something that puts her in a perilous position of being used by anyone with an agenda. After her sisters coming out party is ruined by Anna, her family sends her away to Hungary with her grandmother to become a more suitable lady for marriage.
While in Hungary, Anna's life as she knows it flips upside down and sideways. She ends up being in the middle of those who want to use her magical disruption abilities to shatter the Binding that was put in place by none other than Charlemagne. As Anna gets involved with many different parties, including her own cousin Noemi, and a Romani by the name of Gabor, she also has a target on her back for those who don't want her to move against the Binding. There are those in Hungary who are not at all happy with the Circle or the Luminate, and are willing to rise up if only someone had a way to make things equal.
The series uses elements of European mythology and folklore, tying into popular fairy tale and folk tale retellings. Starting in 1847 London, the story quickly moves to Hungry where there is a rebellion at foot to make access to magic available to everyone. I do love historical fiction novels. I love that Eves finds a way to intermingle actual historical figures and places like Buda & Pest (Budapest) and the struggles that Hungary had at gaining independence from Austria. I do like that there are different sects of magical users like Coremancers, Elementalists, and Animanti.
The romance aspect of this story is a bit confusing. The relationship between Anna and Gábor starts out cold and prickly because Anna is Luminate and Gábor is Romani (gypsy). Their forbidden love and romance ends up being almost redundant when all is said and done because of how the book ends. Nope, not going to spoil the ending. There is so much more than what I am able to say in this review. Would I recommend this book? Yes, I would.