Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Tuesday #Review - Rosemarked by Livia Blackburne #YALit #Fantasy @lkblackburne @DisneyHyperion

Series: Rosemarked # 1
Format: Hardcover, 400 pages
Release Date: November 7, 2017
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy / Historical

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.

Rosemarked, by author Livia Blackburne, is the first installment in the authors Rosemarked series. The story kicks of with readers meeting 17-year old Zivah. Zivah, who lives in a village called Dara, has passed all her required tests in order to earn her healers sash. She's spent 10 years of her life getting to the point where only a dangerous final test stands in her way of a life that she has chosen. After becoming the youngest healer Dara has ever seen, she gets very little time to prove her worth when the Empire's guards are struck down with the dreaded Rose plague. 

As a healer, it is Zivah's responsibility to do whatever she can to easy their pain and suffering. Unfortunately for Zivah, she gets no chance to preen at her successes before she, herself, is struck by the Rose plague. Now labeled as Rosemarked, she is no longer able to do what she's trained so hard for. Zivah is sent away from the village where she is supposed to spend the rest of her time alone. But, Zivah has other ideas. Zivah has a brilliant mind, but the one thing she can't comprehend is her inability to heal herself. Zivah's world will be even further stretched when she is chosen to go on a dangerous mission to the Central Empire to act as a spy. 

The second primary character in this story is 18-year old Dineas. A Shidadi soldier who was caught, tortured, infected with the rose plague, and dump outside of his prison, Dineas finds himself a umbertouched. Umbertouched basically means that he was exposed to the virus, but his body rejected the virus. He doesn't have the classic signs of being Rosemarked like Zivah does. Dineas is a character who is battle hardened. He hates villages like Dara who willingly bowed down and surrendered to the Central Empire. He wants revenge. But, what he gets is a partnership with a healer that sends them deep into the heart of the Empire itself. A partnership that may lead to a cure for the rose plague or certain death if they are caught.

I can't say that I was a fan of the so called romance. What's curious about the romance is that Dineas takes on a split personality thanks in part to a potion that makes him lose his memories. One of the ravaged soldier, and the other who develops feelings for Zivah while he doesn't remember who he really is. Zivah is by far my favorite character in this book and it is because anyone who can allow herself to be bitten by snakes, scorpions and spiders and survive, has got some moxy. She's also courageous to experiment with different methods of healing herself of the plague. Zivah won't be going down without a fight, and you better watch out for her pet snake! 

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