Publisher: Knopf’s Books for Young Readers
Expected Publication: March 28, 2017
Read from: February 13-24
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.
*This is an extension of my goodreads review. All thoughts and opinions are my own, and of course, I am thankful for the approval of the publisher to read and review this book.*
When I picked this book up, I realized how it isn’t exactly unique. However, I did enjoy reading the first few chapters. Sadly, my interest suddenly dwindles because of the reasons listed below:
1. The idea is not new. It’s unoriginal. If you enjoyed reading Red Queen, which also contains an abundance of tropes in YA, then you ‘might’ like this book. Blood Rose Rebellion is nothing new. The main protagonist is a special snowflake and she can’t find her place in society because of her circumstance. There is also magic involved and only the wealthy have access to it. Sounds familiar?
2. Magic system is overall confusing. Since I did not finish reading this book, I’m not sure whether the author clears it all up in the end. But in the beginning of the novel, we learn that there’s this binding that protects those with magic. Breaking the binding may cause more harm than good, and guess who can break that binding? Additionally, there’s also a war somewhere in the background. Apparently, exposing her abilities can change everything especially if the protagonist has the ability to break that binding.
*cough* Red Queen *cough*
3. The plot takes too long to build. Since I’m not really clear on the magic system, of whether everyone has access to magic but only the rich can access it – or maybe some people can be like squibs from the Harry Potter series, I just know nothing of what to expect. Instead I look at the other things going on in the book. There’s a part in this book where Anna moves to Hungary. There was a moment when I’m not even sure if what was happening is actually happening, or if it was just a figment of her imagination. It felt totally out of place from the plot. Is this fantasy or supernatural/paranormal? I thought we were just dealing with magic and not things that are considered supernatural?
4. Love interest annoys the hell out of me. Mean guy trope. She’ll fall for him eventually. Not a spoiler… In fact, everybody seems to like the protagonist. If only it weren’t for the fact that she has trouble with magic, then she would have been engaged by now (and there wouldn’t be a novel to write about). I’m fine with romance that actually *builds up* but I can’t see that in this novel. I’m not sure if I didn’t read enough. Maybe if I continue to read this, I might see more of the development in their relationship.
Additionally, he’s not the only guy in this book who she makes out with. I mean, she’s an outcast after all, nothing really matters anymore. Right? *eye roll*
5. This was supposed to be an exciting book for me to read, but I find myself disconnected from the characters, and eventually the story itself. I also heard that there’s mythology in this series, but where? Is it the supernatural event that happens in this book while Anna was in Hungary? It’s hard to say. Sadly, this book wasn’t for me.
My rating: 2/5
The upsides of picking this book up: It’s totally eye catching and interesting to read, especially if the reader is new to YA literature. I mean, just look at the beautiful cover!
If you’re interested in pre-ordering and reading the book, details about pre-order goodies can be found here. Trust me, you’ll want this! Additionally, pre-order links are down here: