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.
I was dubious about Blood Rose Rebellion because it seemed that people either loved it or hated it in the reviews. Not much in between ground. I quite enjoyed it, however. In this magical YA fantasy you find elements of a Victorian romance combined with dystopian world-building and fantastical adventure. Main character Anna, who so many reviewers disliked, is actually handling everything going on in her life quite well for a teenager, I think. Her mother and sister are downright hideous so you can’t blame her for wanting to rebel against them.
I agree wholeheartedly, Sissy. Yes, there is a lot of information given about the society, the magic system and the setting but it just enriched my reading experience. I was absolutely fascinated with the 19th century Hungarian setting. It gets a bit tiresome having all these YA fantasies set in London, you know? And Rosalyn Eves did a fantastic job making me feel like I was actually there, in Hungary, right in the middle of all the action.
The Hungarian mythology intrigued me and the civil unrest there added intensity and drama to the plot. I think the people who had problems with this novel are those who are so into the genre that they overanalyze every little bit of it and pick at what they feel is wanting. Bubby and I, eclectic as we are in our reading choices, just read the book as a whole and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I believe that Blood Rose Rebellion is a worthy first novel in a new series that most YA fantasy readers will enjoy.
I can’t wait for book two, although Rosalyn Eves wrapped things up quite nicely at the end of book one, thank you very much. I am too impatient for the cliff-hanger endings that make you wait a year or two before any type of satisfying resolution! The characters, the setting, the magic system – everything in Blood Rose Rebellion combines beautifully to make a compelling story that I couldn’t put down.
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