Title: Blood Rose Rebellion
Author: Rosalyn Eves
Series Status: 1st book in the Blood Rose Rebellion Trilogy
# of pages: 399
My rating: 2.5/5 stars
(Found on Goodreads)
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.
I was so excited about getting this book because the magic system in it sounded amazing and so new that I could not wait! But once I started reading I realized that this book was very different from anything I was expecting.
Starting with the thing that I loved in theory but the execution left some to be desired. The magic system within this book seemed new and interesting and pretty different from most YA novels. It basically consists of government systems controlling the distribution of magic through an organization called “The Circle”. It takes Catholicism and throws in a dash of magic. When you go through your confirmation (first communion) you are given a certain level of magic based on how well the Circle thinks you are in tuned with magic. I loved this idea because it shows a new take on magic as well as the many flawed logics that goes along with this government system in order to do this. I could go on for a while about how interested I was in this new magic system but I’ll move on because this would be a really long review.
My only problem with the magic system is that it gets pushed under all of the other drama that happens within the book. And the drama isn’t usually something life threatening but more about a main character, Anna, feeling scorned because some elite guy kissed another girl. If Eves had put more emphasis on the magic perhaps I would have enjoyed this book a little more. But instead she focused on things that I personally had little to no interest in.
Probably the main thing that I disliked about this book was that nothing really happened within. This book is almost 400 pages and yet coming out of it, I can think of nothing that seemed like a major plot point or something that would be a climatic point in the story. All of the more fast paced and interesting moments felt like they were a build up to something but that there was never a follow through. Every plot point felt like a set up for a major ending and then the ending happened and I felt like it was kind of a let down.
The characters also didn’t add much to the story to me. They all felt slightly one dimensional to me and I found myself increasingly angry with the main character. She was living in a world where women are considered second tier in society and the world is pushing down people without magic (which the main character herself has none) and yet most of the book she strives to do what is “proper” and tries to find a husband and a place in society while she ignores the revolutionaries at her door asking for help. Nothing about this plot point challenged this notion until way too late in the book. It caused me to feel like Anna didn’t even actually care for these changes but was only doing it for the chance at a better place in society.
Eves writing style was not actually that bad for me but she lacked a certain imagery that I had hoped the writing would possess. But when I did start the book her writing was so simplistic and nice that I could easily read it even if it wasn’t possessing the kind of story I hoped/wanted from it.
Overall this book is not one I would personally recommend to any but I was still in love with the magic system and wish that it could be with a better character combination and storyline.