Sunday, March 26, 2017

strictly literary: blood rose rebellion by rosalyn eves

inevitably, blood is spilled in revolution and in blood rose rebellion things are no different. there is blood, but also magic, love, loss, anger. anna arden has always believed she understood her place in the world. not that she was happy with it. growing up in a well-established luminate family, she was expected to wield magic, her bloodline promised powerful magic. but her confirmation was a disaster. and so she was raised as a barren, one devoid of magic. this would affect her social standing, and in this version of victorian london, society and it's mores are much the same as our version of victorian london.

even still she was different. she could feel magic. it called to her. and yet, something always went awry when magic was performed in her presence. it was as if she had the power to break spells, a talent that shouldn't be possible. a talent not easily explained by the teachings of luminate society.

when anna breaks the magic of her sister's spell during her debut, she inadvertently sets herself up on a collision course with the circle, luminate's society's order of government. her ability to break spells threatens the foundation spell of their magical society. the binding spell that allows the circle to control who has access to magic. to protect her, she is sent away with her grandmother to relatives in hungary. anna is both resentful of this banishment and excited to be away from the strictures of london society.

when she comes across a romani camp, gypsies, and sees that they are practicing some sort of magic, anna wants to learn more. how can these people harness magic if they are not luminate? she wants to learn more and convinces gábor, a young romani who she is drawn to, to teach her the romani's way with magic. except nothing works.

until anna is able to understand her true nature, nothing will let her get closer to magic. and she will also be a pawn in everyone else's game. there is a growing sense of unrest within luminate society. and everyone pulls at anna, demanding she take action or no action, trying to influence her in a way that leaves her with only impossible choices.

anna holds the fate of the world as she knows it in her hands. and she must decide if the risk of change is too great for action or if action is the only way forward. once she understands who she is, what it means for her to have been blessed?  or cursed n this manner, only then can she find the way forward. this ya fantasy does a great job of balancing the light with the heavy. yes, there is romance and love triangles, and jealousy, but there is also political intrigue, class commentary, and real sacrifice. anna is forced to ask and answer some difficult questions. and the only way to know if they'll come out on the right side in the end.

it'll be the only way for us to know too. because there's no way there isn't more to this story.

**blood rose rebellion will publish on march 28, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/random house children's (knopf books for young readers) in exchange for my honest review.

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