Title: Blood Rose Rebellion (Blood Rose Rebellion #1)
Author: Rosalyn Eves
Release Date and Publisher: March 2017, Knopf Books for Young Readers
Date Finished: July 4, 2017
Star Rating: ★★
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 received a physical copy of this book from the publisher through a Goodreads giveaway. I’m expected to write an honest review for it]
“I ruined my sister’s debut. I spoiled her illusions. And I kissed the man she’d hoped to marry.”
Can I just say how disappointed I was with this book?
As a fantasy lover, this book drew me in just based from the synopsis at the back of the book. It was a mix of fantasy and historical fiction and magic, which made me excited to pick it up as soon as I was able to. I’m a fan of the Red Queen series, so when it was mentioned on the back for the fans of the books, I was beyond ecstatic.
Here are some reasons why I didn’t like this book as much I wanted to:
- Too slow. I was really not into it already as soon as I started the first few chapters. It started off as turtle-paced slow. I just couldn’t get the hang off it during the first few chapters, since a lot of ideas were already being introduced like the Luminate World and the characters, and I was like “hold on, guys, slow down. I’m still processing it.” That was my first complaint about the book when I was around 20% of it. I haven’t even gotten into the problem of the plot yet, and I put the book down. I thought it was going to pick up soon, and it only did around 50-60% of the book, and then around 75% onwards, it started to slow down again. And at the end, I was so confused and I wasn’t sure if I understand anything I read.
- Too wordy. I understand how fantasy and historical novels tend to be very descriptive in terms of world-building, as this gives us a picture on how the setting is. But the first five or six chapters were all descriptive, and not enough dialogues between the characters! I love reading dialogues because this the way we see how our protagonist interact with other characters. This book was just mostly too many descriptions and thoughts of Anna instead of how she’s supposed to interact with others. If she is talking to other characters, it’s shortened into a paragraph, and that annoyed me a lot.
- The Luminate system and whole magic thing were confusing. Kudos to the author for providing us with a glossary at the back of the book with all the Hungarian translations, character lists, and the Luminate system descriptions. However, I felt a bit disconnected to the order system because it was confusing as hell, especially with the names that didn’t match their magic descriptions. And the political system behind it! That actually made it even more confusing. People keep repeating The Circle, The Binding, etc etc over and over again in various scenarios but just saying the exact same thing – in just a different wording. As for Anna’s powerlessness case, I didn’t get the whole chimera thing going on with her. It rattled my brain endlessly. I didn’t get it AT ALL.
- The plot fell short. I wasn’t a huge fan of the plot. I wasn’t so sure if the main plot was Anna looking for a way to understand why her powers weren’t working, the Hungarian rebellion, the defeat of the Circle’s control, OR something else. I didn’t see any clear main problem, because other problems keep piling on top of each other throughout the book. I didn’t see any distinct problem to it. It was all mushed together until no one can see anything distinct anymore. Even the romance was confusing! ugh!
- The characters were stiff. I wasn’t able to connect easily with all the characters, and I even had times of little regard about them. I only liked Gabor’s character because he was the consistent character among all of them. Anna was annoying as hell, and I tend to not like the book immediately if I find the main character repulsive.
The only thing I liked about this book is that it featured Hungarian history. I don’t know much about Hungary, so it was a nice change to see a historical romance set in the country that isn’t England, America, or France. I even had to pull up a few source materials to get a better sense of the history behind the story to understand it better.
As for if I will be reading the next book, I’m not so sure. This book was a major flop for me, and now I’m hesitant to read the next book when it comes out.