Author: Rosalyn Eves
Series: Blood Rose Rebellion
Publication: Knopf Books for Young Readers (March 28, 2017)
Description: 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.
My Thoughts: BLOOD ROSE REBELLION was an excellent historical fantasy about a society that hoards magic to itself and a girl born to that society who has no magic. Anna Arden is the middle child. The story begins at her older sister's debut - a time when a young woman shows off her magic to secure her place in society. Anna's sister has ordered her not to be anywhere close because, not only does Anna have no magic but, she is sometimes able to disrupt another person's spells.
When she catastrophically and thoroughly disrupts her sister's spells, she comes to the attention of the Society who want to study her. They fear that she might be able to disrupt the Binding Spell which keeps them in power.
To protect her, her father sends her with her Grandmother to Hungary to get her away from the Society. But the Society isn't willing to let her go. Anna arrives in Hungary feeling that she has been exiled from the life she wants. Her viewpoint changes when she meets her cousin and a young Romani man. In Hungary, Anna is exposed to many new ideas as she mingles with revolutionaries who want the Binding Spell gone. She sees how many people are oppressed by the current power structure.
Anna becomes the focus for those who want the Binding Spell gone and for those who want to preserve it. She has to decide which she wants more: the life she had or the new possibilities. This isn't an easy decision. Whichever path she chooses will cost almost more than she can survive.
I loved watching Anna grow throughout this story. The world building, based on the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, was well done. The characters were richly detailed and interesting people. I recommend this story to fantasy lovers. The story feels complete. There were no glaring cliffhangers, but the Epilogue does give intriguing hints for a possible sequel.
I should feel jubilant as well -- and vindicated. I had set out to prove what I could do, and I had done it. But I felt neither: my stomach curled tight and I pressed my arms against my sides, my hands folded protectively before me. It was one thing to be a spell-binder, to shape air and light into illusions, to heal. It was something else entirely to destroy those spells, to turn gifts into curses, to release shadows into daylight.I got this one in exchange for an honest review from the publisher. You can buy your copy here.