Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves

10:00 AM

Title: Blood Rose Rebellion (Blood Rose Rebellion #1)
Author: Rosalyn Eves
Release Date: March 28, 2017
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Pages: 416
Source: Bought
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Overall: 1 STAR

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.

Ever since I first heard about Rosalyn Eves's debut Blood Rose Rebellion, I've been so excited to read it. Alternate historical Hungary, dazzling magic, and a girl leading a revolution? I definitely needed this book in my hands. But to my great disappointment, everything just started to go downhill once I'd read a third of the book. My connection to the characters and storyline simply began to wither, and I struggled to stay engaged and even finish Blood Rose Rebellion.

I didn't believe in the romance. I didn't believe in the friendships formed. And despite the large passages of information dropping, the magic system of the Luminate confused me, or maybe it was just its lack of consistency. It seemed like, depending on the convenience for the plot, magic would or would not go haywire around Anna. Need to ruin her sister's debutante ball? Spell broken! Need to cross a large distance with a portal? Oh, look at that, the spell works just fine.

Anna really annoyed me. I'm cursed! Next chapter: No, I'm powerful and strong! A few chapters later: No, I'm weak! And then later: I'll break the binding! No, I won't break the binding! UGH. Girl, make up your mind! She was just so frustrating and failed to keep her word. Anna only seemed to think about the consequences when the damage was already done, so I didn't feel sympathetic for her at all. And why was everyone so convinced Anna could break the Binding, which controls the use of magic in her world? Talk about an ambitious plan. She's always believed she was Barren and has received zero training. Why didn't she even practice breaking smaller spells first, which would have been a lot more practical!? It didn't make sense! 

And what purpose did the Romani boy, Gábor, serve in the story? Well, Anna uses him to teach her the Romani understanding of magic, a different style compared to the Luminate's elitist views. I don't even know why Gábor is teaching forbidden knowledge to an outsider girl he barely knows, but whatever. I thought he was a love interest, but then his character kind of faded into the background. Actually, that happened to most of the side characters in this book. They showed up when it was convenient, and then disappeared when they weren't needed. It made it hard to feel a sense of connection to anyone.

Blood Rose Rebellion had so much potential! I wish I could include more positive aspects (I did really enjoy the rich historical detail and Hungarian setting), but after anticipating the book for so long, I've just been hit hard with bitter disappointment that I didn't fall in love with it.

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  1. Whooooh! Thanks for your honest opinion. I'm still very curious about this book and also curious if I'll share your opinion.

    1. I'm usually not so critical (it's very seldom when I give a book 1 star), but Blood Rose Rebellion just disappointed me! It was like, the more I thought about the book, the more I found areas to pick apart... On Goodreads, you'll find there's a ton of mixed reviews, so either way, you won't feel alone if you like or dislike the book! lol

  2. Wow. Thanks for your honesty! I actually haven't heard of this one, but after your review I think I'll STEER THE HELL AWAY from this one. I'm not much of a fan of those kinds of books as it is... Yikes!

    Cass @ Words on Paper