ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Repetitive info dumps, left field plot twists, and uncomfortable cousin kissing. Yeah, this book was a chore to read, to say the least, and it is easily the worst book I’ve read so far in 2017.
“Has no one told you, child, not to wander in unfamiliar woods? Have you not read your fairy tales?”
This is a historical fantasy novel, set in 19th century Hungary, with some Hungarian folklore. The author actually places real people from Hungarian history in her story, too, so I’ll give her a little credit for a unique setting, but it didn’t help the actual enjoyment of this book.
I think it is important to note that I am not Hungarian, but Lex’s review is very important in terms of accurate representation, and is just amazing in general. If you are questioning the authenticity on certain elements of this book, her review is a must read.
At this point I feel like all the “new” YA fantasy is just the same. You can take your pick, if you’ve read one you’ve read them all, but Blood Rose Rebellion still feels a little worse for some reason, even with the more unique setting.
I didn’t care about any of the characters, I felt no chemistry for any relationship, and I never believed in any of the friendships. This book reads cold and stoic.
The basic storyline is that our main protagonist, Anna, lives in a society where your worth is dependent on your magical ability. The trick of this statement is a powerful society, the Luminate, which her family is a part of, announce whether children have magical abilities or not.
Anna is deemed barren, yet everyone else’s spells seem to break or backfire around her. After she ruins her sister’s magical debutante party, and while doing so because they both have a crush on the same boy, the Luminates become much more interested in Anna.
After an offer to go to Hungary with her grandmother, Anna’s parents force her to go in hopes that it will clear her sister’s good name, so she can be married off like a proper lady, and that Anna can escape the radar of the Luminates. So off to Hungary Anna and her grandmother go.
And this wouldn’t be a historical fiction novel if the highborn lady didn’t fall in love with a Gypsy boy. So in Hungary, a weird sort of love triangle ensues, with sexual tension involving Anna’s third cousin, along the “meat” of the story, which will be information dumping alongside mixed messages to confuse you constantly.
The author will then throw in twists to try to rationalize the story along. Then tragedy will strike to pull at your heartstrings, but the story has been so convoluted for so long that you won’t even care who lives or who dies, you’ll just want it to be over.
“I did not want to be remembered. I had only wanted to be loved.”
I’m sorry, I really am, but this book was one of the books I knew I should have DNFed, but I hate DNFing ARCs so here we are. Again, I never want to turn people away from trying a book, so I hope if you give this book a try that you will feel differently than I did.