Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves

Summary:

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.

The Review:

This was another book I picked up on a whim because I kept seeing it at bookstores. I also sort of like alternative historical fiction mixed with fantasy.

This book is set during the war of Austria-Hungary, but it also has magic within in that world, and those who are most powerful are of the higher class called Luminates. Anna is someone who hasn’t yet come into her powers, and her powers come to be during the worst possible moment. It sort of reminded me of what happened to Elsa in Frozen. She then has to leave with her grandmother off to Hungary to learn more about her power.

A lot of the plot reminded me of another book I recently read The Bone Witch which also involves her being trained and learning more about the magic of the world. While it didn’t have the same level of world building that The Bone Witch had, but it did have just enough amount of history and lore which didn’t feel a lot like info dumping.

This book also mixed Romani/Gypsy culture into the world of magic and fantasy. I kinda wish it also digged a little bit deeper in gypsy culture and the world of magic because I think it was written in way that for those who have an extensive knowledge of Romani culture.

Anna has a pretty good main character, she wasn’t too whiny, but there was times when she was a bit too lovey dubbey, especially towards Gabor when she is trying to kiss him or to get him to love her. It felt kinda insta-lovey. But when stuff was going down she was trying her hardest to fix everything.

The supporting characters were also really good. Her grandmother was great in her mentor role, introducing Anna to the world around her, and also making sure that she stays out of trouble, and even though she is old she can still kick some ass.

Gabor, her trainer also had a pretty good arc to him. While he was very stand offish when Anna didn’t kiss him, and was always very made at her since then. Also their love story felt a bit cliched. In which he is of a lower class, and of course they can’t be together.

The plot is starting up a rebellion within the kingdom, or at least it is beginning stages. The problem I kinda had with it was it felt a bit added towards the end without a lot of development or build up. If there was a lot more build up it could have led to a better story.

In the end, Blood Rose Rebellion was a pretty decent book, but it lacked the epicness I look for in a fantasy novel. I thought the characters were pretty well development and the world building was pretty well done. It could have dug deep in Romani culture and I felt the books ending was a bit rushed,

Grade: 3.4/5

Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Minor Characters

Happy Wednesday everyone, and here is another Top 5 Wednesday, and the topic is,

May 24th: Favorite Minor Characters
–Minor characters are less than a sidekick or a side character (but not in our hearts!) Everyone will have a different definition of what makes a minor vs a side character but just as an example, I’d consider Ron and Hermione side characters, while Lavender Brown, Oliver Wood, and Dean Thomas are minor characters. Results may vary so don’t get tooooo caught up in it 🙂

Top 5 Wednesday is a group in Goodreads and was formerly created by Lainey at gingerreadslainey and is now done by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. It is open to everyone.

I always do like minor characters, mainly because they always add to the ensemble and make the book better.

Detective Boney from Gone Girl

She’s the lead detective in the case of Amy Dunne, and she always tended to give Nick the benefit of the doubt. Even after Amy is found she still knew something was up in Amy’s story.

Iko from the Lunar Chronicles

She is Cinder’s android, and she is hilarious, while you were sad that she was decommissioned she still stayed around in Throne’s ship and was still hilarious.

Olenna Tyrell from A Song of Ice and Fire

She maybe old, but she still a lot to say. I liked her mainly because she served as support to Sansa when she was a King’s Landing. I also love how her doesn’t put up with any of Queen Cersei’s shit either.

Finnick Odair from The Hunger Games

One of the most popular victors from The Hunger Games, he does have a cocky attitude. But underneath the cockiness is his love for Mags; his mentor and his girlfriend Annie.

Oliver Wood from Harry Potter

Harry’s first Quidditch captain. He cared about his team and wanted to win the cup. Even if some of his methods were questionable like waking his team up early in the morning for practice he was a very good captain.

Those are my favorite minor character. What are your favorite minor characters? Let me know in the comments below.

The Bone Witch by: Rin Chupeco

Summary:

Tea is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy makes her a bone witch, who are feared and ostracized in the kingdom. For theirs is a powerful, elemental magic that can reach beyond the boundaries of the living—and of the human.

Great power comes at a price, forcing Tea to leave her homeland to train under the guidance of an older, wiser bone witch. There, Tea puts all of her energy into becoming an asha, learning to control her elemental magic and those beasts who will submit by no other force. And Tea must be strong—stronger than she even believes possible. Because war is brewing in the eight kingdoms, war that will threaten the sovereignty of her homeland…and threaten the very survival of those she loves.

The Review:

This is another book I kinda picked up on whim, and I kept seeing the book everywhere and since it is a fantasy book I of course will read it.

I also didn’t know much about the author, I heard of the other books she written but never actually read them.

First let’s discuss the characters. Tea is a great protagonist. While she does ask a lot of questions she clearly wants to know what is going on, and how to become a better asha. Her kinda finding out that she is a bone witch comes at a complete surprise to her when she resurrects her dead brother and now has be trained to become an asha. The book switches from 15-year old Tea to a 17 year old Tea, and you see her character progress through her training.

The supporting characters were also good. I did like Tea’s relationship with Fox and I kinda wish there was a lot more scenes with them. You don’t see a lot of brother-sister relationships in YA, so I am glad that it was there. I also did like her mentor Lady Mykeala who basically served as an Obi-Wan role and their relationship was also well done.

The world building was also really good. The book did a good job at giving us backstory and lore with the kingdom it is set in, but I kinda feel that it was almost too much world building. The book is roughly 400 pages, the problem with too much world building is that it takes away from building up the plot The book has such a rich lore to it, in which is describes all the witches, how Dark ashas came to be and the conflict within the kingdoms but throughout the book nothing really happens. Tea mainly goes through her training, and the main conflict feels a bit tacked on at the end in which after reading the book I kept saying “that was it?”. I think there will be more plot development in future books.

In the end, despite my problems with the plot, I thought The Bone Witch was great book for world building and giving us a magical world. Hopefully in future books with the world building out of the way it could focus a lot more at character and plot development.

Grade: 3/5

If &Then Thursday 5/18/2017

Happy Thursday everyone, and here is another If & Then Thursday

If&Then Thursdays is a book meme created by Alex@ Young at Heart Books. How do you participate? It’s easy! All you have to do is choose two books that are somewhat related in theme, writing style, genre, etc. Tell us how they are similar and why we would like them! All recommendations should be made in this format:

“If you like Book A, then you might enjoy Book B”

If you liked:

One of my favorite contemporary novels, which deals a lot with growing up, dealing with high school and also issues of depression. Its a great book that I am always happy to revisit again.

Than you might like:

In the months after his father’s suicide, it’s been tough for 16-year-old Aaron Soto to find happiness again–but he’s still gunning for it. With the support of his girlfriend Genevieve and his overworked mom, he’s slowly remembering what that might feel like. But grief and the smile-shaped scar on his wrist prevent him from forgetting completely.

When Genevieve leaves for a couple of weeks, Aaron spends all his time hanging out with this new guy, Thomas. Aaron’s crew notices, and they’re not exactly thrilled. But Aaron can’t deny the happiness Thomas brings or how Thomas makes him feel safe from himself, despite the tensions their friendship is stirring with his girlfriend and friends. Since Aaron can’t stay away from Thomas or turn off his newfound feelings for him, he considers turning to the Leteo Institute’s revolutionary memory-alteration procedure to straighten himself out, even if it means forgetting who he truly is.

Why does happiness have to be so hard?

Why: Both have a high school setting with great main characters who you want to root for at every page. Both Charlie and Aaron have a lot of similarities to each other including dealing with depression and trauma, and how it affects them.

Top 5 Wednesday: Summer reads

Happy Wednesday everyone, here is another Top 5 Wednesday and the topic is:

May 17th: Summer Reads
–The weather is heating up (for half of the world), so what books remind you of summer and are your quintessential summer reads?

Top 5 Wednesday is a group in Goodreads and was formerly created by Lainey at gingerreadslainey and is now done by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. It is open to everyone.

Yes, Summer is coming, and even the Boston weather says so, also Summer is usually when I get a lot of reading done.

Fan Girl by Rainbow Rowell

Rainbow Rowell is always good at making small cute stories really good, and Fangirl is no exception. It has great characters and nice story about fandom in general.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Summer is also good for a nice thriller book, and Gone Girl is just that. It has a nice mystery to it, and a very compelling character in Amy Dunne.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

This is one of my definitive summer reads, mainly because I first read it a few summers ago and always read it every summer because it is that good. This is a very good book especially for those who are fans of 8-bit games and science fiction in general.

This Savage Song by: VE Schwab

This was by first taste of the amazing works of V.E. Schwab, and it wasn’t my last. This is an extremely great book to read over the summer, and I cannot wait for the sequel Our Dark Duet.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

No Mourners! No Funerals! One of my favorite books I read last year, and then I read Crooked Kingdom and loved that too. It was a really good heist book with amazing characters.

Those are my summer reads, while most of these books could be read at anytime. What are your favorite summer reads? Let me know in the comments below.

Hype or Like Friday: Oh, So Pretty

Happy Friday everyone,

Here is another Hype or Like Friday.

The book of the Month is: Strange the Dreamer by Laini Tayor

Hype or Like Friday is a meme created by Jillian, Larkin, and Britt to discuss about hyped books and see if they’re hyped up or not. There would be book of the month that you can read, and the post your review for it on the end of the month, then rate it whether it’s a hype it or like it.
May 12th – Oh, So Pretty!… What book covers are just dazzling you lately?

While I am not a cover person, but I can’t help but but books because covers sometimes help me find the books I want.

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

Want by Cindy Pon

The Wish Granter by CJ Redwine

Daughter of a Pirate King by: Tricia Levenseller

Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab

And those are some of my favorite covers I have been liking. Any covers that you find dazzling? Let me know in the comments below.

 

If & Then Thursday-5/11/2017

Happy Thursday everyone,

This is a meme started by a good friend of mine Alex@YoungatHearts, and it seemed fun.

If&Then Thursdays is a book meme created by Alex@ Young at Heart Books. How do you participate? It’s easy! All you have to do is choose two books that are somewhat related in theme, writing style, genre, etc. Tell us how they are similar and why we would like them! All recommendations should be made in this format:

“If you like Book A, then you might enjoy Book B”

 If you liked:

A fairy tale retelling set in a sci fi world, in which I would describe as Star Wars meets Disney. It has a great cast of characters, great world building and it does a good job at retelling these fairy tales.

Than you might like:

While this was one of my cover buys, I still really liked the book. It was a retelling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, with a little but of Game of Thrones in there.

Lorelai Diederich, crown princess and fugitive at large, has one mission: kill the wicked queen who took both the Ravenspire throne and the life of her father. To do that, Lorelai needs to use the one weapon she and Queen Irina have in common—magic. She’ll have to be stronger, faster, and more powerful than Irina, the most dangerous sorceress Ravenspire has ever seen.

In the neighboring kingdom of Eldr, when Prince Kol’s father and older brother are killed by an invading army of magic-wielding ogres, the second-born prince is suddenly given the responsibility of saving his kingdom. To do that, Kol needs magic—and the only way to get it is to make a deal with the queen of Ravenspire, promise to become her personal huntsman…and bring her Lorelai’s heart.

But Lorelai is nothing like Kol expected—beautiful, fierce, and unstoppable—and despite dark magic, Lorelai is drawn in by the passionate and troubled king. Fighting to stay one step ahead of the dragon huntsman—who she likes far more than she should—Lorelai does everything in her power to ruin the wicked queen. But Irina isn’t going down without a fight, and her final move may cost the princess the one thing she still has left to lose.

 

Why: Both a fairy tale retelling. One is set in a futuristic fantasy world, while the other is set within a high fantasy world. As a Disney fan, I could always love a good fairy tale retelling and these two books are very good if you are a fan of Disney, or if you like a science fiction and fantasy books.