“All magic had a price. I knew that. It cost time, energy, will–the imprisonment of ancient creatures. It had taken a blood sacrifice to craft the Binding; it would take a blood sacrifice to break it. My fingers curled around the bone knife I carried. I doubted my courage.”
Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves
Star rating: ★★★★ ☆ 4/5 stars
Summary: Anna’s family is part of the magic-wielding nobility called the Luminates, who control the magic of the world. Anna however is without magical ability, in fact spells break around her. Revolutionaries want to use her power to break the spell that keeps all of the magic in the hands of nobility and out of any of the lower classes.
Review: I wasn’t sure how I was going to like this book as I started it, it took a while to actually get into it. I was kind of annoyed with Anna in the beginning, I get she was young but she seemed too stupid when she fell for all Freddy’s shit. It was obvious from the beginning he was just stringing her along. I wish that we got more insight into what he was trying to accomplish by bringing Anna in to witness her sister’s illusions. I still can’t understand his motivations other than Eves needed her main character to be in the room.
As the story progressed I started to like Anna much more and to get into the story. I do admit, I almost quit the book entirely when the g*psy slur started getting thrown around heavily. I scanned ahead and saw that Anna is corrected at one point. Gábor tells her that he and his people are Romani and g*psy is a word other people call them that is not their own. I was shocked and impressed, I’d never ever seen a book do that. I feel like a lot of books tend to use the word g*psy without thinking that “hey maybe I should not use a slur”… But that was not the case here and I was pleasantly surprised. Anna even starts going out of her way to correct other people when they say g*psy.
Here’s what I wish there was way less of: Anna kissing her cousin. Like it shouldn’t even have happened once but it happens twice and just– ick. No. It ruined what should have been a very emotional scene. Like is it too much to ask to not have incest? It’s not even oops didn’t know you were family kind, like come on.
I sometimes got confused about the magic system, every time I thought I finally understood it something made me realize I did not understand it whatsoever. I just wish it had been made a whole lot more clear to the reader. Also something I need explained more– how the hell does one person have two souls? The only thing I had to kind of use as reference to that is fusion from Steven Universe, which is definitely not the same thing. Fusions are aware they are both two and one at the same time, while this whole Chimera thing was not. You can’t just drop a you have two souls and not explain it! How are you one person carrying two souls? It doesn’t make sense!
Reading the author’s notes Eves goes into a lot of the research she did for the novel, which is pretty extensive. She also lists additional reading at the back for if you want to read some non-fiction about the real world she was adding magic to. It’s pretty interesting and there’s at least one book on that list that I want to check out.
Overall I liked this book, I liked that there were a lot of real consequences and loss for Anna. Even though there is magic it isn’t magically fixed. I liked this book, there is a lot of adventure and magic that makes for an exciting read. I was sure about the book at first but I’m sold now.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for an honest review.
Recommendation: If you like alternate historical fiction then this is something to check out. Even more so if you’d like to see a main character told to stop using the g*psy slur then for sure pick this up.