Blood Rose Rebellion: {ARC Review}

Publication Date: March 28th, 2017
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Series: Blood Rose Rebellion #1
Format: Paperback ARC, 416 pages
Source: ALAMW

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. 

Oh, how I wish books were not super hyped up. I had extremely high expectations for this one because it sounded fantastic. Plus, the cover was really pretty! Unfortunately, Blood Rose Rebellion did nothing for me. 

Blood Rose Rebellion is set in the 19th century which also classifies it as a Historical Fiction. The Luminate society was actually pretty interesting. Your worth was basically dependent on how well you casted spells. Our main character Anna, had no spell casting ability so she was essentially shunned from the Luminate society around her. She was destined to become a spinster because no proper  gentlemen would want a wife without magic.

Anna is what Luminates called barren, that is, without magic. So everyone is surprised the night of her sister's debutante ball when Anna shatters her sister's spells. Her family whisks her off to Hungary  with her grandmother to avoid the scrutiny of the Luminate Council, who might deem her dangerous. It is in Hungary that she meets many new people, including long lost cousins and a very boring love interest named Gabor.

Ultimately, the Council catches up to her in Hungary and things start to happen, but it wasn't enough to save the book.

To be quite honest, it was boring. The plot moved at a snail's pace and by the time something interesting did happen, the book was halfway finished.

I just didn't care about any of the characters at all, which made it worse. They were all very bland and cold. Anna was so bratty and whiny about not being "normal." Come to find out that she is quite special, which is an annoying trope in YA. It wouldn't be a YA Fantasy without some kind of love interest, and this one made me roll my eyes plenty of times.

Gabor is a Romani, or more commonly known as a Gypsy. The latter is a derogatory term, so Anna has to learn to use Romani instead. Gabor literally brought nothing to the story except to act as her love interest. He did nothing special or heroic, or magical. He was quite honestly one of the worst YA male leads I have ever read about. Anna has important things to do that will impact many people's futures, but all she cares about is Gabor and if he loves her. It was awful. I can understand that happening in a book where the love interest actually has something to contribute, but HE DOESN'T! Move on!

So, to end my review, this book obviously wasn't for me. I really enjoyed the 19th century Hungarian setting and the Slavic Folklore like Rusalkas, but everything else seriously missed the mark. I do not think I will be rushing to pick up the next installment in this series.

If you do read it, I hope you enjoy it more than I did.



  1. I'm so glad you mentioned that this was set in the 19th century. I never would have thought that from the summary. I'm also disappointed to hear that the pacing was slow and the love interest was boring. I wanted to pick this up because I think the cover is really cool, but a boring love interest is a deal breaker for me. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I am all about historical fiction, so I was excited for that. Unfortunately, that's where my excitement ended. It's a shame because it had SO much potential to be amazing. I really think the book would have been better if there had been no romance in it, because he served zero purpose. : /


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