Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves

Blood Rose RebellionInformation

Goodreads: Blood Rose Rebellion
Series: Blood Rose Rebellion #1
Source: City Book Review
Published: March 28, 2017

Official 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.


Blood Rose Rebellion is generally an engaging book. It’s well-written with strong characters and an engaging plot.  Unfortunately, it reminds me of a lot of other YA fantasy I’ve been reading, and it doesn’t stand out from the crowd.  The marketing team for the book is comparing it to Red Queen, presumably because of the class differences that the book explores; magic is in the bloodlines of the ruling elite.  However, for me the story most brought to mind A Shadow Bright and Burning with its setting in an alternate 1800s Europe and focus on a female protagonist with unusual powers whose destiny may lead her to dispense magic to people to whom the ruling class declares it does not belong.  While both novels are good, reading them side by side does make them blend together, and I wish Blood Rose Rebellion had felt more original to me.

That issue aside, I very much liked the characters in the book, particularly protagonist Anna Arden. She’s passionate and idealistic but sometimes too impetuous for her own good. Her personality makes her a great main character to follow, as she’s always getting into one adventure or another.  I also enjoyed her grandmother, dignified but with a hidden strength, and her cousin who also has a hidden heart of  gold.

On the hand, I do wish the love interest had been more developed.  I know what I’m supposed to think about him–he’s smart, hardworking, and loyal to his family.  However, I felt as though this was often told to me rather than shown, and I didn’t feel a connection between him and Anna.  For me, the romance is not the high point of the story.

The world building is solid, and I felt like I could picture the magic system that Eves has created.  The historical aspects might have been better integrated, however, as I mostly got the general points that Hungary wants to be free from the Habsburgs and that Europe is in a general state of rebellion.  Anna mentions Queen Victoria of England in passing.  Eves does include an author’s note with some more historical details at the end of the book, but I would have liked this information to be included in the actual story.  I also could have done with fewer info dumps.

I think fans of YA fantasy will enjoy Blood Rose Rebellion, but I didn’t really read it at the right time to fall in love with it.


22 thoughts on “Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves

  1. Books, Vertigo and Tea says:

    I just finished Strange the Dreamer and can relate so much! I feel like it was not the right time for me to read the book. I wonder now, if I had shelved it for later if my thoughts would have been more positive.

    I find it funny that you mention that this book has a lot similarity with other YA Fantasy titles. That is exactly why I declined. Something told me it was going to feel too familiar. I am not in the mood for familiar currently. Fantastic review 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Briana says:

      I have mixed thoughts about Strange the Dreamer, too! I didn’t dislike it, but I don’t know if I read it at the right time. Mostly I picked it up because my hold came in at the library and I had to read it then or never. :p

      Yes! It’s very odd because I think the setting and such are pretty original, but I see a lot of books that seem to be the same old plot and characters, just in a different setting. I think even some of the earliest books we’d label “diverse” were like this, and it’s more recently that diverse book have come more into their own and being allowed to branch off into more unique channels.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sarah says:

    I’m on the fence now over whether to pick this up. I haven’t read all the fantasies you compared it to so maybe I will get on with it better? But then again it sounds like there are so many better fantasies to read… ah, the conundrum! I guess I’ll let fate decide and see whether or not my local library stocks it or not lol – but great, honest review!


    • Briana says:

      Yeah, I actually don’t think it was a bad book, just that it reminded me enough of several books I had read recently that it wasn’t that exciting for me.


  3. theorangutanlibrarian says:

    hmm not heard too much about this yet- I think I’ll wait on it before making a decision, cos I’ve read a few too many YAs at the wrong time for me too and just felt like I was past it. Great review!!


    • Briana says:

      Thanks! Yeah, I didn’t think it was bad, but marketing so often get me excited that a book is going to be new and unique and then it just kind of fits into the standard YA mold.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Briana says:

      It just reads to me like a bunch of other recent YA fantasy, and I’m not quite sure how that happened because these books were probably acquired by publishers around the same time. I don’t think they’re “copying” or “inspired by” each other, just that publishers were picking up similar stories several months ago???

      Liked by 1 person

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