book review // Blood Rose Rebellion (sadly disappointing)

Saturday, March 25, 2017
unfortunately, Blood Rose Rebellion did not end up being a book i enjoyed all that much.
i was actually very excited for this book because it's ya fantasy, for goodness sake. my first and only love.

honestly, i was very disappointed.
overall, there were some aspects i did like, but the majority of it ended up being very, very bleh. let's just get into it.

by Rosalyn Eves // release date: march 28, 2017

i like the white background better than the blue, tbh.

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. 

thank you so much to Penguin Random House and First in Line for sending me an ARC of this book!!

i'll start with something i did like about the book.

the book is set in Hungary, which is something you don't see everyday! i loved the idea of the setting and the addition of Hungarian legends and folklore. the setting was very unique and well thought-out.

i really liked the fact that the book is a historical fantasy and incorporates/twists elements of history, especially since i am studying this part of history right now in school.

however, i have read some reviews which say that many of the Hungarian words included are misspelled. i've also heard that there are some historical inaccuracies. hopefully, these will be corrected in the actual version of the book.

i do think that the author wasted a lot of potential with the setting and hungarian folklore. she could have done so much more with it, and this would improved the book greatly. THERE WAS SO MUCH POTENTIAL, and it went to waste.

honestly, i felt no connection to the characters.

we had our protagonist, anna, who is your classic special snowflake. basically, she lives in a society where magic determines your worth, and she has no ability to control magic. bUT--wait for it-- she can break spells. omg.  can you feel the sarcasm seeping out?
i didn't hate anna, but i didn't love her either. she looked down on people so much, and i personally wasn't much of a fan. she also kept making dumb decision after dumb decision and then acting surprised when the consequences fell on her. no thanks.

our resident love interest is gábor, a romani. i did not feel any romantic connection whatsoever between him and anna. i did not think that their relationship was well developed at all. also, there was this weird love triangle thing between gabor, anna, and anna's third cousin mathyas, which really just weirded me out. i couldn't figure out anna's relationship with mathyas. it felt like the author had copied other books with the circle

and then we have the Circle, just your average group of oppressive magical peeps. this idea has already been done so many times before, and it didn't feel like an effective antagonist in the story at all. more than anything, the circle felt like the Clave in TMI (or any other ruling body in a ya fantasy novel). it felt like the author had copied other popular books with the Circle.

i think this is the part of the story that i was most disappointed in.

it was just so predictable. you could tell where the story was going from a mile away, and there were about zero total effective plot twists. the story just felt like a mash up of about ten popular ya books, written less well than they had been originally.

i seriously struggled to keep reading this book. the pacing was definitely super slow, and this isn't normally that big of a problem for me, but it was just so boring. it was pretty close to being a DNF for me. and the language didn't do anything to help this. it felt dry and forced, not to mention that it used complicated words very unnecessarily. i get that the author was trying to create a certain mood with the language, but it did not work.

i didn't think that the magical aspect of the book was very well done. the parameters of magic were not firmly established, and the types of magicians weren't either. 

rating: ★★★☆☆ (closer to 2.5 stars)

all in all, Blood Rose Rebellion turned out to be a very average ya fantasy book, nothing particularly special. i think that the characters were bland, and the worldbuilding had a lot of potential to be amazing, but it didn't develop fully. i don't think that i will be reading the other two books in the trilogy.

are there any books recently that you've been disappointed in? are you planning to read Blood Rose Rebellion? i would love to know your thoughts on it when it comes out!

xoxo, madeline


  1. Hmm, this sounds interesting and not, at the same time. I haven't recently been disappointed by any books. The books I've read recently are all deserving of four or five stars. (Except for King's Cage. That was okayish.) I probably won't be reading the Blood Rose Rebellion. I HATE when you can't connect with the characters -- if you don't care about what's happening to them, what's the point of the story? And I have so many books checked out to read and so little time... *wails* XD

    1. that was thought going into it. i thought it sounded interesting but also trope-heavy. i totally agree with you about characters! why read the story if you don't like them?

  2. I had marked this as one to read, so really sad to hear how disappointing you found this. I hate when you can't relate to the characters and all the plot twists are so easy to see coming... :( Thanks for sharing!

    1. i know. this one was so disappointing :( thanks for reading though!

  3. I'd been thinking about reading this one! Thanks for this review though. The first thing I did after reading the blurb was think about how awesome it was for being set in Hungary... but seeing as you pointed out it didn't really make use of Hungarian folklore and culture -- that leaves me disappointed too 😢

    I hope you find better fantasy books to read! 💖

    Some books that have really disappointed me this year are Dear Killer and Ice Like Fire! But 2017 is a much better reading year for me, so I'm hoping it will stay great for the months to come.

    - Andrea at A Surge of Thunder

    1. i really wish brr had utilized more of the hungarian culture! that would have made the book so much better.

      same here. i've been a lot choosier with my books lately, and i think that's what has made 2017 a pretty good reading year!

  4. Aw, this looked like a good book! =( I don't think I'll read this one, maybe something else...


    1. yeah, i probably wouldn't recommend this one :(


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