Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn EvesBlood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves

Blood Rose Rebellion

byRosalyn Eves

Hardcover | March 28, 2017

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"A magical tale unlike anything you've read before." Bustle

"[A] richly imagined 19th-century historical fantasy." EW, A-

The thrilling first book in a YA fantasy trilogy for fans of
Red Queen. In a world where social prestige derives from a trifecta of blood, money, and magic, one girl has the ability to break the spell that holds the social order in place.

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 Romani, 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.

“A fast-paced historical fantasy full of magic, romance, and adventure!”—JESSICA DAY GEORGE, New York Times bestselling author of Silver in the Blood
Rosalyn Eves is a professor of English living in southern Utah and is involved in the YA community there and across the country. Blood Rose Rebellion is her debut novel. Find out more at and @RosalynEves.
Title:Blood Rose RebellionFormat:HardcoverDimensions:416 pages, 8.5 × 5.75 × 1.25 inPublished:March 28, 2017Publisher:Random House Children's BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1101935995

ISBN - 13:9781101935996


Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Bittersweet Romance and a Quest for Justice in A Magical World! *SPOILERS! Read at your own risk!* The beginning was so interesting it got me invested in the story right away. However, the more I read, the longer it got... It took a long time before something else happened, something worthwhile. When it did, it soon went back to being boring. Aside from that, the pages past the middle and the ending particularly are just mind-blowing! I was hoping for a certain development and it did go that way, turning everything upside down and did I love it! It was full of magic, doubts, otherwordly beings, and action. What's not to love? Also, this book had a sense of travelling to it. The main character, Anna, who is Barren (which means she doesn't have magic in a magically-ruled world), travels with her grandmother to Hungary. I adored reading about them travelling, crossing countries, and meeting other people. There are even a few words and sentences in Hungarian. God help me for it was wonderful! Moreover, Blood Rose Rebellion had the best character development with Anna Arden I've ever read! I started disliking her for she was haughty and spoilt but as the story progressed, I noticed she was learning how to love other people, or at least accept them. She would even defend a few of the less fortunate. By the end of the book, I came to like her and root for her. Now, if that's not character development done right, I don't know what it is! I give it a rating of 4 out of 5 because it made me travel in different countries at a different time in a magical world. Plus, the character development in this book will never cease to amaze me. It lost one star simply for the boring parts that were too long. It was quite an adventure and I would recommend it to everyone who loves magic, fantasy, other worlds, and quests for justice! It even surprised and delighted me.
Date published: 2017-08-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! THIS BOOK! It grabbed me from page one and wouldn't let go. Riveting world building and fantastic characters. I loved this book all the way to the end. SUPER happy that there's going to be more!
Date published: 2017-07-02
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Disappointing Historical Fantasy Ever since I first heard about Rosalyn Eves's debut Blood Rose Rebellion, I've been so excited to read it. Alternate historical Hungary, dazzling magic, and a girl leading a revolution? I definitely needed this book in my hands. But to my great disappointment, everything just started to go downhill once I'd read a third of the book. My connection to the characters and storyline simply began to wither, and I struggled to stay engaged and even finish Blood Rose Rebellion. I didn't believe in the romance. I didn't believe in the friendships formed. And despite the large passages of information dropping, the magic system of the Luminate confused me, or maybe it was just its lack of consistency. It seemed like, depending on the convenience for the plot, magic would or would not go haywire around Anna. Need to ruin her sister's debutante ball? Spell broken! Need to cross a large distance with a portal? Oh, look at that, the spell works just fine. Anna really annoyed me. I'm cursed! Next chapter: No, I'm powerful and strong! A few chapters later: No, I'm weak! And then later: I'll break the binding! No, I won't break the binding! UGH. Girl, make up your mind! She was just so frustrating and failed to keep her word. Anna only seemed to think about the consequences when the damage was already done, so I didn't feel sympathetic for her at all. And why was everyone so convinced Anna could break the Binding, which controls the use of magic in her world? Talk about an ambitious plan. She's always believed she was Barren and has received zero training. Why didn't she even practice breaking smaller spells first, which would have been a lot more practical!? It didn't make sense! And what purpose did the Romani boy, Gábor, serve in the story? Well, Anna uses him to teach her the Romani understanding of magic, a different style compared to the Luminate's elitist views. I don't even know why Gábor is teaching forbidden knowledge to an outsider girl he barely knows, but whatever. I thought he was a love interest, but then his character kind of faded into the background. Actually, that happened to most of the side characters in this book. They showed up when it was convenient, and then disappeared when they weren't needed. It made it hard to feel a sense of connection to anyone. Blood Rose Rebellion had so much potential! I wish I could include more positive aspects (I did really enjoy the rich historical detail and Hungarian setting), but after anticipating the book for so long, I've just been hit hard with bitter disappointment that I didn't fall in love with it.
Date published: 2017-06-27
Rated 2 out of 5 by from ok was a decent read but I wouldn't read it a second time
Date published: 2017-06-25
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Ok I loved the title, the cover and the blurb. It was a wonderful world of magic. I was prepared to fall in love. But somewhere along the way, the magic lost its glamour and I didn't like it as much anymore.
Date published: 2017-06-13
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Blood Rose Rebellion (Blood Rose Rebellion #1) by Rosalyn Eves ( Repetitive info dumps, left field plot twists, and uncomfortable cousin kissing. Yeah, this book was a chore to read, to say the least, and it is easily the worst book I've read so far in 2017. Blood Rose Rebellion was one of my most anticipated reads of 2017, because, let us be honest, you can’t really dangle a YA fantasy with such a unique setting in front of me and expect me not to drool. I did drool over it, I did yearn for it, and I unexpectedly did get an ARC of it. Imagine my joy: huge, shiny, happy thing. And now imagine that joy being shattered when I finally admitted to myself, when I was a little more than a quarter into the book, that I wasn’t enjoying it at all.Blood Rose Rebellion is one of the slowest books I’ve ever read. Slow-paced novels usually are not a problem for me; strangely enough, I seem to enjoy them best that action-packed ones. The thing with this kind of books, however, is that for them to keep you hooked in spite of everything, the author must be very skilled and his storytelling nearly flawlessly compelling, and Rosalyn Eves’s, I’m afraid, is not. The novel is written in first person, and Anna’s voice (the MC) feels dry and bland more often than not. Which, as you can guess, was no incentive for me to care for her or any of the characters or even what was happening.
Date published: 2017-04-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Trust Dilemma I was very excited going into this book, because a) It was pitched as a book perfect for fans of Red Queen (which I ADORE) but b) mostly because the author, Rosalyn Eves is SUCH a great person to talk to (which I have) and I’ve loved following her story with her book on social media and well, I really wanted this to be my next favourite fantasy. Unfortunately, Blood Rose Rebellion with its intriguing storyline, amazing author and pretty cover isn’t one of my favourites and here’s why: One of my MAIN problems with this book was our heroine, Anna Arden herself. Through the course of the book, Anna wrestles with the decision of whether or not she should break the Binding spell – the one that holds all magic in a reservoir and allows only the Aristocrats to wield it. As described, the aristocracy’s (The Luminate) spell allows only them to access magic, and not common people whether they have an inclination or talent for magic. As spells have a tendency to break around Anna, the rebels try and convince her to break the Binding, thus making all equal. *spoilers* HOWEVER THE BINDING IS ALSO SAID TO TRAP CREATURES TOO HORRIBLE FOR THE REAL WORLD, ONES GUARANTEED TO MAKE YOUR STOMACH CHURN, which Anna SEES for the first time properly, then allows herself to fall under an illusion, sees it in her Third trip to the binding spell and GOES BACK TO BREAK IT ANYWAY. Which brings me to: I HAD A HUGE PROBLEM TRUSTING ANNA ARDEN. She was a child, with all her sixteen years of age, her heart and mind FLUTTERED towards any man that showed her attention (including her COUSIN and a man who was clearly also courting her SISTER) and her BIGGEST desire in life was to be a part of society. Age is not usually an issue (almost all YA heroines are sixteen) for me but Anna was immature and frankly, INCAPABLE OF MAKING A WORLD ALTERING, MONSTER UNLEASHING DECISION BY HERSELF. She also refused to listen to others around her, ask for help, try and UNDERSTAND her power and merely flounced around talking about belonging in a world she intended to change. I also kept flitting back to the Spiderman Quote, “With great power comes great responsibility” and while Anna had a great power, I DIDN’T FIND HER RESPONSIBLE AT ALL, and the power that she had – NOBODY UNDERSTOOD IT and so how could you possibly use something so volatile to alter a centuries old spell? There were also a lot of thins I really like about this book: 1) THE SETTING (You could tell how well researched it was - I loved what felt like the authenticity of Hungary, the names and the places, even the villagers and the Romani (Gypsy) people felt so REAL 2) The secondary characters like Noemi, Gabor, William and Matyas. 3) THE MAGIC and the orders. I was CRAVING more and I hope it will be there in the next installment In conclusion, though I WANTED to fall in love with this book, I didn't. There were a LOT of good elements, and a few bad ones, and I will definitely be reading the next installment!
Date published: 2017-04-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Hungarian Historical Fantasy *I received an advanced reader copy of this book from Indigo Books & Music Inc. in exchange for an honest review* #indigoemployee Blood Rose Rebellion is a historical fantasy novel that takes place in Hungary during the 1848 revolution. The author utilizes real people from Hungarian history, and also uses some Hungarian folklore. She also demonstrates how the Hungarian Romani people were oppressed during that time period. While I will give Eves credit for her unique concept and historical elements, this novel did not grasp my interest. I found all of the characters underdeveloped and fairly bland. It did not spark my enjoyment, though I can see some readers becoming invested! There was such potential for a magical twist on real history. I would recommend for teens who wish to read about Eastern Europe, which is less commonly portrayed in YA novels. For reader's that enjoyed: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard and Frost Blood by Elly Blake (for similar magical society elements).
Date published: 2017-03-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved the Dark Magic! First, we meet Anna who is quaint and seems pushed to the side by her magical and elite family. Born into a world which doesn't understand her, Anna suspects something different about her but isn't quite sure what it is. When the unexpected occurs, Anna's world is turned upside as she flies halfway around the country to Hungary. In this beautifully depicted land, she finally begins to come into herself and figure out what her purpose in the Luminate community is. Once we meet a mythical band of creatures in the form of shape-shifters, liderc and rusalka situations begin to escalate and the magic flares. There were actually so many different mythological creatures mentioned in this book that at times it was hard to keep up. My brain wanted to love them all, but I think it may be easier to focus on developing a select few and giving them more screen-time. One of my personal favorites were the falcon, which I think would make a great symbol for the book. I also see great potential in the witchy sisters, hunger, the glowing woman and shadow creatures of the woods. Learning their back-stories is something I really look forward to throughout this magical series. Eves does an excellent job of world-building and creating intelligent characters. Her writing is nuanced and flows well, I finished Blood Rose Rebellion in just a few days and loved it! I enjoyed reading about gypsy culture; errr...Romani (Sorry Gabor). Anna and Gabor have such a cute and appreciative relationship, not too much on the side of romance, but it does add a nice touch. While the victorian clothing descriptions lend to world-building, I tended to skim through those pages, guess i'm not much into fashion. My absolute favorite parts of the book were those which described Hunger's crew of bizarre creatures. Meeting the girl who could light up like a lantern was another memorable moment. I hope to see more magic, imagination and folklore in the sequel and less time with the council. Though I liked Matyas, i'm kind of glad he's out of the picture so more focus is on the main characters: Anna and Gabor. I hope Anna's sister is given more depth and joins Anna and her father on the mission to right the Luminate balance. Thanks PenguinReads for the ARC.
Date published: 2017-03-10

Read from the Book

CHAPTER 1  London, April 1847  I did not set out to ruin my sister’s debut. Indeed, there were any number of things I deliberately did not do that day. I did not pray for rain as I knelt in the small chapel of our London town house that morning, the cold of the floor seeping into my bones. Instead, I listened to Mama’s petition for successful spells and sunshine. Peeking through my lashes at Catherine’s smug face, I yearned to ask for disquiet, disorder, and torrential downpours--calamitous words that might have eased, a little, the restless crawling in my heart. But I swallowed the words unsaid. Even should God heed such a treacherous prayer, my father would not. Though Papa’s weather magic would cost him a headache, my sister would dance under clear skies. I did not argue with Catherine when she banned me from the ballroom where she and Papa laid the final grounding for her illusions while Mama supervised the servants. “You’ll break my concentration and spoil my spells,” she said, though it had been years since I had spoiled anyone’s spell, accidentally or otherwise. But then I did not go to the schoolroom, where I was expected to improve my sketching while my brother, James, studied his Latin. Instead, I lingered (Mama would say loitered) in the lower hall, watching the servants scurry back and forth with their brooms and buckets and cleaning cloths, in feverish preparation for the ball. I did not rest, as Catherine did. Because of those omissions, I was in the hallway when Lord Frederick Markson Worthing came calling. I heard Freddy’s signature knock--two short, three long--and my heart leapt. Barton reached the door first and sent me a cross look down his long nose. He accepted a small white visiting card from Freddy, and I slipped into the open doorway. “Lord Markson Worthing!” I smiled up at him, remembering just in time to use his formal name. “Won’t you come in?” I didn’t have to look at Barton to know his brows were lowering. Our butler disapproved of forwardness in general and of me in particular. Freddy returned my smile, his gloved hands tightening around the bouquet of roses he carried. “Thank you, Miss Anna. Only for a moment. I don’t want to leave my horses standing too long in this wind.” In truth, Freddy had no need for horses. As a Luminate of the order Lucifera, he could compel the carriage with spells. But he preferred the aesthetic of his matched bays, which drew the eye and required less effort to maintain than magic. Barton led us upstairs to the Green Drawing Room, so named for the ivy pattern sprawling across the wall and the deep emerald drapes. “I will notify your mother, Miss Anna.” Freddy and I sat on matching high-backed chairs near the window. Freddy leaned toward me, nearly crushing the roses he held. He smelled of tobacco and cinnamon. “I hoped I might see you.” My face grew warm as I met Freddy’s intent gaze. I had first encountered Freddy only a few days after we arrived in town for Catherine’s season, to launch her into Luminate society. As the son of an old school friend of Papa’s, he had come to pay his respects. But though he had talked to Catherine, he had looked at me. Two days later, our paths crossed by accident in Hyde Park, and after that, by design. My maid, Ginny, might suspect the frequency with which Freddy appeared during our errands about London, but she was the only one who knew of our involvement. There was no one in the world I liked so well as Freddy. I admired the way his honey-colored hair curled a little above the collar of his coat. I adored his eyes, which were not really grey but a band of blue around a center of brown. And I loved him for the way the corners of his lips trembled when he was impassioned: when he spoke about his plans for a seat in the Luminate-led Parliament, or his dreams of a salon in London where Luminate could mingle freely with artists, poets, politicians, and scientists, where wit would trump magic, and ideals would matter more than money. There was little room in the real world for people like me, but there might be room in Freddy’s. We would be a good match, equals in passion and intelligence. I would bring the money his family lacked; he would provide the magic I lacked. “I have something I want to say to you. Will you be at the ball tonight?” “I am not yet out,” I reminded him. And Mama does not trust me around magic. “Then meet me. In the herb garden, at midnight.” The heat in my cheeks deepened. I rearranged my skirts, pretending a composure I did not feel. “Very well.” “Good girl.” Freddy stood then and adjusted his top hat. “I must go.” He thrust the flowers at me, roses of a red so deep their centers were almost black. The petals spilled over my fingers like blood. I watched him walk away, admiring the straight line of his back. In the doorway, Freddy spun around to face me. “The flowers are for Catherine. See that she gets them, will you?”   “Anna?” Grandmama stood in the doorway, her fingers tight around her cane. “Has Lord Markson Worthing gone already?” I looked up from the flowers. “He couldn’t stay. His horses were waiting.” “And you were alone with him this entire time?” Her mouth was pursed, her Hungarian accent more pronounced. First Barton, now Grandmama. At least Grandmama’s disapproval stemmed from affection. My shoulders lifted a little. “He left these for Catherine.” I held out the roses and wondered if Grandmama would guess how much hid behind that small truth. Though it was customary to bring flowers to a debutante, I could not fathom what Freddy meant by asking me to meet him at midnight but leaving me with my sister’s roses. “Do not shrug. It is not ladylike.” Her dark eyes studied my face, guessing at my discontent. “And do not pine so for Luminate society, for the magic and the dancing. You are enough just as you are--and you are not yet seventeen, szívem. Your turn will come.” “Mama would hide me in the country if she could.” “Your mama loves you. She is afraid for you, is all.” I did not believe that. Mama was afraid of me, of my strange lack of magic and my caprices. My fingers found a missed thorn on one of the roses, and I snapped it off. Grandmama sighed. “Give me those flowers. I will take them to Catherine. You should go upstairs before your mama finds you.” I relinquished the roses, but their scent followed me down the hall like a promise.   I sat on Catherine’s bed, hugging my knees to my chest. As children, we had often sat on Mama’s bed, watching Mama transform through the artifice of her maid from an ordinary mother into something resplendent and strange. I did not know if Catherine was thinking of our old habit when she summoned me or of flaunting her debutante status. Catherine’s maid attached a small coronet of pearls to my sister’s mahogany hair. Catherine surveyed her reflection in the ornate mirror, smiling at the effect. Her image seemed unfamiliar, her usual severity softened by the glass and the late-afternoon light. Behind her, I could see the smaller circle of my face, a pale smear of flesh with dark holes for eyes. I disliked mirrors. Sometimes when I looked at them aslant, I caught an uncanny doubled image, as if I were not one person but two--as if I were a stranger in my own skin. I never knew if such reflections were a by-product of my lack of magic or merely a defect in my vision. Catherine must have seen something in my look to distrust, because she whirled suddenly. “Anna, you will be good, won’t you? You know how much tonight means. I have worked so hard for this moment.” I did know. Catherine was almost frightening in her single-mindedness, and the only thing she wanted more than a dazzling marriage was a position in the Circle, the elite group of Luminate who governed all magic. If her debut spells were suitably impressive, she might be invited to apprentice with one of the Circle members, lifting her into the highest echelon of Luminate society. “What would I possibly do? I won’t be anywhere near you.” Except at midnight, in the gardens. “Strange things happen around you. You’re so very . . .” She paused, searching for the right word. “Quixotic? Unconventional? Immodest?” All those, and worse, had been hurled at me by exasperated governesses in the past. Her brows drew together, a faint tuck of disapproval. “You’ll never get a husband with that attitude.” “Perhaps I don’t want one.” My eyes dropped to the soul sign glimmering above Catherine’s collarbone: the illusion all full-blooded Luminates learned to craft upon entering society, evidence of their magic, just as their jewels witnessed their wealth, and their titles their lineage. Hers was a white rose with fire in its heart. I thought of the sign I would craft, if I could: a peregrine falcon, perhaps--fierce, swift, and strong. Catherine could not know how galling it was to live in our world as I did. Every noble-born came into their Luminate magic after their Confirmation at age eight--except me. Without magic, everything about me was suspect: my lineage, my quality, my education, my very self. I had no hope of belonging to Luminate society unless I could marry into power, but as Mama frequently pointed out, no one of any position would choose someone so flawed. I would have no fancy debut, as Catherine would, because it would serve no purpose. Yet my noble blood barred me from seeking an occupation among commoners unless I wished to cut myself off from my family. Until Freddy, I had not realized I might have a future. My sister ran her fingers along the rim of the cut glass vase now holding Freddy’s roses. “Lord Markson Worthing will be there. He has been so attentive lately.” She glanced at me from under her eyelashes, a demure trick I could never hope to master. “I know you like him, Anna. But you should understand he would never look at you. Not seriously. His father intends him to marry me.” My hands curled tightly on the coverlet of Catherine’s bed. What was it Freddy wished to tell me? That he loved me--or that he meant to court Catherine? I did not think I could bear it if he married her. She only cared for his name and his title and his family. She did not deserve him.   At ten minutes to midnight, I set down my book of poetry and smoothed the sleek coils of dark hair around my ears. As a treat, James and I had been served some of the supper dishes in the schoolroom: lobster, dressed crab, rice croquettes, tongue sliced so thin it was almost transparent, pastries, cheeses, pulled bread, and iced pudding. James had eaten himself into a stupor and was now snoring on the rug, a book of fairy tales long forgotten beside him. I covered him with a quilt and crept down the stairs to my father’s library. I hesitated in the doorway, listening. Were I an Elementalist like Papa, capable of manipulating wind and light, I could set a spell on the air to tell me whether anyone lurked nearby. As it was, I had to rely on my own senses. Beneath the distant echo of voices and music, I heard only the quiet spit and crackle of fire in the grate, so I plunged into the room, crossed the carpet, and pushed my way out the large French doors into the garden. A gentle breeze caressed my cheek, part of the wind charm Papa used to keep the smoke and fog of London from our garden. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, smelling green and growing things. After the threatening sky of the afternoon, the evening had come on clear. Papa did not often use his magic, but when he did, his handiwork was always finely wrought. I followed a little-used path toward Grandmama’s herb garden. I loved her garden, especially in summer when the air was sharp with mint and basil. Even in winter I loved it: the bare, orderly plots waiting for spring, the neat circular walkway around the center. The garden was empty when I arrived. The darkness of the night crept up my arms, settled under my heart. Freddy was not here. A gust of wind brought with it the scent of roses from the ballroom, and I shivered. Perhaps Freddy was having difficulty getting away or negotiating the garden in the darkness. Footsteps crunched on gravel behind me. My heart thumped, and I crouched down below the shadow of the hedge. I could not be seen. I was not supposed to be here. A man’s low voice sounded; it was not Freddy. “There’s fighting again in Manchester, bloody lower classes demanding access to magic. Why can’t they simply accept the order of things? If they were meant to have magic, they’d have been born Luminate. There’s no magic in common blood. Riots and petitions for magic will not change that.” A pause, then a second voice. “The commoners questioning is bad enough. But they say Arden is a heretic, wants to do away with the Binding.” “Madness. How can he not see that breaking the Binding will undo the very social order that supports us?” The hair at the nape of my neck lifted. Why should these men link Papa with the worker riots? He was no heretic. He believed in the sanctity of the Binding, the great spell that held all magic in a vast reservoir of power, accessible only to those with Luminate blood. “So I’ve heard. But his younger daughter’s Barren and his son’s nearly so. What more would you expect from such a family?” “The elder daughter is comely enough. I hope for her sake her blood runs truer than her sister’s.” My cheeks burned as the voices muted, moving out of range. I tried to push the conversation from my mind. I hated that people could speak so casually of my family, dismissing us--me--as so much gossip. A fresh wind plucked at my hair and sleeves, and I smelled tobacco and cinnamon. My heart lifted; Freddy had come. I straightened and turned to face him. I was tall for a girl, nearly of a height with Freddy. He took my hand, linking my cool, gloveless fingers with his gloved ones, and led me to a bench. “I’m sorry I was late. I was held up talking with Lady Dorchester.”

Editorial Reviews

“Romance sizzles and deadly magic crackles in Rosalyn Eves’s electrifying debut.Prepare to be spellbound.”—JULIE BERRY, Printz honor-winning author of The Passion of Dolssa and All the Truth That’s in Me“Everything I love in a fantasy: history, noblemen, magic, romance, and a revolution. Blood Rose Rebellion had me charmed from the first page.”—VIRGINIA BOECKER, author of The Witch Hunter"A successful blend of fantasy, romance, history, and political commentary." —The Bulletin"Intrigue, action, and star-crossed romance abound." —School Library Journal