Rosemarked by Livia BlackburneRosemarked by Livia Blackburne


byLivia Blackburne

Hardcover | November 7, 2017

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A healer who cannot be healed . . .

When Zivah falls prey to the deadly rose plague, she knows it's only a matter of time before she fully succumbs. Now she's destined to live her last days in isolation, cut off from her people and unable to practice her art-until a threat to her village creates a need that only she can fill.

A soldier shattered by war . . .

Broken by torture at the hands of the Amparan Empire, Dineas thirsts for revenge against his captors. Now escaped and reunited with his tribe, he'll do anything to free them from Amparan rule-even if it means undertaking a plan that risks not only his life but his very self.

Thrust together on a high-stakes mission to spy on the capital, the two couldn't be more different: Zivah, deeply committed to her vow of healing, and Dineas, yearning for vengeance. But as they grow closer, they must find common ground to protect those they love. And amidst the constant fear of discovery, the two grapple with a mutual attraction that could break both of their carefully guarded hearts.

This smart, sweeping fantasy with a political edge and a slow-burning romance will capture fans of The Lumatere Chronicles andAn Ember in the Ashes.
New York Timesbest-selling authorLivia Blackburnehas a PhD in neuroscience from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she conducted research on the neural correlates of reading. She still blogs on the intersection of writing and brain science (, and she now lives in Los Angeles with her family. Livia is also ...
Title:RosemarkedFormat:HardcoverDimensions:400 pages, 8.75 × 5.88 × 1.25 inPublished:November 7, 2017Publisher:Disney-HyperionLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1484788559

ISBN - 13:9781484788554


Rated 4 out of 5 by from very interesting! I found this rather enjoyable. it was very different from anything I've read before and I also found the story-line to be quite unique.
Date published: 2018-03-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from a great start to the series Having read Blackburne's Midnight Thief series, I already knew that I'm in for some good world building and great storytelling, and this first book in a new fantasy series certainly didn't disappoint. A fantasy world loosely based on the expansion of the Persian empire, Ampara is an empire that has taken over it's neighboring cultures. Perhaps the highlight of this novel is how it presents the PTSD of Dineas, which also serves as the basis for the major arc if the plot - him going undercover as an amnesiac spy. Helping him infiltrate the Amparan military is Zivah, the other main character who, after saving a Commander from the rose plague, herself becomes infected and Rosemarked. She is a talented healer, and knows how to make complex concoctions, including the one that makes him lose his memory (he volunteered for it) so that his trauma wouldn't come in the way of his job. Now, another thing to consider is the dehumanization of infected people in this world. They are treated as outcasts (think leprosy) and kept away from the general populace in a gated community, where it's a bit of anarchy going on. Meanwhile, Dineas enrols and becomes a loyal soldier of the very army he hates. From time to time, she brings him out of the amnesia and he can report, but it soon becomes apparent to him that the person he is when he is an amnesiac is different from himself. This brings out his questions of loyalty and feelings and how he can distinguish between them. Meanwhile, there is also a romantic arc going on - the other Dineas starts falling for Zivah and she, despite knowing he's just a part of another person, starts having feelings for him. This makes things complicated as she definitely doesn't want to take advantage of him, yet for the sake of her mission, she can't keep away from him. Also she can't keep pushing him away without telling him the real reason - and the first Dineas, though slowly warming up to her and starting to respect her as more than just a Dara maiden, is not in love with her. Yet. Zivah is still seeking out a cure, but she is also learning new techniques, understanding the virtue of patience but there is also the moral dilemma about how much she can use her skills as a healer to aid the mission while not causing harm to people. She is quite a force, too - like, imagine becoming a spy with no training and having to constantly balance the double lives you're leading! I loved the fact that this book is both driven by the politics of the Amparan empire, yet also by the character arcs. It's an interesting story overall, and told through some really well written characters. One of my problems with it is maybe the inconsistency of the quarantine measures. I can't help it as a bio grad! Sometimes it comes across as very strictly enforced whereas sometimes they forget that people can be fomites, too, if not carriers! Also, there is the fact that despite the high stakes, these two get away with pretty much their whole mission quite smoothly? Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review from Disney-Hyperion, via Netgalley.
Date published: 2018-01-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Strong YA Fantasy I quite enjoyed Rosemarked, especially once the action rolled into the heart of the Empire. The worldbuilding sits in a similar vein to Sabaa Tahir’s An Ember in the Ashes, with the concept of the rose plague also evoking thoughts of Marie Lu’s Legend and The Young Elites. One of the most interesting aspects of Rosemarked is the memory-altering potion Dineas takes in order to be able to infiltrate the Amparan army as a blank slate untouched by his desire for vengeance. It creates a sort of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde dichotomy that speaks strongly to the effects of PTSD and trauma. Amnesiac Dineas is cheerful, lighthearted, untouched by the torture and devastation of his buried life. Zivah struggles to reconcile the two personas, wondering if any remnant of Dineas’ joyful side still lingers in his true self. I thought Zivah was an especially solid healer character; I appreciated how seriously she takes her vows and carefully weighs how they match up against her espionage activities. Also, she’s not just a simple “put some aloe on the burn” healer – in her world, being a healer requires a staunch enough spirit to not only harvest venom from deadly animals, but to take injections of it to build up a resistance. Not for the faint of heart. There’s a scene early on where she uses her fearfully venomous snake Diadem as a means of self-defense, and it’s easily one of my favorite moments of the book. I’d recommend Rosemarked to any fan of YA fantasy; it has the imaginative worldbuilding, well-rounded characters and multi-faceted relationships that readers have come to expect from a genre that seems to get better every year. It’s an immersive tale with strong themes of personal sacrifice, trauma, and how memory informs identity.
Date published: 2017-12-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Stunning and Smart Start to a New Series Rosemarked is a smart, compassionate, and engaging study of disease, war, trust, and morality. Zivah is a strong-willed and intelligent healer who finds herself struggling with her vows and her faith when she becomes rosemarked, and again when she goes the rosemarked colony to gain the trust of the general and act as Dineas' contact point in a bid to save her people from the growing violence of the empire. Dineas is a bitter and traumatized warrior who escaped the empire's torturers only to infiltrate the same group as a spy (who doesn't realize he's a double agent half the time, due to some interesting and ethically questionable medical practices on Zivah's part). As the two grow closer together and closer to members of the empire, Blackburne explores issues of trust, faith, and morality in an empathetic and compelling matter, mapping out complex motivations and conflicted characters. I'm not sure how believable the general's daughter is, but most of the characters are well developed and engaging. Dineas more than most, due to his dual nature. While the action gets a little frantic towards the end, this was a great book and a great start to a deeply compelling fantasy series.
Date published: 2017-12-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Rosemarked (Rosemarked #1) by Livia Blackburne **Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy** In ROSEMARKED, the rose plague affects every part of the novel, from setting to characters. There are frank descriptions of everything, from infections to the remote, and desperate, lives of the infected. There is no magical cure and no kindness for those who are rosemarked. There’s a fantastic balance between exposition and description as each chapter examines Zivah and Dineas. However, the real gem of the novel is that, although there are only two main characters, there are three POVs as one of the characters goes undercover. Zivah has trained to be a healer for most of her life. It’s her purpose and what she believes she was meant to do. When she contracts the rose plague and is left a carrier of the disease, she’s left without direction. Even though she joins the rebellion, Zivah remains the moral centre throughout the novel. She values her healing, her religion, and her country. Zivah is the embodiment of ‘do no harm’. Although there are times when her skills are almost too handy (knowing every venom or herb for any situation), it never feels like a deus ex machina. Surprisingly, Dineas is the standout character of the book. Dineas is introduced as angry and tortured. His character grows throughout the novel as you experience two different men that Dineas can be: the fierce warrior who hates his enemies and the new soldier who is loyal to his friends. Betrayal is a constant part of spywork, it’s worse when you make friends along the way. I wish there had been more breathing room near the end of the book. The middle of the novel lingers on the Zivah and Dineas’ learning and growth, but the last few chapters are a race to the finish line. Greater focus on Zivah’s friendships within the rosemarked village, would have added more emotion to the final stages of the book. With complex character and world building, ROSEMARKED never flinches from depicting the consequences of actions.
Date published: 2017-11-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from YA Fantasy at it's best! Rosemarked by Livia Blackburne is the first book in a new fantasy series about a healer names Zivah who just finished her healer studies and then gets infected with the Rose Plague. Unfortunately, though she does survive, she is not 100% cured of the disease and is now Rosemarked. She teams up with Dineas, and Umbertouched soldier (someone who survived completely from the Rose Plague) to infiltrate the kingdom that has taken over their land and killed their people. I was really intrigued by the plot of the story and the cover was gorgeous. Fortunately for me, I loved it. Rosemarked is action-packed, filled with court drama and political intrigue and has one of the most unique concepts out there right now. Zivah must take away Dineas' memories so he can sneak into enemy ranks and bring down the corruption from the inside. I absolutely loved the characters as well. Zivah is a strong-willed healer with attitude, intelligence, and grace. Whereas Dineas is strong, strategic, and stubborn. They seem like total opposites that would never get along, but over the course of the book, their teamwork is really astounding. The romance also breaks my heart. It is so swoon-worthy but also gut-wrenching when things don't seem to go the way you want them to.  I thought Blackburne's writing was also on point. She chose to tell the story through both the MC's points of view and pulls it off seamlessly. Her descriptions were phenomenally beautiful as well as her character dialogues. Also, her characterizations were fantastic as well. I was really drawn into Zivah's and Dineas' lives. I highly recommend this one for all fantasy readers. I would compare it to An Ember in the Ashes meets Forest of a Thousand Lanterns!
Date published: 2017-11-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A For the Lover of Books Review Number of pages: 400 Number of times read (including the time before this review): 1 Rating (out of five stars): 3 Release Date: November 7th 2017 *Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher (Disney-Hyperion) for providing a copy in exchange for a review. My opinions are honest and my own. Rosemarked unfortunately is getting stuck on the list of books I did not personally enjoy, but can see other people will love. If I maybe had connected more with the characters, I think Rosemarked would have gotten a solid 4 stars, but I cannot in good conscience given 4 stars to a book I did not enjoy. I wish it all the success in the world. I have to praise the world-building first, because it is truly fantastic. Firstly, this is one of the few books where (mostly) throwing the reader into a fantasy world actually works. I want to commend Livia Blackburne for this, since I seldom see this done successfully. The plague is also very well done. How it’s transmitted, the possible outcomes, and the symptoms are excellently explained. It’s nice to see everything check out with the world-building. Speaking of the plague, I’m glad Zivah and Dineas weren’t some sort of rare occurrence. What I mean is, I’m glad remaining rosemarked or becoming umbertouched is not such a rare occurrence that we see no other characters experience it. A fault of a large amount of YA fantasy books is to try too hard to make the main character(s) seem special. Zivah and Dineas were well done as characters as well. Zivah was kind, proud, and naïve, while Dineas was hardened by having to constantly watch his tribe struggle and die at the hands of a cruel empire. He’s bitter, but he has a great respect and love for his people. They were flawed, human characters. The only thing I take issue with is the romance. Once the potion works its magic on Dineas, the romance starts, which I feel is a little wrong. It also isn’t really established if there is to be further romance when the book ends. Dineas doesn’t really get to voice his opinion on the matter. I’m wondering if there is going to be a sequel, because there isn’t one listed on Goodreads at the moment. I mean, I guess I’m curious to see if they can even defeat the empire, because I’m pretty sure the answer is no. Either way, I’m not sure the ending did what it was supposed to. I think the biggest issue with Rosemarked is that it simply isn’t exciting enough. There wasn’t any point where I was on the edge of my seat, even during the parts that I should have been. It sadly lacks the gripping, action-packed plot necessary to keep most readers engaged. Overall, Rosemarked was a well-written fantasy book, though it lacked excitement, earning it 3 stars out of 5.
Date published: 2017-07-16