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Thursday 30 August 2018

Fawkes by Nadine Brandes ~ Review


by Nadine Brandes

Released: July 10, 2018
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pre-order Now: TBD | QBD | Dymocks

Thomas Fawkes is turning to stone, and the only cure to the Stone Plague is to join his father’s plot to assassinate the king of England.

Silent wars leave the most carnage. The wars that are never declared, but are carried out in dark alleys with masks and hidden knives. Wars where color power alters the natural rhythm of 17th century London. And when the king calls for peace, no one listens until he finally calls for death.

But what if death finds him first?

Keepers think the Igniters caused the plague. Igniters think the Keepers did. But all Thomas knows is that the Stone Plague infecting his eye is spreading. And if he doesn’t do something soon, he’ll be a lifeless statue. So when his Keeper father, Guy Fawkes, invites him to join the Gunpowder Plot—claiming it will put an end to the plague—Thomas is in.

The plan: use 36 barrels of gunpowder to blow up the Igniter King.

The problem: Doing so will destroy the family of the girl Thomas loves. But backing out of the plot will send his father and the other plotters to the gallows. To save one, Thomas will lose the other.

No matter Thomas’s choice, one thing is clear: once the decision is made and the color masks have been put on, there’s no turning back.

~ Paperback Princess Blurb ~

Fawkes by Nadine Brandes is a unique story and retelling of 17th century England, with a world of magic and masks, an exciting rebellion brewing, two magic forces to be reckoned with, it's exciting and a page turner. 

Fawkes by Nadine Brandes has an interesting plot line and world building, but I found the main character, Thomas, boring, indecisive and selfish. I could not relate to this kid in any way! I did enjoy Emma and Guy Fawkes (Thomas' Dad) grew on me.  This book would have been so much more enjoyable, if we had a different main character. 

At age 16 children are gifted a mask from their parents, once worn you bond with a colour; each colour has a different type of magic from each other. Unfortunately for Thomas, his Father, Guy Fawkes, had refused him a mask. Ridiculed from school and expelled in theory, as it's a school for kids with masks, Thomas goes in search for his Father...and finds him in the thick of a rebellion plot.

There were two opposing groups, The Keepers and The Igniters. The former believes that each mask and person should only be bonded with ONE colour and that the White colour/power should never be acknowledged or used. 

The Igniters, the current ruling party however, believe that speaking to the "white" is a necessity, and by doing so they are able to bond with more than one colour, hence more types of magic. 

Who's right? Who's in the side that will seek out change for the better? As with all rebellions and political parties, they always think they're in the right, and the other side are villains, but as we read on, we find, that sometimes it's simply not just black & white (excuse the pun). 

I was so excited to read Fawkes, I had seen it everywhere in the blogosphere, and let's face it, I do judge books by it's cover and this book is stunning. Fawkes had so much potential, and it hurts, as I type this, to know it just did not reach it. 

Fawkes by Nadine Brandes is still a gripping YA Fantasy, and somehow, despite the lacking of a likeable and relatable character, it was still an enjoyable read. 

The story is unique, I haven't read a book with such a different take on magic, the mask and colour magic is very interesting. It's always wonderful when an Author is imaginative enough to think of something new, that'd be hard work considering nearly everything has already been done before, but Nadine definitely does a brilliant job in restructuring and finding balance; just enough similarities and just enough uniqueness to make this story her own.

The plot was my favourite part of this book; enjoyable and gripping, there was enough unknown and excitement to keep me turning the pages. Along with the unique story, and different world, recreating 17th century England, was definitely my favourite parts.

Writing style was vivid and descriptive, and I found I could imagine the setting well enough through her descriptions. 

I am still interested to read the sequel to this story, just to know how it progresses, but I do hope it gets told from someone else's point of view. The main character, Thomas, really was the downfall of this novel. I found it hard to really get into the story because he was so unlikable and downright stupid at times. 

I also wished we had received more information on how the world became the way it was, when the masks and magic came about, what had happened to make Igniters and Keepers turn from each other, and last but not least, when and how did this plague begin, and why turning into a stone? Those are just some of the questions I have for this book.

Fawkes by Nadine Brandes is a unique story and retelling of 17th century England, with a new world of magic and masks, an exciting rebellion brewing, two magic forces to be reckoned with, it's exciting and a page turner. It's downfall was it's main character, and the lack of world building, but these questions may very well be answered in the sequel. 

~ Buy It Now ~



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