Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on March 28th 2017
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 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.
Holy hype, Batman! This book has gotten so much play on blogs and through word of mouth. OF COURSE I had to give it a go after everything I heard. In this case, for once I think hype was not a detriment to its book. Now I’m not saying it was amazing or mindblowing or anything of the sort but it was an enjoyable book that I was not disappointed in at all.
So let’s talk about the cons a little bit and get hem out of the way first. Pieces of the middle of this one are a little slow. I did find my attention straying a bit as I read because not a whole lot happens. And then it does, in a BIG way. Oh boy does stuff happen. But I’ll get to that. A couple of the characters are a little thin but I can accept that in most cases. They aren’t very important characters so I’m not bothered.
As for the good, well there’s a lot of good to be had. Once the book hits its stride I was hooked. Attention grabbed, wham bam thank you ma’am, I’m not going anywhere til I’m done. It’s that kind of book. The magic system is FASCINATING and I would love to see where the author goes with it. I think the world probably needs a little bit more explanation but we’re likely to get that in the next book so I’m perfectly fine waiting for it then.
The characters I absolutely love. Maybe not at first, the MC is a bit annoying at the beginning, but by the end I really enjoyed her. Anna isn’t cutesy and sweet, she’s got a determination I can’t help but like. Girl does what she wants when she wants. And of course her love interest *swoon*. Yes please, give me more Gabor.
While reading this book I was strongly reminded of These Vicious Masks. The world has a similar feel, and if I’m not mistaken is set in a similar time period. Especially during the parts in England. Fans of that book I think would definitely enjoy this one.
All in all I think this was a solid book. I definitely have high hopes for book two and I can’t believe I’m going to have to wait for more! Can’t we just have it now? Anyways I highly recommend this book for fans of magic and monsters as well as a bit of high mannered society.
What did you think of BRR? Share your thoughts in the comments.
From my shelf to yours,