Blood Rose Rebellion

Blood Rose Rebellion

Blood Rose Rebellion

by Rosalyn Eves

Genre: YA Fantasy
Published: March 28th 2017
by Knopf Books for Young Readers




Though 16-year-old Anna Arden's family is part of the Luminate, powerful users of magic, she is Barren, unable to perform the simplest spells. But when Anna inadvertently breaks her sister’s debutante spell, she finds herself exiled to her family’s native Hungary.

In Hungary, Anna discovers that nothing is quite as it seems. As rebellion spreads across the region, Anna’s unique ability becomes the catalyst everyone is seeking. She must choose whether to deny her unique power and cling to the life she’s always wanted, or embrace her ability and change that world forever.


I was highly anticipating Blood Rose Rebellion ever since I heard it pitched as “Red Queen meets Les Misérables.” Unfortunately, the end result ended up being rather underwhelming and unsatisfactory, and I was just hoping for a bit more.

Despite being born to a powerful, magical family, 16-year-old Anna is a Barren – someone without any magic. Anna is disowned by her family and exiled to Hungary, where the Barren are in the midst of a revolution. When Anna discovers she has a power that could change the course of the Revolution, she must weigh freedom and loyalty.

The plot feels rather simplistic and unoriginal; there is nothing about it that stands out when compared to any of the various other YA fantasy novels on the market. As an avid reader, it is difficult and frustrating to read the same thing over and over again, and I just wish there was something about the plot to help make it more memorable.

Anna herself is a decent heroine. She’s not exceptionally well-written or memorable, but she is entertaining nonetheless. In the end, Anna just needed more complexity and depth to her characterization to help her stand out and be more memorable.

Those who aren’t avid readers will probably enjoy this novel more, but avid fantasy readers may find it to be mediocre without much of anything to add to the YA fantasy genre. For those looking for a superb fantasy novel, I’d recommend reading The Winner’s Curse or Six of Crows instead.


60 thoughts on “Blood Rose Rebellion

  1. Ehhh unoriginal fantasy plots aren’t always my favourite thing. Sometimes a simple story can be fun if it’s done well, has good characters and world and what not, but if it’s just all round generic it can get on my nerves. I’m a bit more hesitant to read this now, especially considering I’m such a massive fantasy reader

    1. My thoughts exactly Bec. And if you’re a huge fantasy reader you’ll probably feel a bit disappointed with this one unfortunately. 🙁

  2. It’s such a bummer to hear that this one doesn’t really stand out all the much – I’ve noticed that with some other fantasy novels I’ve read lately, like Ever the Hunted – it just seems like a watered down plot that I’ve read countless times, so I wasn’t able to enjoy it. Ah well, maybe I’ll pick this one up if I manage to come across it in the future, but until then, I don’t think I’m going to go nuts trying to get my hands on a copy. Great review, and I hope your next read is better!

    1. This is a lot like Ever the Hunted in that the plot feels really unoriginal. It’s a shame, because it definitely had a ton of potential. Thank you! <3

  3. Omgggg I’M SO DISAPPOINTED. *weeps* I’m basically destined not to to like this, knowing our twinning tastes. But I have it on my kindle so I suppose I’ll have to suffer through blahhh. I really hate it when epic premises are drowned by same-old storytelling. It’s almost like authors need to read more and see what’s already out here!?

    1. I have a feeling we’re going to twin on this one if you ever do end up reading it Cait. It’s a lot like “Red Queen” and we both know how that went. ☹

  4. Sorry to hear this was disappointing. I was intrigued considering it involved magic and the mention of it being set in Hungary. I hate when books are disappointing and fail to meet expectations, especially when the premise is good. I’ll just have to find myself another fantasy read instead.

    1. Thanks Becky! If you’re looking for another fantasy read, I’d definitely recommend Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows series if you haven’t read it already. It’s amazing. 🙂

  5. Sorry that this was disappointing for you! I’ve heard a few things about this but I don’t think I’ll pick it up. I’ve only recently started reading fantasy books and I have so many amazing ones I need to get to I don’t really want to end up reading mediocre ones!

    1. Thank you Kirsty! And I completely agree – don’t waste your time on the mediocre books. There are so many wonderful other books out there that you could read instead. 🙂

  6. Ooooh such deep sadness. I wanted this one so bad, I will fully admit mostly because of the cover. I am sorry that it was so mediocre. I am kind of sick of generic plots so I am kind of hesitant about starting this one now. Like, I feel lately like I am just reading the same book over and over so… yeah, maybe I will put it off for now. Great review, but I am sorry it was a disappointment!

  7. Oooh this is so disappointing. Too bad there wasn’t anything that stood out about this novel. There are so many YA fantasy novels these days and I’m so sick of the unoriginality and recycled plots. Fantastic review as always Zoe!

    1. Thank you Emily! And I agree – that’s one of the worst things about being a reader – so many recycled and unoriginal plots that it can seem like you’ve read the same book 100 times.

  8. Ugh, I was looking forward to this one too Zoe, but it sounds so much like Red Queen. Which is basically every powers / revolution / dystopian out there sadly. I think when authors / publicists are pitching a book and mentioning Les Misérables, it had better be a bloody good read. Sorry you couldn’t have enjoyed this one Zoe, I’ll give it a miss as well. Brilliant review nonetheless <3 <3

    1. Thank you Kelly! And exactly! Les Mis is so much to live up to in terms of a marketing pitch, and this just didn’t quite do it for me. 🙁

  9. Oh, no! Zoe, you seem to be having such a hard time with YA fantasy at the moment 🙁 I haven’t actually read a YA fantasy in quite a while, and I’m almost glad after hearing so many mediocre things about the genre at the moment. The storylines all seem so interchangeable – many starring MCs with no powers in a society that values them – which is disappointing because fantasy should be filled with so many different kinds of stories.

    I’ve said it before but I really do hope you find an amazing YA fantasy soon, Zoe!

  10. ‘Red Queen meets Les Misérables’ would definitely bring up the hype for this one, so it’s unfortunate that it didn’t live up to those expectations. The Hungary setting could have made it interesting, though when everything else seems like something you’ve seen before I can understand why it would be underwhelming. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  11. Lovely review, Zoe! I’m sorry to hear that book wasn’t so original and didn’t stand out – it’s true that when we are reading a lot of books in a genre, it gets harder for a book to really stand out for its plot. I hope your next read will be better! 🙂

    1. Thank you Marie! I hope if you end up reading it you enjoy it. It’s a shame because it really did have a great premise. 🙁

  12. Great review! I’ve been eyeing this one- I love Lés Mis (and that cover is gorgeous) but hated Red Queen and it sounds like it’s leaning more towards the Red Queen side? Maybe I’ll skip it.

    1. It’s definitely leaning towards the Red Queen side. The whole concept and world are really similar to Red Queen so if you were meh about Red Queen then you’d probably be better off skipping this one.

  13. that’s a shame you didn’t enjoy this book! it’s been one of my most anticipated for so long. i haven’t heard anything positive or negative (besides your review), so now i’m a little disappointed. i felt similarly about frostblood — like people who don’t read fantasy often would like it but it’s not really for avid readers.

    1. Aw…I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news Chelsea! Definitely still read it – I’m curious to see what you’ll think of it if you do.

  14. Man, there are so many fantasies that seem so lacklustre these days, it’s hard to get excited about them unless it’s from a tried and true author. A shame about Anna’s character as well. Lovely review Zoe!

  15. I have an ARC of this and am dreading reading it (I’m actually procrastinating picking it up). I was so excited but all I’ve heard are very mixed things, mostly negative. I’m definitely an avid fantasy reader and something tells me this won’t be my cup of tea. I hope your next read goes better. Great review!! ♥

  16. I’m so sad! I was so looking forward to this one but I absolutely cannot read an unoriginal story again! There are lots of those already.. Every time I pick up a book I want to be hit with something new, unique and wonderful..Thanks for the great review Zoe 🙂

    1. Aw…I’m sorry to have been the bearer of bad news. Definitely let me know what you think if you end up reading it. 🙂

  17. Oh no! I’m sorry to hear that this one was disappointing for you, Zoe! I hate it when anticipated releases end up being less than impressing. There’s been a lot of generic fantasies as of late it seems. Sigh. But I’m glad that you recommended The Winner’s Curse and Six of Crows at the end; those are absolutely phenomenal.


  18. I had the same problem, and it was SO SAD. It had all this potential but pretty much none of that potential came through. Great review, though!

    Thanks for stopping by Writing on a Vintage Typewriter!

  19. I’m not much of a really deep fantasy reader, only occasionally do I pick them up. That being said, maybe that is why I am enjoying this one? I can see what you’re saying, but it is definitely good enough it is keeping my attention when I pick it up. Your review is very good though! I love hearing all of other readers’ thoughts.

    1. Thanks Lisa! I’m not usually much of a fantasy reader either, but I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying this so far. 🙂

  20. I felt the same way. I was sooooo looking forward to this one (to the point that I pitched to Rosalyn Eves for Pitch Wars) but was super underwhelmed by the book. It felt like the blander version of many other books and just ended up not being my cup of tea. 🙁 Sorry you didn’t like this one either though! Hope your next reads are better.

    1. I’m sorry you were underwhelmed too. 🙁 I agree about it being a bland version of a lot of other books. It just wasn’t anything especially memorable compared to all the other YA fantasies out there, you know?

    1. Sorry to disappoint. 🙁 Hopefully if you ever do end up reading it you’ll enjoy it more than I did.

  21. Love seeing The Winner’s Curse and a Bardugo’s book here! <3
    As for the book itself, well, I've heard mixed reviews… I would've thought the positive ones would come from people who don't read YA that much, but that is not the case so I'm not sure what's going on.
    Awesome review, Zoe! 🙂

  22. I was so excited for this book! But I’ve now read so many reviews saying it was only mediocre. It’s so disappointing 🙁 I think I will still read this but will lower my expectations wayyy lower lol. Nice Review Zoe!

  23. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy this one Zoe! I agree with you that this fantasy didn’t really stand out with all the others out there, but I find myself pretty lenient with fantasies so I had some more positive thoughts about it, lol. I’ll be looking out for the sequel, but it’s definitely not a priority haha.

    1. Thanks Aila! I’m glad you liked it more than me. I’m curious to see what you think of the sequel though – hopefully it’s more original.

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