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Book review: 'Blood Rose Rebellion' is a magical historical fantasy

"Blood Rose Rebellion" is by Rosalyn Eves.
"Blood Rose Rebellion" is by Rosalyn Eves.
Penguin Random House

"BLOOD ROSE REBELLION," by Rosalyn Eves, Knopf, $20.99, 416 pages (ages 12 and up)

Utah author Rosalyn Eves beautifully weaves history and magic to create a captivating story in "Blood Rose Rebellion."

Sixteen-year-old Anna Arden, part of an affluent British Luminate family, fails to fulfill her magical heritage and is declared Barren by the Circle — she cannot perform even easy spells. However, despite her lack of magical ability, Anna somehow accidentally breaks the spells of others. After she ruins a particularly important event for her family, Anna is sent to live with her grandmother in Hungary.

Anna soon discovers that the people around her carry dangerous secrets as well as truths she hadn't considered. The Binding controls the use of magic, reserving it only for the elite society, which also limits its power to individuals. Anna begins to question the Binding and the Circle, especially when she meets an attractive Romani man, Gábor, with whom she falls in love.

Surrounded by nobles, revolutionaries, Romani and her family, Anna begins to learn and question more about society, magic and herself. As pressure mounts from two different sides, Anna must decide if she wants to stay loyal to her upbringing, even if it means she will never quite fit in, or risk her life and the lives of those she loves to join the rebellion and possibly change the world she knows.

Eves' debut novel and the first of a trilogy, "Blood Rose Rebellion" is action-packed and fast-paced, filled with magic and romance in an alternate European history. With vivid descriptions, Eves' diverse characters challenge societal norms concerning sexism and classism — especially Anna, who is a strong, smart and courageous female character teens can relate to.

"Blood Rose Rebellion" has a few instances of mild swearing. Any romance does not go beyond kissing. There is some mild described violence.

If you go …

What: Rosalyn Eves book signing

When: Thursday, March 30, 7 p.m.

Where: Provo Library, 550 N. University Ave., Provo


Also …

When: Saturday, April 1, 7 p.m.

Where: The King's English, 1511 S. 1500 East


Note: The signing line is for those who buy a copy of the featured book from The King’s English.

Wendy Jessen is a regular contributor for and does media reviews. Blog/website: for victims of sexual abuse. Twitter: @WendyJessen Email: wendyjessen26@gmail