Blood Rose Rebellion, Rosalyn Eves, Knopf, out soon–March 28th 2017
The first in a YA fantasy trilogy, this teen fantasy is better than most.
The story is set in an alternative 19th century time frame where the upper class, the Luminate, hold all the power through blood, money and magic. They use their magical powers to enslave those from a lower position in society and for those in a lower caste, life is hopeless.
Sixteen-year-old Anna Arden is from a powerful family, but she is ‘barren’, meaning she has no magical powers and will never truly belong. Even worse, when her sister casts her debutante spell, a critical moment for a lady of rank, Anna somehow breaks it. To increase her sister’s chance of making a good marriage, the embarrassing Anna is exiled to Hungary (a different and interesting setting for this type of book).
In Hungary, there is resistance to the status quo of the ruling Luminate and rebellion is mustering. It turns out that Anna’s ability is not to cast spells, but the break them. If she doesn’t reveal this unique power, she might still have a chance of rejoining society. But if she uses her powers she will cause chaos and has a chance of changing how her world operates forever.
The book makes a clear pro-democratic statement and is a cut above most teen fantasy in terms of realized political thought.