I’d seen/heard Nadine Brandes’s name before, but not yet read any of her books. When Fawkes showed up on Thomas Nelson’s summer release list, I made Brandes an author to read (how could I not with that gorgeous cover?).
In My Opinion…
Fawkes is a mix of historical fiction (set around England’s Gun Powder Rebellion) and fantasy (color masks, color magic, and a stone plague).
Thomas Fawkes is the son of the historical figure Guy Fawkes and wants nothing more than his color mask. But the colors don’t speak to him and the stone plague is slowly taking over his body.
I didn’t know much about this period of English history and had to look it up as I was reading because Brandes brings the time and people to life.
Unfortunately, I didn’t really connect to Thomas. He’s so focused on that color mask, he leans toward whiny with that poor-me attitude. And let’s talk about those masks and the color magic. What, exactly did they do? I understood each color gave a person a specific magic but couldn’t tell you any specifics of any one color.
Those things aside, the story is interesting and entertaining. And then there’s Emma who was my absolute favorite character in the book. She’s on the opposite side of the fight as Thomas but her openness and strength in the face of opposition draw him (and me) in.
All in all, a so-so read that means more to the enjoyable side than the other. I’ll be keeping an eye out for more read from Brandes to see what she’s got in store next.
I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley and blog tour companies. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
About the Book
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.
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