Saturday 10 February 2018

Book Review: Fawkes by Nadine Brandes

Title: Fawkes
Author: Nadine Brandes
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 10 July 2018
Pages: 448
Format: eBook - PDF
Genre: YA Historical Fantasy
Source: ARC via NetGalley

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 it. 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. (Goodreads Synopsis)

The action kicks off straightaway in Fawkes, and right from the start, I found myself drawn into Thomas' world. Thomas isn't always the classic hero--he can be petulant--but that made me like him more, because he felt real. After all, no one is actually as perfect as some YA heroes would have us believe. Brandes does a wonderful job of blending her fantasy setting with the true events of the gunpowder plot, and the world building as a whole was well done. There is a romance, but it doesn't take over the story, and the pace throughout was good, with plenty of action moving the story along. I would definitely read more from this author in the future. Check out Fawkes if you are looking for a captivating YA historical fantasy adventure-romance.

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