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Mar. 23rd, 2018


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Title: Fawkes
Author: Nadine Brandes
Format: Epub
Rating: 3.2/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: March 21, 2018 to March 23, 2018
Book Summary: 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.
Book Review: I would like to take a moment to thank the site Edelweiss along with the author and publisher for graciously giving me an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Thomas Fawkes has the Stone plague. The only way to rid himself of it is to be given his colored mask by his father. On the day of he is to receieve his mask, his father doesn't show up and Thomas is forced to leave the school. So Thomas sets out to find his father to get him to give Thomas his mask but Thomas becomes embroiled in a plot to kill the King by his father and his cohorts. Unfortunately for Thomas, this is really a no-win situation. On one hand if he does join his father, the girl he loves and the family she is with will be destroyed and on the other hand if doesn't help out his father, then it will send his father and his his cohorts to the gallows. But whatever Thomas's choice is, he knows there will be no turning back.

I absolutely loved the premise of this book. I have a major softspot when it comes to books that actually have a character becoming part of the real history this book is based on. Guy Fawks is best remembered for the Gunpowder Plot that would topple Parliment and kill the Protestant King. But instead of using the religious reasons behind the plot (Guy was a Catholic and the King was a Protestant), Ms. Brands uses the idea of magic instead. Here we have a place where we have Keepers and Ignitors are at war and at the war's heart is the power of the colors. Ignitors, whom believe in the White Light, want to wield all the colors while the Keepers don't believe in the White Light and want to only wield one color. Even worse, both sides are blaming each other for the plague that is spreading through the city.

The things I didn't care for was Thomas and some of the book. Thomas, to me, was a bit of a whiny and selfish character. I do sympathize with his plight. Here is a kid that was hit with the plague but the plague was mostly his fault (if his tale he told was true) and he should have known better. This tells me that he not only cared for the consequences that could have come from his idea but also didn't really care until he was the one hurt. I know he desperately wanted his mask. I can understand why especially in a period where Keepers and those with the plague are looked down upon.

As for the parts of the book, it was too slow. I had to put it down several times with the hopes that it would pick up. I almost made the decision to DNF it but I realized I had come such a long way into the book that DNFing it did not seem possible for me. So I had to push myself. Do I regret it? No, it had history in it and many interesting characters that drew you back into the book and made you part of their story. This is the reason I continued.

This is my first taste of Nadine Brandes' books and I hope that there will definitely be more from her to come in the future.