First of all, let me thank Booklook Bloggers and Thomas Nelson for the chance to read and review this book: Fawkes by Nadine Brandes.
As always, these thoughts are my own. This review is spoiler-free and no main plot points are revealed.
I give this story 4 stars.
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, and 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.
As many of you know, I’m writing a historical fantasy book myself, and I’m always interested in reading others! I follow Nadine on Instagram (@nadinebrandes) and it’s always a joy to follow an author on their writing journeys.
Thomas, the son of Guy Fawkes, is a compelling character. Like Cait at @Paperfury said, he’s the ultimate Gryffindor. He saves up to buy a sword and is so proud of his little 16 year old self! He’s darling and maybe a bit too naive. There are a few scenes with him that are really moving.
Emma, a schoolmate of his and the charge of a Baron, is sweet and kick-butt and lovely. She’s fantastic.
A few times I felt as if the story had one too many threads running through it, but the more I look back the more I see that I would miss all of those cool details. The magic, the plague, the plot, the disguises! I loved them all. I can’t wait for ROMANOV.
Have you read any Historical Fantasy? What did you think?