Author: Livia Blackbourne
Series: Rosemarked #1
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, High Fantasy
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication date: November 7th, 2017
A healer who cannot be healed . . .
When Zivah falls prey to the deadly rose plague, she knows it’s only a matter of time before she fully succumbs. Now she’s destined to live her last days in isolation, cut off from her people and unable to practice her art—until a threat to her village creates a need that only she can fill.
A soldier shattered by war . . .
Broken by torture at the hands of the Amparan Empire, Dineas thirsts for revenge against his captors. Now escaped and reunited with his tribe, he’ll do anything to free them from Amparan rule—even if it means undertaking a plan that risks not only his life but his very self.
Thrust together on a high-stakes mission to spy on the capital, the two couldn’t be more different: Zivah, deeply committed to her vow of healing, and Dineas, yearning for vengeance. But as they grow closer, they must find common ground to protect those they love. And amidst the constant fear of discovery, the two grapple with a mutual attraction that could break both of their carefully guarded hearts.
“It was indeed like being alive again, the heady illusion of possibility and hope. My only regret is that such a thing could never last.”
I was genuinely surprised with this book because I didn’t think I would like it that much. Sure, the cover was gorgeous and it had an interesting concept, but somehow my mind knew that maybe I was going to like it, but not that I would thoroughly enjoy it.
I would say though, that the first half of the book wasn’t as good as the second, and that’s one of the main reasons why I didn’t give it a higher rating. To be honest, it was quite descriptive and slow, but the second half?? It was amazing, guys. I really enjoyed that.
“I can’t help but think how easy it is for a thing of this world to be destroyed, and how quickly something beautiful can disappear.”
I found the characters super interesting, despite being so different. One thing I liked about it was the two different points of view. Because they are not only from different parts of that world, but had been raised differently, I found it fastinating to read from those perspectives, mostly because you learnt more about 1. the rose plague, and 2. the society.
Dont’ get me wrong, it was really slow. Mostly because the first part of the book was information about the world building and the rose plague (what it was, how it affected people, etc.). I was a bit bored sometimes because I feel nothing was really happening, but I ended up not mindning it that much, because I was really engrosed in the whole story.
But back to the characters, I freaking adore them. I like Zivah, because even though she was kind, she was fierce and strong in some parts of the book. The things she went through made her I think much stronger and more intelligent, and that’s something I love in a main character. And Dineas was an incredible character as well. He definitely had his flaws, don’t get me wrong, and sometimes he was a bit grumpy, but I understood why he was like that, and in some way, I got him.
They were both really different from each other, but there was some much angst, guys. You know how much I love my angsty relationships, and I looove how this one was done, because it was slow burning and not insta love-ish AT ALL. In fact, there wasn’t really a romance in the book, mostly you started to see one right at the end of the book, so I’m very interested to see how it’s going to develop in the sequel.
“What would any of us be like without our past? If my training as a healer was erased, would I still be me? If I started a new life, made new friends, fell in love, decided to apprentice in farming instead of healing, which version of me would be real?”
It was very political driven, and mostly focused on what caused that rose plague and the interactions between the different populations with the Amparan empire. That’s mainly one of the reasons why this book was slow, but not only this one, but others that have similar plots I’ve found to be as slow as Rosemarked. So if you’re not a bif fan of this type of things and preffer a more action packed book, this may be not for you.
However, the second half of the book was awesome. You already knew the basics of the world and the characters, and the different bonds formed between them, so it was much quicker to read. I was on the edge of my seat while reading the last 30 pages of the book, because let me tell you, they were intense.
So overall, even though the beginning was a bit slow, I really enjoyed the whole story, and found the characters and their relationships extremely intriguing. I’m still really surprised by this story, and I will definitely be picking the sequel when it comes out.
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