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Fawkes by Nadine Brandes Review

Hello Everyone :)

I hope you're doing well, and I thank you all for joining me today for another book review here on The Preppy Book Princess.

This particular book was one I was drawn to right from when I first heard about it, and I couldn't wait to dive into it. After finishing, I knew I needed to jump right in and share my thoughts about it with you all.

Fawkes by Nadine Brandes:

Source: Publisher (Thomas Nelson) Via NetGalley

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Publication Date: July 10th, 2018

Genre: Fantasy/Young Adult/Inspirational Fiction


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.

******synopsis from goodreads*****

My Review:

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Fawkes had me instantly intrigued when first read the synopsis, and I knew I needed to pick this one up and dive right into it. I've always been a big fan of fictional novels that are based on real historical events, and so while I honestly wasn't too familiar with Guy Fawkes or his story, I was really looking forward to reading this one.

I decided not to research anything about Guy Fawkes before I picked this up, so that I could have complete enjoyment in Nadine Brandes' story, without getting sidetracked by whether something was historically accurate or not. And I'm really glad I made this decision, as it definitely allowed me to enjoy the book more.

Nadine has taken historical events and weaved them into a fantasy novel about a stone plague, color magic, racial segregation, and political tensions. I completely loved the premise of this novel-color magic controlling society, and political tensions arising from whether you stood on the Keeper side of color magic, or on the Igniter side. All of the magic was tied in so well with the historical events, and you could tell that the author had really done her research in the way all of the characters were portrayed and the way that the events transpired. 

However, this one was unfortunately not the five star read I was anticipating, and that was mainly because I found it so hard to get into. The book drags on and on for the first half or so, and I was basically forcing myself to continue to muddle through it. Once the second half comes along, everything gets more interesting, and I found myself really enjoying the story, but it does take a long time to get to that point. I also didn't really care for the main character, Thomas, as I found him to be slightly whiny and self-righteous, and I ended up wishing that the story had been told from both his and Emma's point of view, as she was my girl, and I loved how she wasn't scared to be strong and powerful, despite her situation.

All in all, Fawkes is definitely an enjoyable read that introduced me to a side of history I was definitely not familiar with. I appreciate the fact that there is clean fantasy novels on the market like this one, as it's nice not to have to weed through a bunch of objectionable content to enjoy the rest of the story. I only wish it hadn't been quite so slow moving, and that the main character had been portrayed a little less obnoxiously. 

Final Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Thanks so much to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for the chance to have read this!

Thanks so much for reading guys! I hope you all have a great weekend, and I'll see you all again on Monday :)


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