Saturday, May 23

Review: Fawkes

Nadine Brandes

Published By: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: July 10, 2018
Date Read: April 16, 2020
Genre: YA - Retelling / Historical Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: Hardback
Pages: 448

From Goodreads:
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. 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.

"Standing for my beliefs isn't always the same as standing for truth."

Fawkes is a book that has been sat on my shelf for about a year. I came across it at YALC a few years ago and I just fell in love with the cover so I just had to have it. I finally picked it up as part of my retellings month and oh my god... I absolutely loved this book. I have to say that Fawkes is one of the biggest surprises of the year for me in the best way possible. I was expecting a retelling of the gunpowder plot and that is what I got, but I got so much more as well. What I wasn't expecting was this superbly crafted fantasy novel set to the historical background of the gunpowder plot.

I don't know if others would find this book quite as exciting as I did, but with me living in England and us having a celebration each year to remember Guy Fawkes and the gunpowder plot, I was living for this magical twist to a historical event that is so well known. I loved every single moment of this book. From the development of this key historical event to the beautiful writing to the magical twists and the complex character developments... everything was just absolutely perfect to me. Nadine Brandes... I bow down to you for honing your craft and your storytelling so superbly... I was genuinely blown away by this absolute masterpiece of a novel.

Fawkes was everything I could have wanted from a book and more. Right from the start I was completely taken away into this magical world of 1500s London. I could not put this book down and I raced through it all to quickly. I will definitely be looking out for Nadine Brandes' other works in the future. She has opened my eyes to a whole new genre that I didn't really know was a thing, and that there was so many books in. I have never really been a lover of historical novels, I find I get quite bored of them... but historical fantasy? Now this is something that I can get behind and feel like I have definitely been missing out on.

Fawkes was absolute perfection. I loved every single moment of this book and I know this is one book I can read over and over and love it just as much as the first time. I would absolutely recommend this book to everyone. It's absolutely fantastic and challenges so much. Prepare to be whisked away into a historical London filled with magic, intrigue and a dash of romance. It was phenomenal and magical!

"There has always been fear. There will always be fear. It's up to us to stand tall, even when the fear demands we bow to it."

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