Book Reviews, YA book reviews

Fawkes by Nadine Brandes – ARC review


My Rating ~ Five stars


DUE FOR RELEASE: 10 July 2018

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Format: e-Book

Source: Received from Thomas Nelson via NetGalley


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.




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

In a world where, when you come of age, you are presented with a mask that will allow you to control colour (control brown, you can control brown items, mud, bricks etc, blue you can control water, red, blood and so on), there are two belief systems, the Keepers, who believe you should only control one chosen colour, and Igniters who believe you should be able to control them all.

Thomas is still maskless, at the fault of his father not turning up to present him with one, and worse, infected by a spreading plague that slowly turns its unfortunate bearers to stone. Shunned by society, he sets out to find his father, and join him in a plot to assassinate the king and stop the plague. But his fathers views differ to the woman he loves. Who is right, who is wrong and who can he trust?

I really loved this book. It was original and the colour power idea was both interesting and thought provoking. Fawkes has an underlying message of looking beneath the ingrained ideals of society, and even the people we love, to search for your own truth and your own beliefs. Thomas’ dilemmas revolve around deciding what is right, how far he would go to stop the plague and what version of the history he’s been taught is really true. Most of all, he has to decide between doing what he believes is right, saving the woman he loves and the desire to win his fathers pride. Emma, the woman he loves, is brave and daring, even while being forced to act as a noble woman. Although she has opposing views to Thomas, she too believes she is fighting for what is right.

Fawkes is intriguing, with interesting characters and clever concepts. I loved the way the fantasy aspects of the book were mingled in with real history. Part conspiracy and betrayal, part moral anguish with a splash of magic. I highly recommend it!

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Photo via my Instagram account – Bookbookowl

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