Fawkes by Nadine Brandes– Review

36576048Summary: 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

Review: 4 stars

This is a very interesting novel that blends fantasy with historical fiction. I found myself immersed in the mystical urban fantasy world that at times felt allegorical in nature. This book help me see the time period from a new perspective, opening my eyes to different prejudices and also the events of the gunpowder plot. I’ve always liked the movie V for Vendetta, but the historical accuracy was far from the truth. Although this book includes fantasy elements, it felt realistic and pretty historically accurate.

The characters were each developed well. Thomas Fawkes, Guy Fawke’s son, was the main character and I really liked him in the story. I enjoyed the historically accurate characters as well as the characters who didn’t actually exist in history. Emma and Thomas had a star-crossed romance which was an interesting sub-plot that defied the prejudices of the time period.

The fantasy aspects were incredibly well done. The world building was done well and an interesting blend with the historical story. instead of a conflict between Protestants and Catholics it was a conflict of Igniters and Keepers, people who wielded color power with different beliefs. Each side blamed the stone plague on each other, believing that because the other side practice color power “the wrong way” they brought a curse down upon them all. The story fell allegorical to the conflicts of the actual historical events and I found it easier to understand prejudices from this point of view, rather than from a religious point of view.

I love the way the plot unfolded. I knew the true history of Guy Fawkes and the gunpowder plot, but this was still an incredibly interesting novel. The fantasy elements made it much more fun to read. I believe readers would enjoy this book they were interested in historical fiction or fantasy novels. I would say that this book is probably one of the best releases of the summer.

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