To start off, I want to give a birthday shoutout to my good old friend THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA for turning 241 today (full disclosure: I had to Google “how old is America” in order to write that sentence but nonetheless let’s party)! *runs around waving a flag and shouting The Star-Spangled Banner* Let’s celebrate with a book review, shall we?
Before we get started, I wanted to ask for your help: I’m planning a little Q&A to celebrate 250 followers (yay!) so leave some questions in the comments, on my Twitter, or send me a message using the form on my Get in Touch page and I’ll tell y’all what you want to know!
When I joined NetGalley about a month ago, this was one of the first books that I requested and I was so excited to see that I’d received an ARC for review. I thought the cover was gorgeous, the synopsis was enticing, and the reviews were stellar. I have to give an unpaid thank you to Disney Book Group for letting me get a sneak peek at this fabulous read!
Rosemarked by Livia Blackburne is a story told by two narrators: Zivah, a healer who’s contracted the lethal rose plague, and Dineas, a rebel fighter looking to take down the empire that threatens to overtake his homeland. Zivah and Dineas are tasked by their respective leaders to work together in gathering intel about the Amparan Empire.
What stood out to me first was Blackburne’s method of world-building. Throughout the book in its entirety, our two narrators developed the world in a way that was seamless and natural. Based on Blackburne’s word choices and use of dialogue, I felt like I was seeing this fantasy(ish) world through its inhabitants’s eyes and I enjoyed it. There was not a data dump in sight: I as a reader was given pieces of the world as Zivah and Dineas observed it in a way that was normal to them.
When I looked up this book on Goodreads, almost every review raved about the slow-burning romance between Zivah and Dineas. I have to jump on the bandwagon here because I think the romance was done right in the context of the book. I’d hate to spoil it for you, so I’ll just leave it at this: Blackburne did well in my humble opinion.
While there were a few clichés sprinkled throughout, I didn’t think that they were prominent enough to detract from the book’s summative originality. The atypical romance subplot, stellar world-building, unique main plot, and dynamic character relationships made up for the fact that Zivah was a little one-sided. Dineas showed a clear character progression, but Zivah was somewhere in between static and dynamic.
My only other criticism is the naming. Personally, I prefer to know how to pronounce my character’s names, but I understand the need for originality. Other than that, I was pretty pleased with the book as a whole and consider it a worthwhile read.
So that’s it! You can preorder a copy of Rosemarked here or snatch one off the shelves when it’s released on November 7, 2017. And don’t forget to check out my Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, Wattpad, and Spotify to spread the social media love ❤