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Fawkes: A Novel Kindle Edition
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|Length: 448 pages||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled||Page Flip: Enabled|
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Even from the first line, I knew I was captured by this novel. Fawkes had me staying up late into the night, never wanting to put it down. Nadine has penned a masterpiece, and I am incredibly grateful to have read it.
Based in actual history, the novel follows the story of the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, told through the voice of Thomas Fawkes, son of the famous Guy Fawkes. In an England rife with Color magic, all Thomas wants is his mask so he can take the Color test and bond with Grey so he can expel the Stone Plague from his left eye before it spreads. But his father is the one who must give him his mask, and his father never shows. In fact, he hasn't seen his father for thirteen years. Angry and still plagued, Thomas takes matters into his own hands and sets off for London, where he hopes to find his father. But London is not what Thomas expected. The city is rife with plague, murderers, and a sinister plot to kill the King. And in the center of it all: his father, Guy Fawkes. To earn his mask, Thomas will have to follow in his father's footsteps and prove himself worthy of color power. But at what price?
I was completely enamored with Thomas's story. Reading the story through his eyes and voice was an absolute pleasure, and it is what made the story so intriguing. He has to face many moral dilemmas throughout the book, and the way he reacts and responds to those dilemmas is one of my favorite aspects of the novel, right next to the incredible world-building and character arcs. Not to mention, the magic system in this fictional England is one of the best I've read. The concept of Color power and wearing masks to control that power? Completely. Awesome.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
Before we get started...HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY TO FAWKES!!
*Disclaimer: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts expressed in this review are purely my own.*
Fawkes is a historical fantasy, something I'd honestly never read before, but I was rather intrigued by the idea. Diving in however I was not pulled right into the story as I thought I'd be. And that's not because of the plot. It was the characters. I was not very interested in Thomas at first. I don't know why since it has been a little while since I read the book and I don't remember all the details.
My favorite part of Fawkes was the magic system. Like COLOR MAGIC??? Why has this NEVER been done before?? It was so unique and Nadine did a perfect job capturing it in the book.
Moving farther into the story, I did end up really liking Thomas. He's a strong character and I appreciate that he makes his own decisions instead of just following what everyone else does.
Also, I love Emma too.
I was very upset when I finished reading this book because there is no sequel. It's a stand alone. *sobs.*
Now I will go stare out the window and wait for UPS to deliver my hardcover. K Bye.
...And it did not disappoint.
Nadine Brandes is my uncontested favorite author ever. Her command of the language and ability to bring her worlds and characters to life are unlike anyone I've ever read before. I loved her "Out of Time" series - and I absolutely ADORED "Fawkes."
England circa early-1600s is brought to stunning life in this novel. The sights, sounds, smells - it was a feast for the senses. What, you may ask, would - could - make this even cooler?
It's England historical fantasy. The Gunpowder Plot was an actual historical event (that is absolutely fascinating as-is, seriously, go look it up!), and NB took it a step further and added fantastical elements to it. The level of historical accuracy blew my mind, especially considering she threw magic into the mix. Taking the real-life plague of the time and giving it a fantasy air (people are literally turning to stone!) gave a unique twist to the actual goings-on at the time. Real-life people are everywhere in this book, from the actual members of the Gunpowder Plot to the king of the time, King James, and his wife Anne. (King James is Scottish, being the son of Mary, Queen of Scots, and thus not really viewed fondly by his English subjects.)
The Masks and their system of use was amazing, vivid, and so real. Each color has its own unique gifts (for example, someone with a Brown mask can move huge chunks of dirt without lifting a finger, let alone a shovel), but there are those - the Igniters - who feel being limited to one color (like the Keepers) is no longer acceptable. Add in the fact that each side thinks the other started the Stone Plague, and can we see why the gunpowder isn't the only explosive thing in England at the time?
The characters themselves melded so seamlessly with each other, the actual historical figures and the fictional ones. While Thomas Fawkes was an actual person, there is only one historical record of him, so while he wasn't made up, there was a lot to imagine for him. ;) The truly made up character, Emma, might be one of my favorite heroines ever. The secret she hides behind her beautiful Brown mask is powerful, and relevant not only to the time period but today as well. Thomas and Emma play so very well off each other, and though there is a teeny love triangle, it's done SO well and in so complicated a way that it gives a natural feeling to what could have been the same old humdrum you see so often. THIS is the kind of love triangle I can get interested in!
One of the things I liked most about "Fawkes" was the "who's right?" question. Both the Keepers and Igniters absolutely believed they were on the right side of the fight - but it was more complicated than that. They had both twisted the truth to suit their own purposes, and Thomas's journey throughout the book so poignantly explores and highlights this. He doesn't want to fight for either side - he wants to fight for what's RIGHT.
A heartily given, well-deserved five stars for this one. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go sit by my mailbox and eagerly await Nadine Brandes's next book.
Most recent customer reviews
1. That cover is GORGEOUS
Author: Nadine Brandes
Genre: YA, fantasy
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
The Stone Plague has tormented England for years. There is no cure.Read more
It's rare that I find a book I can't put down. But Fawkes was definitely one of them!Read more