Fawkes ~ Review

By Nadine Brandes

Thomas Fawkes has only ever wanted his father's attention, approval, and love but when he contracts the plague his hopes seem to be at an end. For a year his father has been silent but with his Color Test upon him, he knows his father will present him with his mask and he will bond with a color. But disappointment seems to be his lot as his father the famed Guy Fawkes again lets him down refusing to present him with his mask or his presence.

Maskless, Thomas has no place in school or society - his father has ruined him. Determined to track down his father Thomas makes his way to London. But London is a dangerous place to be when you are maskless and plagued. Those who are masked are either Keepers or Igniters and they are at war. Both sides blame the other for the plague that is making its way across England a plague that is turning the infected into stone.

But finding his father only brings new complications as he is involved in a plot to bring down King James on the belief that the plague will be defeated with a Keeper on the throne rather than a king who has Igniter sympathies. Determined to prove himself to father, gain his mask, and rid himself of the plague Thomas agrees to take part in the plot against the king.

But when Thomas comes across Emma Areben in London he is confronted with something he never expected - acceptance and a viewpoint on White Light that he never expected. But she is the enemy or is she? Thomas is on a journey to discover the truth for himself if he can discover it.

Fawkes is a delightful blend of history and fantasy that will leave the reader enchanted and perhaps on their own quest for the truth about England, the Gunpowder Plot, and Plague that was so feared. Thomas Fawkes is a young man who is on the cusp of manhood when his very identity is denied him. With his future in doubt, he has no choice but to go after it for himself. Emma Areben is the ward of a peer of English society but she has a secret, one that most know nothing of, one that could ruin her in polite society. And the White Light the most powerful of the colors is also the one most fought over - should it be suppressed or should it be wielded. For what it is the White Light is a pivotal force within this story - one that the careful reader will decern as being greater than just a color power to be used at will.

This book is as equally well-written as Nadine Brandes previous work the Out of Time series but completely different as this is a historical fantasy fiction instead of a dystopian work.  I enjoyed the historical elements that brought this story to life while the fantasy elements added an exciting and unexpected twist. The mistrust of both sides against the other just fans the flames of hate and fear as neither is willing to see beyond what they wish to see - which sadly has been a reoccurring theme throughout history. I highly recommend this book perfect for any time reading or a book club setting.

About the Book:
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 is to use 36 barrels of gunpowder to blow up the Igniter King. Unfortunately, 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.

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~ Blooming with Books