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A healer who cannot be healed . . . When Zivah falls prey to the deadly rose plague, she knows it's only a matter of time before she fully succumbs. Now she's destined to live her last days in isolation, cut off from her people and unable to practice her art—until a threat to her village creates a need that only she can fill. A soldier shattered by war . . . Broken by torture at the hands of the Amparan Empire, Dineas thirsts for revenge against his captors. Now escaped and reunited with his tribe, he'll do anything to free them from Amparan rule—even if it means undertaking a plan that risks not only his life but his very self. Thrust together on a high-stakes mission to spy on the capital, the two couldn't be more different: Zivah, deeply committed to her vow of healing, and Dineas, yearning for vengeance. But as they grow closer, they must find common ground to protect those they love. And amidst the constant fear of discovery, the two grapple with a mutual attraction that could break both of their carefully guarded hearts. This smart, sweeping fantasy with a political edge and a slow-burning romance will capture fans of The Lumatere Chronicles and An Ember in the Ashes.
Amazing and Immersive
In the magical world of Rosemarked, healer Zivah falls plague to the deadly Rose plague, leaving her with only years to live and isolating her from society. At the same time, solider Dineas finally escapes from the clutches of the Amparan Empire with a renewed passion to free his tribe from its rule before it is too late. Trust together with nothing left to lose, Zivah and Dineas must complete a deadly mission to spy on the capital so they can fulfill their wishes and save their loved ones from dying by the hands of an enemy kingdom filled with secrets and risk.
This book had so many amazing aspects, for one: the research. If you ever want to read a book that an author clearly puts a lot of effort into, this book is definitely on for you. I loved how Blackburne found a way to put descriptive detail into everything without making it seem like too much. From the descriptions of various tribes to herbal remedies and military campaigns, when I was reading this book I didn’t feel like I was reading, but I was living. So many books these days have half-baked ideas and cheap attempts at descriptions and Blackburne definitely blew those books all out of the water with the amount of research that she put into this which leads me to the next fabulous thing about this book; the plot.
Wow, was this a story to remember. Based in a world much like the medieval era and filled with walled cities and suffering villages, it was both a refreshing fictional world and clear of any sort of magic. I really enjoyed this because so many books written in this sort of setting are often not without magic and while Rosemarked doesn’t have a hint of it, it is still immersive and capitating, leaving me glued to each word. This sort of uniqueness was clear throughout the plot as characters that are often in love with each other aren’t, leaving room for character development. Not only could these characters be clear of these tropes, but it makes it so every move that they make is a surprise. I loved this plot for this very reason. So many books are set with clear and straight-forwards story lines while this one was able to navigate its world of disease and corrupt military in a new way. When I first began to read this book, I was sure of what way the story will originally take me and boy was I wrong.
I would recommend this book for fans of The Queens Thief because of the similarity to its world. Fantasy lovers will also love this book because of its well written and immersive storytelling and world building. If you are looking for characters that grow off of typical YA tropes and defy your expectation with every word, you will not be let down. I think that it is safe to say that I am more that excited for the next book in this series.
This story will keep you on your toes. Zivah has to make choices that effect not just her own life but that of her people and Dineas. You feel so awed by her accomplishments at the beginning of the book and then tragedy strikes her. But in the end, it gives her the opportunity to help protect her people from the Amparan Empire. The things both Zivah and Dineas have to go through while spying on the Amparans will keep you turning the pages. I loved how both characters were able to use creatures that they cared for to thier advantage. It was also interesting to get the story from both Zivah and Dineas’ POV. The chapter headers were beautiful too. I have never read anything like this before and am looking forward to the sequel. I would reccommend this to anyone who enjoys distopians.
Left me wanting more!
This book is one of those reasons you should never judge a book by it’s cover! I wasn’t sure what to expect (a fairytale retelling maybe?) but what I got was a vivid fantasy with an almost Asian setting and high stakes.
While the action wasn't fast-paced, the tension was so deliciously woven throughout the story and the characters’ lives I couldn't put the book down. And oh, the characters! The characters were one of the best parts of the book. I love Zivah with her desperate fears and fragile dreams for the future. And Dineas - he was so self-loathing and lost.
In the end, Rosemarked was an intriguing read that presented a lot of risk and unspoken questions I’m dying to have answered. I’m not sure how this story will end, but I can’t wait for the next book in the series!