by Livia Blackburne
Read: October 25 - 30, 2017
Published: November 7, 2017 by Feiwel & Friends
Source: Galley from Publisher (TY, Macmillan!)
Category: YA, Fantasy, Plagues, Wars, Roadtrips
Series: Duet 1/2
Find: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Indiebound
Book Description: 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.
I was lucky enough to beta read an early draft of Rosemarked, and I'm thrilled to see the book now published and out in the world. As I've also read its sequel Umbertouched (you can't wait for this!), I'm struggling to separate this gorgeous series into a coherent review about just the first book. But here goes. Rosemarked has so many great and complex situations in it that weave through the entire duet. Political maneuvering, spying, secret identities (even from oneself), a long journey, memory loss, a sweet but also complicated slow-building romance, all under the shadow of a deadly disease that ravages nearly all it encounters (even if they survive).
Zivah and Dineas are two very different characters from two very different cultures - she is a healer, he is a soldier - but they must band together in this story for a common and very dangerous mission. Both willing to sacrifice everything for their people. I enjoyed watching these two as they were forced together, and as a result come to understand each other so much more than they ever thought they would. This book also has a cast of secondary characters that intrigued me so much. I especially appreciated how we get to see them from several different angles in a way that makes them much more complex than just a good or evil.
Rosemarked is excellent YA Fantasy and comes highly recommended from me. I enjoyed Livia Blackburne's Midnight Thief series, but this new duet is truly stunning. Complimenting the gorgeous insides of this book, the pink matte finish and gold lettering of the cover is also something you want in your hands. Don't miss this book!
Love Triangle Factor: None
Cliffhanger Scale: This is the first in a duet and definitely ends mid-series, though not in a harrowing moment.