Number of pages: 400
Number of times read (including the time before this review): 1
Rating (out of five stars): 3
Release Date: November 7th 2017
*Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher (Disney-Hyperion) for providing a copy in exchange for a review. My opinions are honest and my own.
Rosemarked unfortunately is getting stuck on the list of books I did not personally enjoy, but can see other people will love. If I maybe had connected more with the characters, I think Rosemarked would have gotten a solid 4 stars, but I cannot in good conscience given 4 stars to a book I did not enjoy. I wish it all the success in the world.
I have to praise the world-building first, because it is truly fantastic. Firstly, this is one of the few books where (mostly) throwing the reader into a fantasy world actually works. I want to commend Livia Blackburne for this, since I seldom see this done successfully. The plague is also very well done. How it’s transmitted, the possible outcomes, and the symptoms are excellently explained. It’s nice to see everything check out with the world-building.
Speaking of the plague, I’m glad Zivah and Dineas weren’t some sort of rare occurrence. What I mean is, I’m glad remaining rosemarked or becoming umbertouched is not such a rare occurrence that we see no other characters experience it. A fault of a large amount of YA fantasy books is to try too hard to make the main character(s) seem special.
Zivah and Dineas were well done as characters as well. Zivah was kind, proud, and naïve, while Dineas was hardened by having to constantly watch his tribe struggle and die at the hands of a cruel empire. He’s bitter, but he has a great respect and love for his people. They were flawed, human characters. The only thing I take issue with is the romance. Once the potion works its magic on Dineas, the romance starts, which I feel is a little wrong. It also isn’t really established if there is to be further romance when the book ends. Dineas doesn’t really get to voice his opinion on the matter.
I’m wondering if there is going to be a sequel, because there isn’t one listed on Goodreads at the moment. I mean, I guess I’m curious to see if they can even defeat the empire, because I’m pretty sure the answer is no. Either way, I’m not sure the ending did what it was supposed to.
I think the biggest issue with Rosemarked is that it simply isn’t exciting enough. There wasn’t any point where I was on the edge of my seat, even during the parts that I should have been. It sadly lacks the gripping, action-packed plot necessary to keep most readers engaged.
Overall, Rosemarked was a well-written fantasy book, though it lacked excitement, earning it 3 stars out of 5.