Fawkes by Nadine Brandes


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: use 36 barrels of gunpowder to blow up the Igniter King.

The problem: 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.

My review:

I. Loved. This. Book. I think I could probably end my review with just those four words, but I’d love to tell you a little about why I so enjoyed this read.

Fawkes is a fascinating twist on historical fiction: the perfect blend of truth and fantasy, bringing new life to history. Brandes does a fabulous job of staying fairly true to the historical facts: she included most of the primary characters of the Gunpowder Plot and the basics of the motivations behind the plot with King James I and his persecution of certain members of English society. As I read, I was impressed with the level of research she must have put into this piece. But then she used her own special tweaks to freshen the tale, turning it from a struggle for religious liberty to a battle for magical freedom.

And I was entranced and so encouraged by Thomas’ theme: do not blindly believe what you are told, don’t simply trust your emotions, but always search for the truth. That is so important for everyone today, young and old, to learn.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough. However, you’ll have to wait a few more weeks before you dive in. Fawkes releases on July 10. Trust me, it will be worth the wait! Happy reading 🙂

Many, many thanks to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for the digital copy of this book for review purposes. I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my very own! 🙂



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