Book Review – Fawkes by Nadine Brandes

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 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’ choice, one thing is clear: once the decision is made and the color masks have been put on, there’s no turning back.

This book was certainly a thrilling ride! I had received it for Christmas and it was hard to put down. I didn’t think that it would be that interesting, as I’m not huge on reading historical fiction. (Except for The Book Thief.) But this one is like historical-fantasy fiction. And it could almost be its own world. The mystery, the historical accuracy, the subtle romance! It was seriously one of the best books I’ve read. And that’s a tough one for me, because a lot of book I’ve read were somewhat disappointing in some way. But not this one!

Most stories are black and white. Obvious. But not Fawkes. It has a grey vein like the color that Thomas is bent on bonding with. And is raises questions that leave you thinking. Like, Is what I believe the truth? 

The historical accuracy was astounding! Most people like to romanticize London. Not Nadine! Nope, people are throwing waste out their windows and into the streets and the Thames is poison water that no one in their right mind would want to touch. Also, I like that she took that black plague and changed it to the Stone Plague. Clever.

Interesting fact: no one knows if Guy Fawkes actually had a son or not. The only evidence of Thomas being alive is a mysterious birth record and that’s it. I like to think that he might have been. One more thing I like about this book – Thomas is a real gentleman, like Mr. Darcy kind. It’s hard to find a modern book like that nowadays!

The ending was very sad and somewhat bittersweet. I cried. I yelled. I sobbed into my pillow and clutched the book to my chest. It was a good day.

That’s it for this review. Go and buy Fawkes, fall in love with the characters, and join be in petitioning a sequel!

I rate it: ten out of ten stars.

Remember, remember, the fifth of November!

Fawkes (3)

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