Rosemarked (Rosemarked #1)
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.

Rosemarked (Rosemarked #1) Details

TitleRosemarked (Rosemarked #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseNov 7th, 2017
PublisherDisney-Hyperion
ISBN-139781484788554
Rating
GenreFantasy, Young Adult, Young Adult Fantasy, Romance, Fiction, High Fantasy, Science Fiction Fantasy, Did Not Finish, Teen

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Rosemarked (Rosemarked #1) Review

  • Livia Blackburne
    January 1, 1970
    Edit 2/17/17: The book description is now up on the goodreads page!I’m soooo excited about this book, guys. And I’ve been having a blast researching it, from archery and stick fighting lessons to conversations about memory loss with my old classmate at MIT. And I can’t wait to share it with you.
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  • ☙ percy ❧
    January 1, 1970
    (3.5 stars) This is a novel of that strange genre that has the feel and setting of a high fantasy, but doesn't actually contain any fantastical elements. (I like to call it 'pseudo-high fantasy. Possibly it could also be described as spec fic, but I've always found that definition to be almost uselessly broad.) The plot relied heavily on political machinations rather than containing magic, although it could be argued Zivah's potions have some element of magic.This is rather an atypical YA. It ha (3.5 stars) This is a novel of that strange genre that has the feel and setting of a high fantasy, but doesn't actually contain any fantastical elements. (I like to call it 'pseudo-high fantasy. Possibly it could also be described as spec fic, but I've always found that definition to be almost uselessly broad.) The plot relied heavily on political machinations rather than containing magic, although it could be argued Zivah's potions have some element of magic.This is rather an atypical YA. It has a romance, but not a love-triangle, and the romance was subtle and not forced at all. Whereas I wouldn't exactly say I liked it, being a pretty unromantic person in general (and also thinking it would have been more interesting if the romance had been between Zivah and Mehtap tbh), I could tolerate it, which is actually quite impressive if you consider how apathetic I am to romance. The pacing was quite slow, which I felt worked for most of the book but there wasn't much action, and when the stakes were raised you could pretty much tell what the outcome was going to be. Also, there weren't any particularly shocking turns or twists in the plot (view spoiler)[There was the part about the rose plague among Arxa's regiment being manufactured, but the culprit and his motives were not particularly surprising (hide spoiler)] and by the end of the book I didn't really feel that anything had particularly been resolved. Overall I enjoyed it, but I'm not sure if I'm going to read the next one. The plot wasn't quite gripping enough, and I don't know if I want to read the second only to find that nothing has still been resolved and I'll have to read a third one to find out what happens. Definitely promising though, and I'll keep an eye out for the author's next books (and perhaps go through her backlog, although writers' abilities tend to develop as time passes so idk if her previous ones will be better... might check them out if the blurb is interesting tho)The book reminded me a lot of The Winner's Curse, except the two protagonists were both oppressed by the Empire instead of one of them being privileged, with added plague - always good -, with added character development, and basically better in every way so if you liked that book you'll LOVE this one (and if you didn't like that book then read this anyway because it's twenty times better)
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  • Scrill
    January 1, 1970
    ARC received from Netgalley and Disney-Hyperion for an honest review "And I can’t help but think how easy it is for a thing of this world to be destroyed, and how quickly something beautiful can disappear." Rosemarked is told from alternating views and tells the story of a young healer that catches a disease that she cannot cure and a man who has overcome the disease and must go on a mission with the healer to infiltrate the capital city as spies.The Story-The pacing of this book was slow but st ARC received from Netgalley and Disney-Hyperion for an honest review "And I can’t help but think how easy it is for a thing of this world to be destroyed, and how quickly something beautiful can disappear." Rosemarked is told from alternating views and tells the story of a young healer that catches a disease that she cannot cure and a man who has overcome the disease and must go on a mission with the healer to infiltrate the capital city as spies.The Story-The pacing of this book was slow but steady. There weren’t many climactic points that had me at the edge of my seat, and when there was one, it was somewhat short lived. I had hoped with the espionage and a trained soldier there would have been a little bit more nail-biting time. Regardless, I was still entertained the entire time. The story was not very complicated which gave more time for character development. The World Building-I liked the idea of a country that has been ravaged by an empire overtaking it. Either lay down and let them control you and occupy your land or rebel and be slaughtered. Our characters were found from both sides-the healer catching the plague from the men that have occupied her country and a soldier that has history from the empire that haunts him. Since the characters do travel throughout the book I was hoping there would be a little more time spent in some sweeping landscape. I also would have liked to read a little bit more on the culture of the people and what life was like in the country before the invasion maybe. I appreciated the inventiveness of the plague and the stages that go with it.The Characters-Our two main characters were definitely the most complex things about this book. The fact that Zivah is a healer but has an incurable disease is something that she has to grow and accept. I feel like it helps her transform from her naïve self to someone with a little more purpose with her life. There is something about a person’s impeding death that has them questioning how they will spend their remaining time: Sit in a cottage and slowly dieor use my knowledge for something good, something meaningful.Dineas on the other hand has a second chance at life and somehow finds himself on a mission back to where he managed to escape from. It was really interesting to see his personality bounce back and forth throughout his mission to the point where he finally becomes whole by the end, accepting all parts of himself. Overall, it seemed like a decent start to a series, and I am curious to see how their mission affects their world and how the characters continue to grow. I really hope to see a little more action or suspense in the next installment. There is a lot at risk, and I really want to feel the anxiety that these characters must be feeling.
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  • Dianne
    January 1, 1970
    She had dedicated her life to healing the sick, but when she must heal the enemy who has come into her land with a deadly and incurable plague, Zivah is forced to live an life isolated from her family and her people when she becomes another victim, another of the ROSEMARKED. Her life can end ostracized and alone or it can end on her own terms, healing others who are afflicted like her, but the chance to help others will come at a price and she will be forced to trust an enemy soldier who thirsts She had dedicated her life to healing the sick, but when she must heal the enemy who has come into her land with a deadly and incurable plague, Zivah is forced to live an life isolated from her family and her people when she becomes another victim, another of the ROSEMARKED. Her life can end ostracized and alone or it can end on her own terms, healing others who are afflicted like her, but the chance to help others will come at a price and she will be forced to trust an enemy soldier who thirsts for vengeance against those who tortured him. They say all is fair in war, but can a woman devoted to healing and an emotionally wounded soldier become allies in a dangerous game of spycraft neither is prepared to handle on their own? Will they find a common ground that could lead to so much more?ROSEMARKED by Livia Blackburne is NOT a fantasy about war, it is a story about people, about the fact that no matter how vast the differences, even the enemy feels love, fear and loss. Ms. Blackburne focuses on the human element, compassion and the personal growth of her characters, as well as their flaws. Definitely not a fast-paced tale, there is far too much depth to rush through each scene. Feel the atmosphere of a world in chaos, the fear and devastation of the Rose Plague and the efforts of one woman to bridge the differences in people and to protect those who need her most, even if one of them happens to be a soldier she once saw as an enemy. He may be the one who needs her most.Fabulous storytelling that brings it characters to life, in a tale that is both uniquely told and deeply intriguing, built in a flawed fantasy world that is ultimately not unlike our own.I received an ARC edition from Disney Hyperion in exchange for my honest review.Series: Rosemarked - Book 1Publisher: Disney Hyperion (November 7, 2017)Publication Date: November 7, 2017Genre: YA FantasyPrint Length: 400 pagesAvailable from: Amazon | Barnes & NobleFor Reviews & More: http://tometender.blogspot.com
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  • Anissa (FairyLoot)
    January 1, 1970
    What a fantastic book! I loved Zivah and Dineas and can't wait for book two!
  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    This is a highly political fantasy that focuses on one mission between two would-be enemies. I think all the elements of this story are so well thought out, and the politics clear and intriguing.I loved that the magic of the book is based in healing and that we have two very strong personalities butting heads throughout the story.Overall, I think high fantasy fans will really enjoy Rosemarked.
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  • Dani - Perspective of a Writer
    January 1, 1970
    Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...A healer who cannot be healed is joined by a soldier shattered by war, together they will take on infiltrating the Empire... When Zivah catches the deadly rose plague her life as a healer is cut off from her, in order to recapture her life and practice her art she will become a daring spy. After being tortured and thrown out with the garbage, Dineas will undertake a mission that will mean abandoning who he has become to change the future.It took Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...A healer who cannot be healed is joined by a soldier shattered by war, together they will take on infiltrating the Empire... When Zivah catches the deadly rose plague her life as a healer is cut off from her, in order to recapture her life and practice her art she will become a daring spy. After being tortured and thrown out with the garbage, Dineas will undertake a mission that will mean abandoning who he has become to change the future.It took me quite a while after I finished this book to wrap my head around it... I requested it spur of the moment having NOT read the books marketing compares it to (The Lumatere Chronicles and An Ember in the Ashes), based solely on the emotional impressions the blurb gave me... I.E. MY GUT said to give it a go.One of my main questions is... What genre is it?!It is set in an alternate world, of a medieval nature, with an Empire honing in on other people's land. There is NO MAGIC, nor any fantasy or paranormal aspect or creature. It's not historical in nature but you can tell the writing was informed by a knowledge of world history. Due to the herblore and rampant plague I call this combination of world building fantasy realism.It takes the realistic details of a fantasy world and plays them out without any of the actual fantastical elements. A pretty neat, almost slice of life sort of world if a fantasy world were real. Due to there being NO fantasy elements, there is conflict but it is a tone and pace to life in the real world rather than the bookish one. In fact, ALL of the drama, twists and conflict is more akin to realism or real life. So while there were two pretty mega twists they are "small beans" if you compare them to your typical fantasy story.If magical realism is a favorite of your then this has a complimentary feel...Can a "sort of" fantasy story be good without fantastical elements?!YES! While the premise of an Empire dominating the area is not a new one, the details make it pop as well as the realistic nature of the story. Dineas' use of crows as messengers was pretty special! I LOVE the use of animals in stories, even common ones like birds! And his weaponlore positions him as the man who can infiltrate the army. I was really quite taken with Zivah's knowledge of herblore and her use of poisons. She's been trained as a healer and uses all of her skills to help Dineas in his role as spy. These two elements are at the core of the story and plays out in spectacular "realistic" fashion. It is definitely a unique balance as you do have to suspend disbelief that his birds and her herbs can have this affect (look at the author's credentials!) but if you do then it makes events super compelling.The plot though is well developed for both characters. Dineas must earn trust in the army and Zivah works in quarantine to find out about the outbreak in her area. And where those cross over there is a little something special brewing...Obviously with two main characters, one of each sex, this is a romance, right?Right, BUT do not expect the story to get swept aside for the romance! These two have NO REASON to fall in love. They each have some pretty bitter feelings toward life and love is NOT going to suddenly make everything they've gone through better. Again it was amazingly true to life without those hopeless tropes that make readers view romance in such an idealistic light!There was NO love triangle, NO insta-love (far from it) and really if they hadn't both taken on this task to infiltrate the Empire they NEVER would have fallen in love! I know readers are looking for books with LESS LOVE but this truly is one of the best YA romances I've read as far as pacing of their relationship and the uniqueness of their circumstances! Plus we get both characters POV which is a really great change from it being solely from the female perspective...The important question is... WAS IT GOOD?!I quite loved it! Everything was well researched and well developed and the storytelling was spot on... A truly superior dual POV narrative! Each character rang true to the personality developed and had their own unique voice that sucked you into the POV. The skills a writer has are normally hit or miss, developed over a career but here our author seems to have those skills well in hand. As a Reader...I am CHOMPING at the bit to read the next book!! At the end of this book everything has gone to hell and so you have NO CLUE where this duology is headed... that excites me as I HOPE Blackburne is able to duplicate and heighten the special mix of details and realism that she captured so well in Rosemarked.⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Premise & World Building⋆ ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Cover & Title⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Development & Storycraft⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Writing & Narrative⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Plot & Pacing⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Relationships⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ FeelingsBOTTOM LINE: Fantasy Realism with Slowburn Romance = Winner!Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.______________________You can find this review and many others on my book blog @ Perspective of a Writer. See my special perspective at the bottom of my reviews under the typewriter...
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  • Alyssa
    January 1, 1970
    OoOooOOOOOOoOOoOo!!!! Me wants.
  • Angela
    January 1, 1970
    I'll be honest. Most of the time when I get an ARC, I tend to lower my expectations. Most of the ARCs I get are first time authors and the writing and story isn't spectacular. That was not the case with Rosemarked. I thoroughly enjoyed this story! I thought the setting was original, the characters were intriguing, and the story was so...interesting. I couldn't keep it down because the dynamic between Zivah and Dineas AND Dineas was so gripping. Really enjoyed this story. I hope that the second o I'll be honest. Most of the time when I get an ARC, I tend to lower my expectations. Most of the ARCs I get are first time authors and the writing and story isn't spectacular. That was not the case with Rosemarked. I thoroughly enjoyed this story! I thought the setting was original, the characters were intriguing, and the story was so...interesting. I couldn't keep it down because the dynamic between Zivah and Dineas AND Dineas was so gripping. Really enjoyed this story. I hope that the second one comes out sooner rather than later.
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  • Jenna (Bookiemoji)
    January 1, 1970
    Read an early version and, if I may I say so myself, this story is even more richly imagined than her last! The stakes are higher, the romance is more complicated. You're sure to love it!
  • Lauren
    January 1, 1970
    I beta read this last year and I'm so excited to see these characters and stories come to life SO GOOD.
  • Kristin
    January 1, 1970
    Rosemarked will take you on one plague ridden adventure that you won't soon forget. Livia Blackburne knows how to write a beautiful story filled with death and despair that will leave you on the edge of your seat.Rosemarked... oh how I love your title and your cover. Rosemarked comes from the rose plague which infects the people of Zivah and Dineas' time. When one becomes ill with the rose plague, they develop your typical symptoms of fever and delusions, but they also develop rose colored splot Rosemarked will take you on one plague ridden adventure that you won't soon forget. Livia Blackburne knows how to write a beautiful story filled with death and despair that will leave you on the edge of your seat.Rosemarked... oh how I love your title and your cover. Rosemarked comes from the rose plague which infects the people of Zivah and Dineas' time. When one becomes ill with the rose plague, they develop your typical symptoms of fever and delusions, but they also develop rose colored splotches all over their skin. For the fortunate, they break out of the clutches of the plague but remain rosemarked. They retain the red splotches on their skin, are carriers to the disease, and will one day succumb to the fever and illness which will claim their life. The very fortunate not only persevere, but they will also come out on the other end with their splotches turned brown, and their body fully immune to the rose plague. Those lucky enough to escape the clutches of death are called the umbertouched.The book starts off with us following Zivah as she goes through her trials of becoming a healer. However, shortly after passing the trials, the capital's guard who have been stationed in her area, are showing signs of the rose plague. It's Zivah's duty to care for those in need and she sets forth to do all that she can to either cure these men, or at least give them some peace for their last days on earth. Sadly, Zivah becomes infected and ends up rosemarked. No longer able to do what she's trained all her life to do, she is sort of excommunicated to live her remaining days outside the village. Except until a rebel leader shows up and joins forces with her village's leader. Soon Zivah is put on a massive mission. She's to accompany an umbertouched rebel soldier into the heart of the capital while posing as a rosemarked healer to their rose plagued citizens. Not only will her purpose help unravel what the capital is up to, but she may also gleam some knowledge into not only curing those with the rose plague, but hopefully saving herself in the process.The romance that is mentioned is a really weird one... but in a good way. Dineas drinks a potion that makes him lose his memories, thus allowing him to blend in with the enemy without sticking out. When he's under the potion, he develops feeling for Zivah and she for him. However, every time Dineas comes back to himself (in order to report back to his rebel leader) he not only has all the memories about what he's done since he last "resurfaced" but he also feels his conflicting feelings during that time frame as well. That disconnect between the two Dineas' was so complex and well written that he felt like two completely separate characters. It's amazing the kind of person Dineas would have turned into if he hadn't been hardened by war.Okay, that's all I'm giving you guys. I don't want to go too far into it and give away the awesomeness that is this book. It was nothing like I thought it would be. We got to follow both Zivah and Dineas during their mission and it was so hard watching them both struggle with their task. Zivah is a healer and yet she comes across some brutal decisions to make that goes against all she believes in. Not to mention, Dineas is fighting with and for the men who tortured him not that long ago for about a year straight. So, needless to say, he's disgusted with himself every time the potion wears off and he remembers all the things he's done and felt while in his other state. Both of their conflicting emotions is felt through the pages and I found myself holding my breath and wishing that they didn't have to make certain choices when the time came.
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  • Rachael
    January 1, 1970
    Update 9/4/17I cannot stop thinking about this book. I am so ready for the second one to come out, and yet the first one hasn't even been released yet...it's going to be a long year.Original review:4.5When I picked up this book, I thought it was going to be another cliche, poorly plotted fantasy novel with an unoriginal and badly written romance. I was wrong. So, so wrong. I wasn't expecting what Rosemarked actually is: a political fantasy novel dealing with the ethics of healing, spying, tyrann Update 9/4/17I cannot stop thinking about this book. I am so ready for the second one to come out, and yet the first one hasn't even been released yet...it's going to be a long year.Original review:4.5When I picked up this book, I thought it was going to be another cliche, poorly plotted fantasy novel with an unoriginal and badly written romance. I was wrong. So, so wrong. I wasn't expecting what Rosemarked actually is: a political fantasy novel dealing with the ethics of healing, spying, tyranny, and radicalized patriotism with remarkable world-building, beautifully written and flawed characters, and a slow-burn romance that was enjoyable to read and didn't feel at all forced.Zivah is a lot of what made this book for me. Her internal struggles dealing with her status of a healer and using that status and her medicines for harm were surprisingly poignant and very realistic. She is SO dynamic and her friendship with Mehtap is so sweet. Dineas was a little bit of a brooder, but, unlike most "brooders," he definitely wasn't the typical deep angst love interest in most YA novels nowadays. He has PTSD and struggles a lot, but still is able to forge connections with people. I absolutely hate the "male love interest seems like a bad guy and he doesn't treat the main female character well but twist! he is a good person and a good guy" trope that seems so prevalent in YA fiction nowadays (it perpetuates rape culture and the 'not all men' movement, which makes me want to barf), and at first I thought that Dineas would fit that trope. However, I was very pleasantly surprised to see that he didn't. He is a well-rounded, fleshed out character who loves his family and friends. He is working hard to get back into the world after suffering for many years. I went from liking him to not being his biggest fan to liking him again. I look forward to see where his character goes next.I am always a sucker for well-written YA fantasy, and this is the best one I've read since the False Prince trilogy. I am highly excited to see where this series goes.
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  • Shenwei
    January 1, 1970
    *screaming* fuck it's gonna be a long wait for the sequel lmao help 😭😭😭
  • Madison
    January 1, 1970
    Rosemarked is a richly detailed fantasy that has a fairytale feel but is entirely unique and cleverly crafted. I so enjoyed sinking into this delightful story. I was enraptured by the first chapter. Here are just a few of the things I loved most about it: the references to herbs and their uses for healing; the complicated morality aspect and the way in which is this so cleverly conveyed through the chapters; the girl who takes down a trained warrior by using her poisonous pet snake; the use of a Rosemarked is a richly detailed fantasy that has a fairytale feel but is entirely unique and cleverly crafted. I so enjoyed sinking into this delightful story. I was enraptured by the first chapter. Here are just a few of the things I loved most about it: the references to herbs and their uses for healing; the complicated morality aspect and the way in which is this so cleverly conveyed through the chapters; the girl who takes down a trained warrior by using her poisonous pet snake; the use of a variety of weapons from bows and arrows to swords, daggers and poison; the messenger crows; that tantalising hint of romance, high-stakes tension and the quote: "I may not be a walking armory, but I'm not completely helpless".Zivah is a healer. She has trained many years and undergone many trials to finally earn her healer's sash. But when there is a sudden outbreak of the rose plague in the soldiers patrolling her mountain village, Zivah also finds herself falling ill with the deadly and highly contagious disease. Now she is an outcast, unable to use her healing skills, her final days numbered. Until she discovers that her village leader has been conspiring with a group of rebels. She is tasked with a job no one else can do - journey to the enemy Amparan Empire's Rosemarked settlement to act as a healer. Along with her is the rebel fighter Dineas. He has been captured and tortured by the Amparan's before, has had the Rose plague and survived as one of the few immune Umbertouched. Her job is to use her skills with herbs to remove Dineas' memory so he can infiltrate the Amparan forces. Together, they risk discovery to steal information that might help protect their people.Rosemarked is written in alternating chapters from both Zivah and Dineas' points of view. This allows the reader to get a good understanding of both characters, really get inside their heads. This is particularly effective when Zivah takes away Dineas' memories. Gone are the terrors of his time being tortured. Gone are his first, rather unflattering, impressions of Zivah. Gone is his history of fighting for his freedom and loathing the Amparan Empire. It's almost like there are suddenly three characters. Zivah struggles with the morality behind her actions, liking the Dineas without his memories better than the one, in those few moments when she temporarily restores his memories, with them. Dineas also struggles, especially with his thoughts and the actions he must take when he has no memory of his true people or the real reason he is now fighting in the Amparan army. This complex morality question, the way it confuses Zivah and Dineas, the way in which it affects how they grow to feel about each other was so very interesting. It makes the hint of romance so very tortured and delightful, bitter and sweet. Loved it.Rosemarked has been likened to one of my absolute favourite fantasy series, The Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta. I agree, as it shares many of the same themes: two young people living in a world where their land has been taken, where they must fight for the survival of their people, and the same fantasy feel without there being a whole lot of magic. Rosemarked also reminded me of the Study series by Maria V. Snyder. Perhaps it is the use of herbs, the way animals are used, the fighting, or the banter between Dineas and his fellow Amparan soldiers, but it has the same feels as Poison Study. I cannot give two higher recommendations. But even better, Rosemarked is suitable for readers aged 12 and up and there is no reason why I can't give it to slightly younger readers, which makes it perfect for fantasy YA fans of all ages.I could go on forever about everything I loved about this book - the setting, which feels part Asian mountains to Arabain-nights-esk desert, or maybe the romance (can't wait to see how this develops in the next book!). The risk of Zivah and Dineas' deception and how this draws them closer to each other but also, conflictingly, closer to their Amparan enemies is tantalising, and I just loved the messenger crows. I want my own Scrawny. Or maybe Zivah's very poisonous pet snake, Diadem. This is a fantastic new fantasy book, the first in what promises to be an amazing series. Very highly recommended.The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.Find more reviews, reading age guides, content advisory, and recommendations on my blog Madison's Library.
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  • Moira
    January 1, 1970
    Number of pages: 400Number of times read (including the time before this review): 1Rating (out of five stars): 3Release 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 Number of pages: 400Number of times read (including the time before this review): 1Rating (out of five stars): 3Release 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.You can read more of my reviews on my blog.
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  • Ellen
    January 1, 1970
    Excellent YA fantasy/adventure with a dash of hidden romance. Zivah & Dineas live under the oppressive rule of the Empire, although from differing factions. His tribe chooses to actively fight back, while her village chooses to accommodate their overlords. Until circumstances find them allied together in enemy territory. An added twist has Dineas literally playing two roles, one in which he is much more open to romance with Zivah, and the other, not so much. Lots to admire & appreciate i Excellent YA fantasy/adventure with a dash of hidden romance. Zivah & Dineas live under the oppressive rule of the Empire, although from differing factions. His tribe chooses to actively fight back, while her village chooses to accommodate their overlords. Until circumstances find them allied together in enemy territory. An added twist has Dineas literally playing two roles, one in which he is much more open to romance with Zivah, and the other, not so much. Lots to admire & appreciate in this unexpected tale - highly recommended!
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  • Eri (Airy Reads)
    January 1, 1970
    I'm actually pretty ambivalent about fantasy books overall, but when they get it right, I adore them. Livia Blackburne really delivers with Rosemarked and I was riveted throughout the entire story. It almost reminds me of one of my favorite fantasy series, The Lumatere Chronicles, with the deceptive plot, intricate character dynamics and layered political intrigue.ANYWAY READ THIS BOOK WHEN IT RELEASES
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  • Olivia (The Candid Cover)
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 SarsReview to come!
  • Anna
    January 1, 1970
    I've been reading less YA lately, because I often get frustrated by the same rehashed plots and forced, contrived romances. Rosemarked contained neither of those things.This was a truly delightful book. The plot may originally seem like the standard oppressed teenage rebellion against the evil empire, but it takes shape in a unique and engaging way that quickly sets it apart. The characters were interesting and felt well fleshed out, even the side characters. Zivah and Dineas both felt genuine, I've been reading less YA lately, because I often get frustrated by the same rehashed plots and forced, contrived romances. Rosemarked contained neither of those things.This was a truly delightful book. The plot may originally seem like the standard oppressed teenage rebellion against the evil empire, but it takes shape in a unique and engaging way that quickly sets it apart. The characters were interesting and felt well fleshed out, even the side characters. Zivah and Dineas both felt genuine, and their struggles felt very real. Zivah in particular captivated me from the start. Her struggles to balance her commitment to healing and her vows with the reality of her situation were compelling, and I loved the growth and strength that she displays over the course of the story. Her experiences as a "rosemarked", being feared and rejected for nothing but the apparent crime of not quite recovering but not having died yet, are heartbreaking but in an important way. The fact that she allows herself to seek and rely on help from others, but is still ultimately quite capable of looking after herself and others was also something that I liked about her.Dineas was equally compelling. While I would have liked to see a bit more of his backstory, you don't need much of it to really feel for him and what he's going through. His character is explored in an interesting way that raises some thought-provoking questions about identity and ethics, and drives home the very real impact of PTSD. Dineas' character did feel a little bit less developed than Zivah's, but that's understandable given the nature of his storyline(s). You got to see an interesting dichotomy in many of the characters because of his unique situation, which was something I appreciated.Although Zivah and Dineas originally feel some animosity towards each other, their reasons for their attitudes are valid, and they are never the blind, unthinking enemies you often see in other books for the sake of heightened drama. The development of their relationship feels just as organic, and it never detracts from their individual characters. It was also intriguingly complex, and a refreshing departure from the simple enemies-become-lovers-because-of-sheer-prolonged-proximity trope.While the somewhat slower pacing of this book was perhaps its weakest point, it made sense for the story and the fact that it's a setup for a series - a series that I'm very much looking forward to the rest of!
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  • Brittani
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this! It's been a couple years since I read a Livia Blackburne book, but her writing just has this nice, familiar style that I really enjoy. I love how complicated everything about this book is, from the characters to their many different relationships and how those complications are addressed throughout the book. Much of the book left me making pained noises, as things just kept getting more and more complicated and difficult for the two main characters. I really appreciated th I really enjoyed this! It's been a couple years since I read a Livia Blackburne book, but her writing just has this nice, familiar style that I really enjoy. I love how complicated everything about this book is, from the characters to their many different relationships and how those complications are addressed throughout the book. Much of the book left me making pained noises, as things just kept getting more and more complicated and difficult for the two main characters. I really appreciated the way Blackburne handled Dineas' PTSD, although I wish he had talked about it with someone (that's more because I want him to heal in some way than a fault of the book - it's entirely in character for him to not speak about it). I also greatly enjoyed the way Zivah deals with the realities of being rosemarked and what that means for her and her place in her society.My one small complaint is there are some abrupt time shifts throughout the book. While I appreciate moving the plot along, the time shifts kinda happened out of nowhere. It would just be "three weeks later..." in the next paragraph. This might be due to the formatting of the arc and there might be some kind of marker in the finalized copy, so it wasn't a huge issue and I could still follow along. Really, I just wanted to read more about these characters and all their interactions, so even though it might've slowed the plot I still personally would've appreciated more.Fans of An Ember in the Ashes and The Winner's Curse should give this a try! I highly recommend it for its complicated look at relationships, war, and healing.I was provided a free copy of this book on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Abi (The Knights Who Say Book)
    January 1, 1970
    *I received an advance reader copy in exchange for an honest review*Rosemarked comes out in less than two weeks!!When Zivah, a former healer now exiled from her village by an infectious disease, is forced to team up with the bitter soldier Dineas to try and find a weakness in the evil Amparan Empire, she devises a way to use the disease to their advantage… but it will involve playing a dangerous game with Dineas’s memory that could bring disaster on them all.I really adored this book. It felt li *I received an advance reader copy in exchange for an honest review*Rosemarked comes out in less than two weeks!!When Zivah, a former healer now exiled from her village by an infectious disease, is forced to team up with the bitter soldier Dineas to try and find a weakness in the evil Amparan Empire, she devises a way to use the disease to their advantage… but it will involve playing a dangerous game with Dineas’s memory that could bring disaster on them all.I really adored this book. It felt like the “spunky rebels fight against evil empire in fantasy setting” book I’d been missing — An Ember in the Ashes without all the sexual assault that wasn’t my thing, The Winner's Curse without the slave/master romance, Red Queen but with a love-hate relationship between the love interests that I actually enjoyed.One great thing about Rosemarked is Zivah’s role as a healer. The book really explores the morality of her choices through the lens of her oath to save lives and questions if her choices that hurt people now are justified by helping others in the future. And on a more fun note, she gets to use her healer skills to be a badass poisoner! It’s a weapon you don’t see too many YA heroines use (at least, not as common as a sword or pure magic) and I loved how the author managed to work it into more action-y scenes even though it’s not a traditional battle weapon. Zivah was definitely my favorite character.Of course, Dineas was cool in his own way too. Being the one whose mind is being messed with makes his chapters filled with interesting contrasts and adds most of the tension to the book. I was really impressed with the use of memory-wiping in Rosemarked, because I don’t think I’ve seen it done this way in any other book. Rather than being used to erase progress the character had made, it was intertwined with the character development.All in all, Rosemarked brought up plenty of new and interesting ideas while still retaining the feel of YA books I already love. I will be recommending it to all fantasy fans!
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  • Renee Brown
    January 1, 1970
    Blackburne has set her latest page turner in a war-torn world beset by plague. The perpectives of Zivah, the healer, and Dineas, the rebel warrior, are cleverly alternated throughout the story as the political intrigue - and tension - rises. The characters are engaging and believable, and as the story progresses, their conflicted feelings advance the storyline. I'm looking forward to the sequel!!!
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  • The Belle
    January 1, 1970
    Zivah was considered one of the blessed ones. Having found her calling as a healer at an early age, she devoted her time and energy almost exclusively to the art of saving those around her. Under the expert tutelage of her teachers of the class of master healers, Zivah learned how to weave simple herbs into complex potions that could bring the sick back from the brink of death. She learned the reverence to be found at the feet of the Goddess; the one who doles out the power of healing carefully Zivah was considered one of the blessed ones. Having found her calling as a healer at an early age, she devoted her time and energy almost exclusively to the art of saving those around her. Under the expert tutelage of her teachers of the class of master healers, Zivah learned how to weave simple herbs into complex potions that could bring the sick back from the brink of death. She learned the reverence to be found at the feet of the Goddess; the one who doles out the power of healing carefully and with great thought, and the one who had chosen to bestow Her gift upon the pretty village girl. Zivah found her purpose.Wrapped up in the comforts of the new life that awaits her after graduation, the quiet chaos around her is none of her concern. It is not her responsibility to dwell on the mindful arts of war and conquering. Zivah's place is in the hospital or at a bedside, where she can put her hands to good use. But when the rose plague begins to spread curiously and unexpectedly across the troop of imperial soldiers occupying her village, Zivah's world must collide with those who would do her people harm.Despite her meticulous precautions, Zivah finds herself infected with the dreaded rose plague. There is no known cure in existence for the fever-ridden illness, and there are only three ways out: Death, forever plagued and a lifetime of quarantine, or the true blessing of the gods - to come out of the fever umbertouched; meaning, free from the rose plague and immune to it forevermore.Unfortunately for the newly marked healer, the plague took it's own course and decided to claim Zivah as one of its cruelest victims. She is forever rosemarked; her skin bears the marks of the disease and she must be put into strict isolation away from anyone who does not also have the illness, or the few who are lucky enough to be umbertouched. What can a healer who cannot be healed do? Her days as a healer are over . . . or so she thought.Dineas was nearly broken by his stint in an Amparan prison. Beaten, tortured and eventually thrown out like trash to die after succumbing to the rose plague fevers, he was thankfully saved by a passing villager and nursed to health. Sent on his way as soon as he was able to walk, Dineas slowly made his way back to his tribe - the warrior people of Shidadi. Upon the reunion, he is told of the whispers of a plan being hatched in the Amapran Empire. The lands and villages of the gentle people in the outskirts of the city are sure to be threatened with attack as the Emperor seeks to extend the boundaries of his territories. A war that may eliminate everyone in the small villages and clusters of homesteads is sure to occur. In an effort to save those innocent lives, the Shidadi leaders have drummed up a plot of their own, and they need Dineas to help implement it. They also need the help of someone on the inside.When the invitation to come and settle in Amapara's rosemarked community and resume her work as a healer reaches Zivah, she is equal parts confused and intrigued. She'd done her best to save the revered Commander Arxa when he'd come down with the rose plague along with the other soldiers while in occupation of her village. But, she had done so mostly for fear that if the man died, the Empire would come down on her village with an iron fist and blame. She never expected that his thanks would come in the form of a job in the city, and she is tempted. Living alone in isolation is more than lonely, it is dreadfully sad and is leaving her on the brink of giving up. When the leader of her village and the strange Shidadi woman come to her with a proposition - to help garner inside knowledge of the plans going on inside of the city in an attempt to head things off - Zivah knows what she must do. Even if it means joining forces with the moody and surly Shidadi warrior, Dineas.The two unlikely partners will grudgingly work together to concoct a story interlaced with lies and truth, burrowing their way as deep into the Amparan city life as they can get. In an attempt to attain their goal, they will mutually push the boundaries of their moral codes, sometimes finding themselves at the very edge of reasoning. Using all of the lessons she has learned as a healer, Zivah will pull together potions that muddle and erase Dineas' memory, allowing him to fully immerse himself into the life of a loyal soldier of Amapara. She will be virtually in control of his truth and as a result, there will be two Dineas' in existence. And as a softer shadow of the ruthless warrior begins to emerge, he will begin to look at everything with fresh eyes.Rosemarked is a novel centered around two strong characters - one male and one female - making the story appropriate and deliciously captivating for all audiences. While the taste of romance lingers around the edges of the dangerous double-lives Zivah and Dineas are living, readers can be assured that the novel is suitable for ages of a (mature) 10+. Set in a richly woven fantasy world, the author has fully delivered in terms of originality and a relatable nature, something that is sometimes difficult to achieve when writing fantasy novels. Both main characters evoke empathy and trust, and readers will find disappointment only when the book comes to its close.I may have spoiled myself a bit by indulging in the deeply detailed and well-researched fantasy-esque novels by educated women writers like Diana Gabaldon and Deborah Harkness, and as a result, I sometimes have a hard time getting into young adult books with a similar theme. Rosemarked, however, had me from the jump. I guess it doesn't hurt that Livia Blackburne (the author who penned this as well as the Midnight Thief novels) is a scholar herself. Boasting a PhD from the acclaimed Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a master in the degrees of neuroscience in accordance to reading, Blackburne is about as qualified a writer as one will find in the YA genre. Mixing innate intelligence with a fluid flair of danger, Blackburne has spun a tale centered around courage and morality, while also giving us a hunky hero and a quick-witted heroine.Giving Rosemarked a solid 5 out of 5 stars, I recommend it to lovers of the fantasy genre - especially if you like it dosed with a liberal dash of double-agentry. Readers who have enjoyed Maria V. Snyder's Avry of Kazan series will be interested in this duology, as will mature readers looking for a taste of lighter fare this fall.
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  • Carina Olsen
    January 1, 1970
    I had hoped to love this book. Because it looks gorgeous and sounded pretty amazing too, and I adore Livia. But, yeah. This one ended up being so disappointing for me. I just didn't care at all. I didn't like the writing, I didn't like the characters, and only somewhat liked the story. So I'm sadly giving this one two stars.And oh, I will have you know that two star books are the worst to write reviews for. At least with a one star you know you hated everything. But that wasn't truly the case wi I had hoped to love this book. Because it looks gorgeous and sounded pretty amazing too, and I adore Livia. But, yeah. This one ended up being so disappointing for me. I just didn't care at all. I didn't like the writing, I didn't like the characters, and only somewhat liked the story. So I'm sadly giving this one two stars.And oh, I will have you know that two star books are the worst to write reviews for. At least with a one star you know you hated everything. But that wasn't truly the case with this book. Because there wasn't anything for me to hate. It was just boring. Nothing happened. I felt nothing for any of the characters. Disappointing.And so I am unsure what to write about this book. As I feel pretty meh about it all. Wishing I could say the characters were unique and exciting to read about. But they really weren't. This book is told from two point of views, Zivah and Dineas. It takes place in a regular sort of world, just far in the past, it seemed like. They live in different villages and have different beliefs and such. I wish I had found all of this interesting, but I did not. I didn't care about their village or their lives. Or what they were fighting against and such. I just found it to be boring. Sigh. Zivah is a healer in her village, and she has a great family. But I cared nothing for any of it. Her family was just there, in the background. She thinks about them a few times, but I didn't feel a connection, tbh.And I simply did not care one bit about the healer parts of the book. Probably because I felt like it was written a bit badly. I'm not sure. I just was not able to get lost in this story or care about these characters. Like, Dineas. The book starts with him just having gotten away after being a prisoner of war and being tortured all the time for a whole year. Yet there are only a few flashbacks about it, and they were so tame and boring, and I cared not one bit. It wasn't exciting. It wasn't heartbreaking, like it was supposed to be.And so I just did not like the main characters at all. I didn't see anything to like about them, sadly. And that made the book even harder for me to finish reading. But the one thing I was curious about was parts of the plot, the rose plague. I wanted to know more about it, but yeah, again I felt like it wasn't written well enough or focused enough on at all. Zivah fell ill, but survived, though she is now rosemarked and fated to die in a few years, and she can never touch anyone healthy, as she would infect them with the plague.Dineas escaped from the prison because they thought he was dead from the plague, but he wasn't. He survived and ended up with the lighter marks, which means he can't infect anyone and he won't die. I was curious about this plot. And wanted to know more about this plague. But yeah, didn't get to read enough about it at all. Aw. The thing that I didn't like very much about this book at all was the whole memory loss thingy. I guess some will find it exciting and different, but I simply did not. It annoyed me, to be honest.See, this whole book is about Zivah and Dineas going undercover for their villages. They are sent to the main city in this world, and are supposed to report back on things going on with a war. Sadly this didn't make much sense to me, sending those two young people in there. I didn't find it exciting at all. Because most of the book is just time moving ahead, and nothing happening. Zivah is busy treating patients that are infected. Dineas is busy fighting in the army now. And it was just so incredibly boring to read about.But back to the memory thing. Since Zivah is a healer, she knows of a venom that makes it possible for a person to control their memories. And so she and Dineas uses this on him. They erase all his memories. Then give them all back again at certain moments in the book, so that he can remember hidden details and such. And so of course Zivah is falling in love with this new Dineas that doesn't remember anything. He isn't angry and broken like the old one, hahaha.. Yeah. I cared nothing for this. At all. Disappointing.I'm not going to say more about this book. Simply because there isn't anything more to say. I spent the whole book thinking about how boring it was and how I didn't care for the characters or their fight. And that small romance was way too small and weird and I did not approve. Feels like it might be better in book two, so that's good, but yeah, I did not care. I did like some parts of the plot, which is why this is a two star. And because I didn't hate the book. Just felt nothing. Which is worse, to be fully honest. Aw.Huge thank you to Cassie at Disney Hyperion for letting me reading this book early via NetGalley. I'm glad that I was able to read this book, I just feel so sad that I didn't end up enjoying it. I really wanted to, though. And I'm still going to get my pre-order of this book, as I have already ordered it, and, well. It do look gorgeous. And I am still curious about the second book, as I do wish to know what happens next. But mostly Rosemarked was disappointing for me. I'm curious, though, what others will think of this one.---This review was first posted on my blog, Carina's Books, here: http://carinabooks.blogspot.no/2017/0...
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  • Lydia
    January 1, 1970
    (I was sent an eARC through NetGalley from Disney publishing in exchange for an honest review)I always TRY not to judge a book by it's cover, but by its ending.Rosemarked was one of my most anticipated reads of the year, and I'm honestly ecstatic to tell you that it 98% lived up to my expectations.From page one, I adopted a "THESE CHARACTERS ARE MY PRECIOUS BABIES" outlook, and I absolutely flew through Livia Blackburne's new novel, and I am now eyeing up her 'Midnight Thief' trilogy with eager (I was sent an eARC through NetGalley from Disney publishing in exchange for an honest review)I always TRY not to judge a book by it's cover, but by its ending.Rosemarked was one of my most anticipated reads of the year, and I'm honestly ecstatic to tell you that it 98% lived up to my expectations.From page one, I adopted a "THESE CHARACTERS ARE MY PRECIOUS BABIES" outlook, and I absolutely flew through Livia Blackburne's new novel, and I am now eyeing up her 'Midnight Thief' trilogy with eager puppy-dog eyes.Blackburne's writing alone is enough to make you fall in love.Combined with the world, the storyline and the characters - I warn you, you're in for a wild, emotional ride.I'll put my hands up and say I finished reading Rosemarked whilst sat in a Brass Band concert, sneakily hiding my kindle and just allowing myself to fall completely into the story, with the music only adding to my experience.My point, though, is to show you just how gripping Rosemarked is.I finished it in less than 24 hours, and I'm feeling a little bit emotionally unstable from it's almost-perfection.Whilst this book has easily earned a 5 star review from me, I have to talk about one of the things it does - which is my leAST FAVOURITE BOOK TROPE IN THE WORLD (although some of you might like it, and that's totally okay).The plot of the book is essentially this:Beautiful young girl, who dedicates herself to saving lives. Handsome young boy who is an expert at taking lives. One, a law-abiding citizen, one a clans-man, a criminal. An outlaw. Boy and girl meet. Boy and girl have instant, sizzling chemistry sparking with sarcasm and barely-disguised hatred--(This isn't even the thing I don't like. I loooooove me some adorable characters who don't get on well at first)Lots of action ensues. Murder. Chaos. And of course, the deadly rose plague makes an appearance. Lots of them.The plot is so tantalisingly gripping that I can't go into detail without giving too much away.HOWEVER. SKIP TO THE END. (***DISCLAIMER: PEOPLE MAY ACCOUNT WHAT I SAY NEXT AS A SPOILER***)Boy and girl ride off into the sunset. Not necessarily in love or anything, so don't worry - I won't spoil that much for you. BUT.THE SUNSET SETTING?Puh-lease.I absolutely adore plot twists and cliff hangers. I like to have SOMETHING that will 100% ensure that I will pick up the next book in a series.And though I don't think it's been confirmed if this is a stand alone or not (there'S A HELL OF A LET LEFT UNSOLVED IF SO), but there's no MASSIVE issues. Our main babies are safe, the pet crows are safe, the pet snake is safe (#priorities) and other than the fact that I absolutely adored the rest of the boo, there is nothing encouraging me to find out what happens next...I guess the ending just fell flat for me.Which is heartbreaking.But maybe YA needs some refreshing hope being pumped back into it.Maybe, just this once - it's okay for us to know that our main characters are still alive.Gives us a little anticipation for the future <3A little... something.OVERALL, THIS BOOK WAS F R E A K I NG AMAZING.It was absolutely a breath of fresh air into my reading choices, and I loved almost every single page <3If you haven't already planned to pick up this book yet... dO IT.- SilverWolfReads, howling her opinions online xx
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  • Christina (christinareads_)
    January 1, 1970
    Review also on Christina Reads and BlogsWhen I started Rosemarked, I had a hard time getting into the story. It has a slow beginning, and kind of remains rather show throughout the book. There is some action, but I felt like I was waiting for it for so long that it didn't live up to the hype in my mind. I like the plot and have a weakness for rebels, which is what made me keep reading. While there were some parts I wasn't too keen on, this book did have scenes I enjoyed.Rosemarked follows Zivah, Review also on Christina Reads and BlogsWhen I started Rosemarked, I had a hard time getting into the story. It has a slow beginning, and kind of remains rather show throughout the book. There is some action, but I felt like I was waiting for it for so long that it didn't live up to the hype in my mind. I like the plot and have a weakness for rebels, which is what made me keep reading. While there were some parts I wasn't too keen on, this book did have scenes I enjoyed.Rosemarked follows Zivah, a woman who works hard at becoming a healer only to succumb to a disease without a cure, and Dineas, a man part of a rebellious tribe trying to exact revenge against the empire. The story alternates between their points of view as they try to make a difference in their own ways.I really enjoyed Zivah's character development. In the beginning, she thinks she's touched by the Goddess to be a healer, but when she is infected by the disease she works so hard to cure the soldiers of, it throws her for a loop. She now has to figure out how she can be helpful while also being an outcast from society. Dineas was a bit harder to like, but I do think the author did a great job showing his two sides, and reconciling them when Dineas was back to his regular self. (I won't say more in case Zivah and Dineas's plan spoil the plot for some readers) I'd like to see how their relationship grows in the next book.There is a villain in this story! The identity isn't fully realized until probably 70% of the way through and I still wasn't sure about the motives, so I hope in the next story we kind of understand more about that character. I'd rather the person be a bit more complex than a power-hungry manipulator. The side characters themselves weren't entirely memorable, and seemed to be put there to help the main characters grow. I didn't feel connected to any one of them. Maybe when the characters are reunited with some that had made an appearance in the beginning of this book, we'll get to know them better.One thing that really did annoy me was how things seemed to be resolved or an obstacle was overcome somewhat easily. There would be moments where one of the characters seemed thwarted, but then something would happen that would immediately resolve the issue for them. When I got to the final chapters of the book, I was growing irritated by this.Overall, I thought Rosemarked was an interested read, and plan on reading the next book in the series. I'm hoping the side characters will be more developed and there will be more action. I do think you have to be prepared for some slow sections, particularly in the beginning. But stick with it. The story is worth it.************************ARC provided via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Kirsten Seidel
    January 1, 1970
    I was given an advanced reading copy of this book through netgalley in exchange for an honest review.Rosemarked, by Livia Blackburne is an adventure from start to finish! This story follows two characters, Zivah - a young healer to her people, and incredibly talented at her craft, and Dineas - a young fighter who is skilled and highly regarded among his people. Rosemarked is told from both of these perspectives. Without giving too much away, the story follows these characters during a time when I was given an advanced reading copy of this book through netgalley in exchange for an honest review.Rosemarked, by Livia Blackburne is an adventure from start to finish! This story follows two characters, Zivah - a young healer to her people, and incredibly talented at her craft, and Dineas - a young fighter who is skilled and highly regarded among his people. Rosemarked is told from both of these perspectives. Without giving too much away, the story follows these characters during a time when the Amparan empire is slowly taking over all of the territories, either by peace or by force. Additionally, there is The Rose Plague spreading through the people of this land, and if you become touched by the plague and "Rosemarked", you will either die or survive one of two ways: as umbertouched, and immune to future sickness, or still Rosemarked, and your days are numbered - a delayed death. The adventure comes when the two main characters begin a journey into the heart of the empire - with the help of Zivah's medical genius and Dineas' aided ability to pose as a soldier, this adventure will have you on edge and worrying about whether or not they'll be successful in their task. This story has additional twists and turns that were unexpected when first going in, and the way that the characters adventure plays out had a unique element which, while I'm trying very hard not to spoil, I deeply enjoyed! The different perspectives and headspaces throughout this adventure were simply awesome, and this book kept me up until 1AM eager to find out how it ended!
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  • Kelsey Wheeler
    January 1, 1970
    I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It's unlike anything I have ever read with a plague, potions, and a soldier. The book is fast paced and never has a dual moment. It doesn't take long at all to get to the start of Zivah and Diaeas mission. This world Livia Blackburne created is unlike any other. The book is both in Zivah and Diaeas's POV depending on the chapter you are reading. I think that made the story even better. I loved Zivah and Diaeas and all the side characters. They all had there own gr I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It's unlike anything I have ever read with a plague, potions, and a soldier. The book is fast paced and never has a dual moment. It doesn't take long at all to get to the start of Zivah and Diaeas mission. This world Livia Blackburne created is unlike any other. The book is both in Zivah and Diaeas's POV depending on the chapter you are reading. I think that made the story even better. I loved Zivah and Diaeas and all the side characters. They all had there own great personalities. The writing of this book was great. Blackburne did a great job especially on the "two Diaeas's" 😉 There were unexpected twists, and moments that had me holding my breath. Things that I didn't think would happen. Some parts had my heart skipping a beat. This book really was something else. The ending came fast and it was great. I am already dying to have the next book. I am rooting for Zivah and Diaeas and their people and I hope there will be peace, but I have a feeling there will definitely be war.
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  • Meg (PopReadsBox)
    January 1, 1970
    I really, really enjoyed this book! It was suspenseful and intriguing up until the very end. The rose plague takes the lives of many in this world and leaves others with marks foretelling its return. Zivah is a young but accomplished healer and Dineas is a skilled warrior. Both are from different peoples but are also, unknowingly, on the same team. Thrown together to infiltrate the enemy, they don't exactly care much for each other but will have to work together for the good of their people. In I really, really enjoyed this book! It was suspenseful and intriguing up until the very end. The rose plague takes the lives of many in this world and leaves others with marks foretelling its return. Zivah is a young but accomplished healer and Dineas is a skilled warrior. Both are from different peoples but are also, unknowingly, on the same team. Thrown together to infiltrate the enemy, they don't exactly care much for each other but will have to work together for the good of their people. In order to gain access to the enemy both have to leave their people and live in the world of the empire. I loved both characters and found myself rooting for them to get together. I have hope for Zivah and Dineas in the second book and can't wait to go back to this world!
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