Review: Fawkes


Title: Fawkes
Author: Nadine Brandes
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: July 10, 2018
Rating: ★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

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. 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.


This story has a strange mix of true history and fantasy. Some of the events and characters were real. Guy Fawkes did take part in a gun powder plot to kill King James. But, in reality, there were no Keepers and Igniters who could control colour. There is even a different kind of plague in this story. This one turns a body to stone, rather than making someone sick. It was sometimes hard to keep track of what was real and what was fiction.

The war between Keepers (the people who only controlled one colour) and the Igniters (the people who controlled more that one colour) resembled the fight between Protestants and Catholics. They use the same information, in this case controlling colours, in different ways. Racial issues also came up multiple times in the story. Unfortunately, this separation of religions and races is still prevalent today, just as in the 17th century.

This book was good. I liked the way it rewrote history, with a fantasy twist.

Have you read this book? What did you think?

One thought on “Review: Fawkes”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.