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Fawkes
Cover of Fawkes
Fawkes
A Novel
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"Fawkes is the perfect mix of history and magic." —Cynthia Hand, New York Times bestselling author of My Lady Jane

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.

"I was up late in the night reading, waiting to get to the fifth of November to see how the plot would actually unfold, and it did not disappoint. An imaginative, colorful tale about choosing for yourself between what's right and what others insist is the truth." —Cynthia Hand, New York Times bestselling author of My Lady Jane

"Hold on to your heart as this slow-burning adventure quickly escalates into an explosion of magic, love, and the truth about loyalty." —Mary Weber, bestselling author of the Storm Siren Trilogy

"Fawkes is a tale full of spiritual depth, tragedy, and hope. A beautifully written allegory for the magic of faith, with an achingly relatable hero who pulls you into his world heart and soul. A must-read for all fantasy fans!" —Lorie Langdon, author of Olivia Twist

"A brilliant book that fulfills every expectation. Brandes turns seventeenth century London into a magical place. I was captivated by the allegory of her magic system and how she blended that fantasy with history. I highly recommend this gripping and beautifully crafted book to all. It will leave you both entertained and pondering matters raised in the storyline long after you've finished reading." —Jill Williamson, Christy Award-winning author of By Darkness Hid and Captives

"A magical retelling of the seventeenth century's famous Gunpowder Plot that will sweep you back in time—to a divided England where plagues can turn you to stone and magic has a voice. Deft and clever, Fawkes is a vibrant story about the search for truth and issues relevant to us, still, today." —Tosca Lee, New York Times bestselling author

"Fawkes is the perfect mix of history and magic." —Cynthia Hand, New York Times bestselling author of My Lady Jane

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.

"I was up late in the night reading, waiting to get to the fifth of November to see how the plot would actually unfold, and it did not disappoint. An imaginative, colorful tale about choosing for yourself between what's right and what others insist is the truth." —Cynthia Hand, New York Times bestselling author of My Lady Jane

"Hold on to your heart as this slow-burning adventure quickly escalates into an explosion of magic, love, and the truth about loyalty." —Mary Weber, bestselling author of the Storm Siren Trilogy

"Fawkes is a tale full of spiritual depth, tragedy, and hope. A beautifully written allegory for the magic of faith, with an achingly relatable hero who pulls you into his world heart and soul. A must-read for all fantasy fans!" —Lorie Langdon, author of Olivia Twist

"A brilliant book that fulfills every expectation. Brandes turns seventeenth century London into a magical place. I was captivated by the allegory of her magic system and how she blended that fantasy with history. I highly recommend this gripping and beautifully crafted book to all. It will leave you both entertained and pondering matters raised in the storyline long after you've finished reading." —Jill Williamson, Christy Award-winning author of By Darkness Hid and Captives

"A magical retelling of the seventeenth century's famous Gunpowder Plot that will sweep you back in time—to a divided England where plagues can turn you to stone and magic has a voice. Deft and clever, Fawkes is a vibrant story about the search for truth and issues relevant to us, still, today." —Tosca Lee, New York Times bestselling author

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Reviews-
  • Kirkus

    May 1, 2018
    The infamous Gunpowder Plot of 1605 is reworked with a fantasy twist.At St. Peter's Color School, Thomas Fawkes is desperate to pass his Color Test and access his magical powers. Afflicted by the Stone Plague and shunned by his peers, Thomas waits in vain for Guy Fawkes, his father, to arrive and pass on his powers. However, Fawkes senior sends word that he is not coming, and Thomas is expelled from school. He escapes to London, where he finds Guy and joins a plot to murder King James and several hundred parliamentarians in an England divided between persecuted Keepers (Catholics) and dominant Igniters (Protestants). Thomas' love interest, Emma Areben, is an Igniter of African descent, and while there is some narrative around race and slavery, it lacks enough detail to offer major insights into the social structure and mores of the time. The book's historical flair--most characters were real people--is muted by Brandes' (A Time to Rise, 2016, etc.) melodramatic writing style and contrived dialogue. The result is an awkward mélange of modern teenage angst and excessively stylized faux historical dialect. Characters traipse through a series of shallow epiphanies, with little opportunity for real insight, and the treatment of space and movement is clumsy, leaving readers struggling to visualize important scenes.Despite its allegorical promise and imaginative recasting, Fawkes' execution leaves plenty to be desired. (author's note, discussion questions) (Historical fantasy. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    June 1, 2018

    Gr 7 Up-This historical fantasy set in 1600s London takes the story of Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot and gives it a spellbinding spin. Thomas has not seen his father in more than 13 years, but he knows that the famous Guy Fawkes will show up to his son's color test. Only a father can give his son a mask, which will then attach him to a certain color of magic. Thomas desperately wishes to bind himself to grey magic so that he can heal himself of the stone plague. When Guy Fawkes fails to appear at the time Thomas needs him most, the teen decides to take matters into his own hands. He heads to London to find his father and demand a mask from him. He's soon thrust into a dangerous city where Keepers (those bound to only one color) are being hunted and killed by Ignitors (those who use White Light to control multiple colors). Thomas manages to locate his father and quickly becomes part of the conspiracy to kill King James, and hopefully, end both the plague and the persecution of the Keepers. The only problem is that Thomas hears White Light speaking to him and badly wants to answer its call-especially when he sees the Ignitor power of his crush, Emma. Brandes successfully blends magic into history, and one can easily see both sides of the conflict as Thomas struggles with his choice. VERDICT A recommended purchase where the genre is in demand.-Heather Webb, Worthington Libraries, OH

    Copyright 2018 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    June 4, 2018
    In this historical fantasy set in early 17th-century England, a young man becomes embroiled in a conspiracy to assassinate King James I and blow up the House of Lords, all to impress his father and receive the magical powers he feels are his birthright. With his body slowly petrifying thanks to the Stone Plague, Thomas Fawkes’ only hope is to earn the mask that will grant him the power of color speech, which can reverse the Plague. But first he has to prove himself to his father, Guy Fawkes, and his fellow conspirators, who seek an end to the ongoing war between the Keepers and the Igniters, who currently hold the throne. His only true ally: Emma Areben, a noble girl with her own potentially devastating secrets. Set against the backdrop of the infamous Gunpowder Plot but with a paranormal parallel reflecting the real-life Protestant and Catholic conflicts of the day, this adventure tackles class and race issues. While Brandes’ (A Time to Rise) color-based magic system could use further development, Thomas’ struggle for survival and acceptance, and the chemistry he shares with Emma, make this a satisfying tale. Ages 12–up. Agent: Steve Laube, the Steve Laube Agency.

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A Novel
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