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I Belong

Early Review: RoseBlood by A.G. Howard

rosebloodTitle: RoseBlood

Author: A.G. Howard

Genre: YA Fantasy

Series: N/A

Publication Date: January 10, 2017

Format: Hardcover, 432 Pages

ISBN-10: 1419719092 (Amulet Books)

ISBN-13: 978-1419719097 (Amulet Books)

Reviewed by: Michelle


Rune Germaine moves to a boarding school outside of Paris, only to discover that at this opera-house-turned-music-conservatory, phantoms really do exist. RoseBlood is aPhantom of the Opera–inspired retelling in which Rune’s biggest talent—her voice—is also her biggest curse. Fans of Daughter of Smoke and Bone and the Splintered series will find themselves captivated by this pulse-pounding spin on a classic tale.

Rune, whose voice has been compared to that of an angel, has a mysterious affliction linked to her talent that leaves her sick and drained at the end of every performance. Convinced creative direction will cure her, her mother ships her off to a French boarding school for the arts, rumored to have a haunted past.

Shortly after arriving at RoseBlood conservatory, Rune starts to believe something otherworldly is indeed afoot. The mystery boy she’s seen frequenting the graveyard beside the opera house doesn’t have any classes at the school, and vanishes almost as quickly as he appears. When Rune begins to develop a secret friendship with the elusive Thorn, who dresses in clothing straight out of the 19th century, she realizes that in his presence she feels cured. Thorn may be falling for Rune, but the phantom haunting RoseBlood wants her for a very specific and dangerous purpose. As their love continues to grow, Thorn is faced with an impossible choice: lead Rune to her destruction, or save her and face the wrath of the phantom, the only father he’s ever known.

Quick & DirtyMystery, intrigue, and thrilling describe this wonderful reinvented classic.

Opening SentenceAt home, I have a poster on my wall of a rose that’s bleeding.

Excerpt: No

The Review:

RoseBlood by AG Howard is a wonderful reinvention of a classic tale. I have adored The Phantom of the Opera since I was younger, and I have not yet read anything quite like RoseBlood! Howard does an amazing job recreating this world and these characters. There is definitely a peculiar twist to Howard’s version, but I definitely enjoyed it.

Mystery, intrigue, and thrilling describe the words of RoseBlood. Rune Germain has a talent that is both musical and surreal. But while most find it beautiful and remarkable, Rune does not. She finds it horrific at times, more of a burden than a gift. Friends, musical transformations, and dreams are a part of her new life in France, and Rune slowly loses touch of reality itself. A new romance begins, most definitely putting her in the middle of danger.

Rune is definitely filled with an uncanny perplexity. She is not a standard main character. It is like she has an animosity towards her talents, when I feel it is more fear. Her past has haunted her for some time now, preventing her to forgive herself and simply put everything behind her. At times it made her less appealing to me, but it was a personality quirk that I accepted.

I didn’t completely understand Thorn. I didn’t connect with him the way others may have, but I did appreciate how Howard built him into this enigma. Thorn was on a path, knowing only his father and the values in which he was raised. To me, Thorn became a rift between who he was and who he wanted to be. It was fascinating reading him, to clearly see the moment that he knew his life changed forever.

There’s a twist to this story that I won’t spoil, but will say shocked me. I didn’t realize what was happening in the story until I was knee deep into obsession. It was great to feel that way about a story that took me by surprise. It was great to know that an author made me get lost in her own words in a world that she reinvented.

You have to make sure to add RoseBlood to your list of books to read. AG Howard is amazing, and you will not regret it!

Notable Scene:

Thorn often wondered if he had the strength to refuse his father’s will, now that he knew. But this had evolved to something beyond Erik’s web of persuasion. Thorn owed him his life and purpose, and would do most anything to hear pride and praise on the strains of Erik’s beautiful voice—no matter how maniacal or horrific the request. He wanted to be the son Erik needed.

The man behind the masks was his father in all the ways that counted. And family counted above all else.

So, of course Thorn would take him to Rune, as soon as Erik had digested her song’s energy and could make the trip. They would be silent in their observance; she’d never know they were there. A slight detour from their relaxed Sunday routine of resting in their rooms wouldn’t hurt.

Thorn told himself this, in hopes to stifle the truth: that he himself wanted to see her again, and that later, when he and Father returned home, he would pick up his violin. After two years of sleep, his muse had reawakened.

Tonight, he would serenade Rune in her dreams once more.


FTC Advisory: Amulet Books provided me with a copy of RoseBlood. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.  


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