Fawkes by Nadine Brandes is one of those books that draws you into a world, enlightens you with its magic, and then sends you back to reality, so you can enlighten others while you glow!
Nadine used the history of Guy Fawkes and the failed attempt to blow the parliament as a base to her story, that follows Guy Fawkes’s son, Thomas, into an incredible magical journey.
‘’A foundation of truth represents what life was intended to be.’’
Thomas is about to get his mask, that is supposed to make him control one colour. He also happens to be affected with the plague, that turns his face into stone. His family are all Keepers, and he, by default is a keeper too. But things are never that simple. What will happen when he might not get his mask, and the plague is about to kill him?
We follow the journey of Thomas through a first – person perspective. He feels incomplete when he has the plague, and all his life he is waiting to get his mask, and to be able to control a colour. Any colour, even though he prefers Grey.
Only with my mask could I bond with a color.
But on the day when he is about to receive his mask from his dad, he learns that his father is in London, and is not willing to come.
Scared for his life, and angry at his father, he goes into an adventure to find him. His father is Guy Fawkes, a Keeper that is involved in a Gunpowder plot, which will kill the whole parliament, and most importantly, the king of England, who is the cause of the plague!
Thomas joins the plot, knowing that this is the last chance for him to survive the plague! If the king is dead, the plague would be gone. But will it?
I never imagined a single moment of acceptance could reverse a year of bitterness and prejudice.
Through Thomas’s eyes, we see a war between the Keepers and the Igniters. It might be a metaphor for the Catholics and Protestants, but I won’t go into this now. The Keepers were loyal to one color only, and Igniters wanted to control all colors. Igniters used the White Colour as a source to control all power. But White Color doesn’t obey like other colours do – the White Color makes people go crazy for power and glory. Something similar to the ring in Lord of The Rings.
‘’Igniters believe that for each Keeper that dies, one person is cured of the plague’’.
We see Thomas caught between two sides – the keepers want to be free of oppression, and the Igniters want to be free to use color speech as they wanted. On such a crossroad, Thomas wants to find the truth for himself. But there is no time, and not many people that he can trust.
‘’You’ve given me your truth. I have to find it for myself for it to become mine. And curiosity is the first step’’.
On his journey, his relationship with Emma becomes stronger. She is an Igniter, and they share different beliefs, and she also knows he has the plague. But she is still around, and she accepts his as he is. And Thomas, taught to always hide his face, because otherwise he would be killed by the Igniters, is able to relax around Emma. This will teach him to accept Emma as she is, once she tells him her secret.
I loved the character of Emma. She is a strong person, but unable to show her true self due to the fact that she is not like the others, that she is not the same. In this book it is also shown quite well how women were underestimated in the 17th century. How they were thought to be unworthy. The only bit I didn’t like about Emma is that, even though such strong character, she would have never fought for herself if Thomas wasn’t there to ‘’save’’ her.
This book is a lovely story about Thomas, and how he finds his true self, how he is not afraid to stand up for the things he believes in, how he learns that he shouldn’t be hiding his true self anymore and embrace his fears, as they might turn out to be the best things that ever happened in his life.
‘’Take a breath, Thomas. There has always been fear. There will always be fear. It’s up to us to stand tall, even when the fear demands we bow to it.’’
So yes, my lovely readers, I loved this book so much! I loved the magical moments, I loved how it turned out to be an amazing plot, based on real history events. I loved Thomas’s character, and I loved Emma. I loved Guy Fawkes as well, especially in the end of the book.
If you happen to love these types of books, please get your copy as soon as you can. You won’t regret it at all!
I have received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.