Fawkes by Nadine Brandes – Book Review, Preview

Posted August 18, 2018 by Phyllis Helton in Blog Tours, Book Reviews, Giveaways /

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Fawkes by Nadine Brandes - Book Review, Preview

Hiding behind a mask, I was able to pretend I was someone completely different from the real me. No one could see my face. Only my eyes were exposed to give a hint to the person behind the facade.

The awkward thing about masks, though, (especially the cheap ones that I wore with my costumes) was that they never seemed to fit right and that made seeing difficult.

So many people hide behind masks every day, refusing to allow others to see who they really are. Some hide behind their possessions, some their clothes. Others simply use a smile to mask when their heart is crying out in pain.

Jesus desires for us to strip away our mask and allow ourselves to be vulnerable to Him. Not because He can’t already see us as we are – it is an act of humility and of trust. A surrender. Though it can be a fearful thing to be so exposed, He is always trustworthy and loves us.



Fawkes by Nadine Brandes – Book Review, Preview


by Nadine Brandes

Published by Thomas Nelson
Publication Date July 10, 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Young Adult, Clean Romance
Setting: England Middle Ages - 400 to 1600
Main Character Ages: 15-18
Written for: Adults, High-School/Young Adult
Pages: 448


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 received a complimentary copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.

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Masks and magic and mayhem. In a society that drew power from hiding behind masks given to them by their parents, Thomas Fawkes desired nothing more than to receive his mask and the color magic that would come from it.

 Fawkes is a fascinating blend of historical fiction and fantasy. The author took the details of the Gunpowder Plot and made them into an allegorical story where the conflict isn’t over religion but over color magic and light.

I really loved the analogy of God being the pure color from which all other colors get their being. I also appreciated the way that everyone knew that the White Light talked to everyone, attempting to woo them in the way that God woos us to Himself. There were no specific references to God or religion, yet the parallel drawn was evident to me. Non-Christians would not be offended by anything in the book.

Thomas was an interesting hero. He was wonderfully flawed and weak, not even having received the mask that would provide him with power. His Spiritual journey as he sought the love and approval of his father was touching.

Emma was wonderful! She was feisty, strong and wholly committed to following the White Light. Her relationship with it allowed her to accomplish amazing things. Her mask completely hid her face yet she radiated a beauty that was unmistakable.

While I did enjoy the story and the way the allegory was handled, there were places that things seemed to move slowly and I didn’t find myself riveted to the book.

If you read this book, be sure to see the author’s notes at the back to see what parts are based on history and which are entirely fantasy. I found that interesting as well.


Nadine's Fawkes Pinterest Board

(click here to go directly to the board on Pinterest) [gs_pinterest user="nadinebrandes" board="fawkes"]


(1) Winner will win a finished copy of Fawkes (Open Internationally)

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule shown below. Giveaway will begin at midnight August 16, 2018 and last through 11:59 PM EST on August 23, 2018. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Due to shipping cost, only US mailing addresses valid.  For our giveaway rules and policy, click HERE.

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About Nadine Brandes

Nadine Brandes once spent four days as a sea cook in the name of book research. She is the author of the award-winning Out of Time Series and her inner fangirl perks up at the mention of soul-talk, Quidditch, bookstagram, and Oreos. When she’s not busy writing novels about bold living, she’s adventuring through Middle Earth or taste-testing a new chai. She and her Auror husband live in a Tiny House on wheels. Current mission: paint the world in shalom.

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