There are certain books that I clear my schedule for. Books that I make sure I have nothing planned the day they come out so that I can devote my time to reading. Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer was one of those books.
Last Tuesday night I came straight home from work, changed into my jammies, put a do not disturb message up on Facebook and Twitter and then spent the evening just like this.
It's taken me several days to be able to get to a place that I felt that I could even attempt to organize my thoughts about this book. I'm still not sure I'm going to make any sense in this review, especially since I'm going to try and keep it spoiler free.
Calla Tor declares herself a warrior in the first lines of the Nightshade. She and her pack take pride in their warrior status. The events in Nightshade and Wolfsbane leave no doubt that a final showdown between the Searchers and Keepers is going to happen. So, it is no surprise that Bloodrose is the scene of the last strategic moves building up to the battle, the actual battle, and the after effects of those events.
As with any war there are casualties on both sides and things to do not always go as planned. It's in those moments that Andrea works her magic. Andrea has assembled a cast of characters that are fierce, loyal, broken and beautiful. The things that happen to these characters are funny and heart wrenching and swoon-worthy and unfair and inspiring. These characters are strong and when they are pushed to their limits they truly shine.
This book is not easy to read. It's brutal. There was one scene in the book that just about broke me. I had to close the cover and simply just cry. But in addition to the brutality, which always comes with war, Bloodrose is also beautiful and exciting and stunning. There are several moments that moved me to tears because of their beauty and the growth of the characters involved in those moments. The end of Bloodrose threw me for a loop. I had spent a lot of time contemplating what would happen in the book but I did not see that coming. Once I recovered from my shock I knew that this was the logical and the only correct ending- all is as it should be.
The Nightshade series has become one of my all time favorite series. I love the ups and downs, the swoons, the heartbreak and the message. I've spent the last few days pondering the series as a whole and I feel a deep sense of satisfaction and peace. I'm so thankful that Andrea shared Calla and her friends with us.
I'll leave you with the two tweets I sent after I finished the book- they sum up my thoughts perfectly.
Dear Andrea Cremer: I don't know if I want to hug you, scream at you or just cry on your shoulder. Bloodrose is beautiful. Thank you <3
I cried myself to sleep over fictional characters last night. That is the sign of a brilliantly written book.