I really enjoyed Rook by Sharon Cameron.The cover caught my eye at the bookstore and I love stories with arranged marriages and masked vigilantes.
History has a way of repeating itself. In the Sunken City that was once Paris, all who oppose the new revolution are being put to the blade. Except for those who disappear from their prison cells, a red-tipped rook feather left in their place. Is the mysterious Red Rook a savior of the innocent or a criminal?
Meanwhile, across the sea in the Commonwealth, Sophia Bellamy’s arranged marriage to the wealthy René Hasard is the last chance to save her family from ruin. But when the search for the Red Rook comes straight to her doorstep, Sophia discovers that her fiancé is not all he seems. Which is only fair, because neither is she.
As the Red Rook grows bolder and the stakes grow higher, Sophia and René find themselves locked in a tantalizing game of cat and mouse.
This novel is so much more than an exciting, action-packed tale about justice in a world drowning in oppression. It had this depth to it that spoke to the literary academic in me. In fact, Rook is an homage to the early 20th-century adventure novel The Scarlet Pimpernel, which is where some elements of the plot and the red-tipped rook feather come from. The creation of this new Paris, where the “time before” is the modern, plastic world we all know was brilliant world-building. I loved that Sophia and her family collected ancient artifacts (i.e. plastic things) and I loved the underlying commentary about history repeating itself. It’s hard to imagine a world where they forget all the knowledge and innovation that’s been discovered before, but history tells us this has happened and Rook is Cameron’s way of exploring that dystopian future.
This future is so entertaining because of characters like Sophia and René. They are both amazing in their own right. Sophia is a strong, badass heroine that fights for what is right and for the life of her brother. Without giving too much away, René has his own personal motives and people he cares deeply about. I really enjoyed the cat and mouse game between them. They had fun, witty banter and some electric tension. The transition from the arrangement to the end is heart-warming and left me sighing in contentment by the end.
“He thought she was someone who could break the pattern of history. And he was offering to break it with her.”
There is tons of action in this book. The suspense was killing me at times. Would so and so be rescued? Would they get there in time? Who is good and who is bad? These questions swirled through my mind as the stakes grew higher and higher as Sophia races to save her family. This is an edge-of-your-seat kind of book.
Rook was exciting, romantic and intriguing. If you like books with political games, daring rescues and an inconvenient but irresistible romance, this book is for you.
STARS: 5 out of 5