A copy of this book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review.
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.
I loved Cameron’s debut duology and was certain that I’d love this book as well because I love her writing style so much. I was right! Rook was another wonderfully imagined story with a historical feel. You can tell that Cameron researches the time period she’s deriving inspiration from and utilizes her knowledge in really unique and wonderful ways.
Rook was told in third person which doesn’t always work for me. I tend to lose a bit of my connection to the characters when told this way but after a slightly slower start I was immersed and really entranced with Sophia. She was head strong, brave yet she wasn’t perfect by any means.
I really enjoy Cameron’s approach to her romances. They never overshadow the storyline and yet they are swoon-worthy. I shipped the couple in this book even though I was never certain of who I could trust 100%. All the characters seemed to have so much they were hiding from each other and it being told in third person really helped keep the mystery of everyone’s motivations.
In high school The Scarlet Pimpernel was one of my favorite assigned reading so I loved that Cameron took bits of that story as inspiration and also tied it into this story. It was done beautifully and hopefully it’ll encourage folks that haven’t read Pimpernel to read it. Another great element that came as a surprise for me was that Rook was set in an apocalyptic world. I didn’t know that going into this one (I rarely read summaries if I know I love the author already). Cameron really took a great approach to a world that has had to restructure and sees the past as a mystery and something to fear.
So, the writing worked for me, and I loved the characters and their interactions. The storyline was gripping and I wasn’t able to predict the outcome so why only 4 stars? Well, my only issue was that the pacing felt off to me. The beginning and end were much slower to me than the middle section and though I was invested in the story the ending felt overly long. This could be a mood thing for me and I’d be interested to hear if you had that same issue if/ when you read it. Regardless, it is a book worth reading.
Rook was another strong novel from Sharon Cameron. I loved her original take on an apocalyptic world as well as her characters. Though the story was full of interesting mystery the ending did drag for me.