Book Reviews

Review: Rosemarked by Livia Blackburne

Note to self, start reading the summaries before reading. Reading Rosemarked during a pandemic was a certainly unique experience. The whole keeping distance and worrying about germs – SO REAL! Keep reading this book review to see how that experience was for me.


A healer who cannot be healed . . .

When Zivah falls prey to the deadly rose plague, she knows it’s only a matter of time before she fully succumbs. Now she’s destined to live her last days in isolation, cut off from her people and unable to practice her art—until a threat to her village creates a need that only she can fill.

A soldier shattered by war . . .

Broken by torture at the hands of the Amparan Empire, Dineas thirsts for revenge against his captors. Now escaped and reunited with his tribe, he’ll do anything to free them from Amparan rule—even if it means undertaking a plan that risks not only his life but his very self.

Thrust together on a high-stakes mission to spy on the capital, the two couldn’t be more different: Zivah, deeply committed to her vow of healing, and Dineas, yearning for vengeance. But as they grow closer, they must find common ground to protect those they love. And amidst the constant fear of discovery, the two grapple with a mutual attraction that could break both of their carefully guarded hearts.


I think my favorite elements of Rosemarked were the pacing and the themes. I knew that Rosemarked was a duology, and the pacing was just so fantastic. There weren’t times where I felt like the plot was dragging, or one of those things where the last 20% has five million reveals. I appreciate when books, especially beginnings of series, don’t do this because they can feel so rushed. But Rosemarked wasn’t like that for me. At the same time, it asks questions about memory and loyalty.

Are we the same person without our memories? In some ways, do they hold us back, keep us from speaking truths? For Dineas and Zivah, are they going to be able to spy? To tell lies and keep secrets? I enjoyed both Dineas and Zivah as characters. While neither of them felt like they were me, I had a good understanding of who they were. The pieces of themselves they have to hide, that they reveal, that they risk. There’s a steady thrum of action, even if I was reading mainly for the slow burn romance!

Find Rosemarked on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


Would you read a book now about this pandemic?

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