Rook

Here's Kate with a review of Sharon Cameron's Rook. I loved The Dark Unwinding and am so glad any time I see something new from Sharon Cameron. Read on!

About the Book

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.

Kate's Review

I’m a fan of The Dark Unwinding series so I was very excited to read this new book. I have to say my excitement grew when I discovered its similarities in feel and adventure to one of my all time favorite novels, The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emma Orczy. If you are looking for a swashbuckler of a story, this book is definitely for you.

Although the story is set in a dystopian era after an event referred to as The Great Death, you can feel an historical sense of the French Revolution and the chaos that ran rampant in the streets of Paris. Just as in that time, Cameron has set up a clash between the classes separated into the Upper and Sunken Cities. This clash has created an opportunistic dictator and his loyal henchman set on destroying the upper class by any means possible, including religious fanaticism as well as political persecution. 

In this atmosphere, we met Sophia Bellamy. She has taken on the role of family savior as well as society's champion for Justice.  This is another great female protagonist to root for as she strives to save those who can’t save themselves, and possibly achieve her own happiness in the process.

As this is a Young Adult novel, there are the makings of a love triangle, but we aren’t left hanging as to what our heroine feels and who truly has her heart. We are given ringside seats as Sophia tries to reconcile her old life to the possibility of a new one and find the courage to make the changes necessary. I have to say I’m a fan of this latest bad boy rogue, Rene.  His dry wit and sarcasm really make his “fool” persona a winner in my book.

Overall, I really enjoyed the adventure of reading this book. The pacing was just right for the action and I never felt like it stalled with explanations of time, place, or atmosphere. Although the dystopian references did throw me at times, the historical feel of the story usually had me back on track in no time. There are disguises, fencing, narrow escapes, explosions and a few Channel crossings to boot. Who can ask for more?

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About the author

Sharon Cameron was awarded the 2009 Sue Alexander Most Promising New Work Award by the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators for her debut novel, The Dark Unwinding. When not writing Sharon can be found thumbing dusty tomes, shooting her longbow, or indulging in her lifelong search for secret passages. Find out more at http://sharoncameronbooks.com and tweet @cameronsharone


Have you read Rook or any other Sharon Cameron book? If you haven't, would you want to? Let us know in the comments!