[A quick note: Crimson Time is the first in an ongoing series. The second book title has been announced bit I wasn’t able to find a release date as of yet, so I think that’s probably coming soon. Also, can we take a moment to appreciate this beautiful cover?! It’s so eye-catching! While fantasy is my first favorite genre, historical happens to be my second, and there’s plenty of history in this book to satisfy. Since it has heavy French vibes, I couldn’t resist pairing some French Macaroons for this photo. Because I loooove French Macaroons. My favorite is pistachio and also I love the chocolate flavored ones too.]
“𝗡𝘂𝗺𝗯𝗲𝗿𝘀 𝗶𝗻 𝗮 𝘁𝗲𝘅𝘁𝗯𝗼𝗼𝗸 𝗮𝗿𝗲𝗻’𝘁 𝗺𝘂𝗰𝗵 𝗺𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝗻 𝗶𝗻𝗸 𝗼𝗻 𝗮 𝗽𝗮𝗴𝗲 𝘂𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗹 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝘀𝗲𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗵𝘂𝗺𝗮𝗻 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗺.”—Emily VanderBent
When a tragic fire kills Adelaide’s parents, she’s the only one who doesn’t believe it’s an accident. A year later, a mysterious invitation arrives inviting her to attend the Red Rose Society, a secret order of descendants of historical figures. She sees this as her opportunity to get answers. But to make it into the Red Rose Society, she’ll have to survive a trip to the past and outsmart the other initiates before the clock runs out.
A secret society, a trip back in time, and a search for answers, this adventure was a fast and fun read. I loved the premise behind the Red Rose Society. It was so creative. The idea that “good blood always shows itself” and members must come from prominent historical figures was something I’ve never encountered. This was probably my favorite aspect of this story.
Then you have the aspects of time travel and lay lines, which adds layers upon layers. The trip back in time was really cool. I don’t want to give too much away, but readers find themselves in historical France during a pivotal time. The initiates of the Red Rose Society are given a task that must be achieved in a short period of time, which turns into a vicious competition. That added plenty of action to keep the pages flipping.
Adelaide’s struggle was realistic. Her parents were taken from her and all she wants is answers. This makes her easy to relate to. She’s not afraid to do what is necessary to get those answers, even if it means stepping out of her comfort zone.
This book is on the shorter side, so it’s something that can be read in one sitting, if desired. I guess my only critique is, I would have liked a bit deeper detail, perhaps a little more time spent in the historical time, and a slightly longer read overall. But even still, Emily’s writing style is succinct and keeps you turning pages quickly, offering plenty of intrigue. Plus, the story ends in a way that has you asking more questions. I’m already eager for the next book, which officially has a title! Fractured Past. And I’ll definitely be sticking around to see what happens next. 𝗠𝗬 𝗥𝗔𝗧𝗜𝗡𝗚: 𝟰/𝟱⭐️
A big thank you to Emily VanderBent for providing me a review copy in exchange for my honest review!