Rook by Sharon Cameron is going to be this month’s Book Spotlight. I wanted to showcase this particular book for several reasons. The first is that it was amazing and has so many valuable lessons in it. The second is that because I consider Sharon a friend I didn’t want you guys to feel as though that would bias an actual review.
First let me give you some more information on Rook
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 first heard about Rook in 2013 while I was interning for Sharon. She told me it was partially inspired by the Scarlett Pimpernel where I am sure a blank stare was given because I had never read it before. A brief description was given to me about what she was going to be doing in this book and while it sounded amazing at the time, I couldn’t really have imagined how the book was going to play out until I read it. I also helped do some research for the book while I was interning (although I have no idea how much help I actually was) but even those glimpses of information didn’t give anything away.
When I first saw the cover and read the tagline “What will be has already been…” I basically freaked out. I loved it. The book is set in a future that has basically regressed back into the past. Sharon loves history so there was no other way this book could have been written.
When the book was released in April I was so excited to be able to attend the launch party. Even though I had helped with blog tours for her previous two books, I was unable to attend the launches.
Here are all the things I LOVED about Rook and why you should read it too. There are SLIGHT SPOILERS ahead, but I don’t think anything too major.
1. The Red Rook.
Seems pretty obvious that I would love the main character, but she’s pretty awesome. What I liked about her is that she doesn’t change herself at all in this book. She lives in a social circle where it’s extremely important for her to get married or else some bad things are going to happen, but what does she want to do instead of saying some vows? Save lives and kick ass while doing it. She commands the respect of everyone around her, whether they know her personally or if they just by the red tipped rook feathers she leaves in empty prison cells. This is also the story of a girl (young woman really!) who just wants to save people and then ends up saying an entire country. (Think Katniss Everdeen, but much cooler and more brilliant)
2. The Love Triangle That’s Not Really a Love Triangle
Here is my face whenever I see a love triangle in anything:
So you can imagine my enthusiasm when this book…does not have one. I don’t think that’s a spoiler…maybe if you’re rooting for the wrong guy? Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely multiple guys vying for Sophie’s heart but that does not mean at all that she is torn between two people and I love that! Sophie is basically so busy trying to figure out how to SAVE LIVES that she doesn’t need to worry about men! Can she please just come and be my personal hero because I love her!
3. The Way the Love Happens
I have read so many books and watched so many movies where the romance between two characters isn’t organic. Either it happens way too quickly and unrealistically or it’s just straight up unbelievable. Not so here. Remember what I said about Sophie (or Sophia if someone is unfamiliar with her) not changing herself? It totally rings true here and that is by far one of my favorite things about this book. She doesn’t just fall in love with someone as a plot point or because the audience wants her too. She doesn’t become the person someone else wants to be so that she can fit into their view of the perfect match. She remains the same. The person she falls in love with loves her BECAUSE of who she is. This is someone who will not “allow” or “tolerate” who she is because he loves her, but loves her because of who she is. Do you guys see how important this is? This is someone who not only appreciates every single thing about her, but also encourages her to continue to be herself and even joins forces with her. This is someone who not only supports her dreams but is right there trudging beside her through who knows what to help her do anything she dreams. And at the same time she supports him. It’s basically a perfect relationship that honestly made me fall in love with this guy more than Lane from The Dark Unwinding which was basically an almost impossible task before I read this book.
4. The World
This one is a little harder to talk about without giving too much away. Just know that Sharon creates an amazing world to set this story in. I mentioned before that it’s set in the future in a place like the past, but she still created an entirely unique view of this world. There are multiple new political systems, a brand new society, different economic standards, and different religions. It also brings forward a new way to think about the world we live in now. Are we too reliant on technology? And how valuable are the things we use in everyday life that we take for granted and see as garbage. You all will understand when you get to the world “DIET”.
This book stuck with me after reading it in a way I haven’t experienced in quite a while. I was still thinking about it over an hour after I finished it and actually missed the characters. I read this book over the course of several months and it the characters had been with me for so long that I actually missed them when I was finished.
I hope that you will all take a moment to read this awesome book and let me know your thoughts on it!