Book Review: Fawkes by Nadine Brandes

I have another book review today. I am going to be reviewing Fawkes by Nadine Brandes, which has been on my TBR for the longest time. It is a historical fantasy that takes place in 1600s England, and follows an attempt to assassinate the King. It’s protagonist is Thomas Fawkes, son of Guy Fawkes, a historical figure who was involved in the real plot. I’ll include the Goodreads synopsis however, as it will give you a little more insight.

This review will be completely spoiler free, so don’t worry about that!


Thomas Fawkes is turning to stone, and the only cure to the Stone Plague is to join his father’s plot to assassinate the king of England.
Silent wars leave the most carnage. The wars that are never declared, but are carried out in dark alleys with masks and hidden knives. Wars where color power alters the natural rhythm of 17th century London. And when the king calls for peace, no one listens until he finally calls for death.
But what if death finds him first?
Keepers think the Igniters caused the plague. Igniters think the Keepers did. But all Thomas knows is that the Stone Plague infecting his eye is spreading. And if he doesn’t do something soon, he’ll be a lifeless statue. So when his Keeper father, Guy Fawkes, invites him to join the Gunpowder Plot—claiming it will put an end to the plague—Thomas is in.
The plan: use 36 barrels of gunpowder to blow up the Igniter King.
The problem: Doing so will destroy the family of the girl Thomas loves. But backing out of the plot will send his father and the other plotters to the gallows. To save one, Thomas will lose the other.
No matter Thomas’s choice, one thing is clear: once the decision is made and the color masks have been put on, there’s no turning back.


Publication Date: 10th July 2018

Page Number: 448 pages

Publisher: Thomas Nelson


RATING: 3/5 stars.

 The writing style in Fawkes was really nice. There were some very quotable lines, which were quite clever. I really appreciated how the writing style managed to seamlessly weave in historical details.

“We need to fight for truth. Your beliefs can be misguided.”- Nadine Brandes, Fawkes.

Fawkes also had a really intriguing plot. I thought it was a really unique point in history to craft a story around, and there was definitely a tale to tell. I liked how she took the issues of the time (for example, the plague, and religion) and made them fantastical.

I liked the characters, but I feel like I could have connected with them a lot more. By the end, I had so many questions about some characters that I would have liked answered. I just felt like I didn’t really know them by the end. I did love the developing relationship between Thomas and his Father, though! And, Emma was awesome! I wish she got more page time.

 I found the pace of Fawkes to be quite slow at times, with little action or big events happening. I think this book could have been slightly more concise, to create the addictive readership quality, where you can’t put the book down.

Ultimately, I did enjoy Fawkes, and I’m glad I read it. I don’t think I’ve read a book set in that time period before, but I’d definitely be open to reading more.

So, there’s my thoughts on Fawkes by Nadine Brandes. Have you read it? If so, what did you think? I’d love to know!


thank you for reading niamh

11 thoughts on “Book Review: Fawkes by Nadine Brandes

  1. I haven’t heard of this book before but you’ve got me intrigued ! I tend to like historical books, so I might check this out soon! glad you liked it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Same here! That was the only real issue I had with it, which is disappointing considering it’s a very unique read! I know lots of people don’t feel the same as me though, so who knows? Maybe it wouldn’t be slow for you!

      Thanks for reading & commenting 💛


  2. This was such a nice review! I haven’t heard of this book but it sounds very cool – I don’t really mind slow books so I might like this one because this premise sounds amazing (and I also want to read more historical books haha)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I ultimately really enjoyed it so definitely give it a go! I love historical fiction so if you need any recommendations to get into the genre, I’d love to help! If you don’t mind slow, you should try The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman. It’s slow to get into, but it’s one of my favourite historical fantasies ever.

      Thanks so much for reading! 💖


  3. I hadn’t heard of this book but I’ve been looking for more historical fiction to read and the fact that it’s fantasy too is so cool! I’ll have to check it out.

    Liked by 1 person

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