Guy Fawkes’s son must join his father’s plot to kill the king in this magical retelling of the Gunpowder Plot that will sweep you back in time to a divided England where plagues turn victims to stone.
In 17th-century London two forces rule the people: the color powers and the Stone Plague. Brown masks can manipulate wood. Black masks control the night. And red masks . . . Well, red is the color of blood.
Thomas Fawkes’s Color Test is upon him, and he is sure his father, the infamous Guy Fawkes, will present him with a mask and Thomas will finally bond with a color. He desperately hopes for a gray mask so he can remove the stone that has invaded his body and will ultimately take his life.
But when Guy refuses to give Thomas his mask or even his presence, Thomas has no place in school or society. His only hope is to track down his father and demand a mask to regain what he’s lost. But his father has other plans: to kill the king.
Thomas must join forces with his father if he wants to save his own life. When his errands for the cause bring him time and again to Emma Areben, a former classmate, Thomas is exposed to a whole new brand of magic. And Emma doesn’t control just one color—she controls them all.
Emma wants to show Thomas the full power of color magic, but it goes against everything his father is fighting for. If Thomas sides with his father, he could save his own life—which would destroy Emma and her family. To save one, he must sacrifice 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.
Praise for Fawkes:
“An imaginative, colorful tale about choosing for yourself between what's right and what others insist is the truth.” —Cynthia Hand, New York Times bestselling author of My Lady Jane
“Hold on to your heart as this slow burning adventure quickly escalates into an explosion of magic, love, and the truth about loyalty.” —Mary Weber, bestselling author of the Storm Siren Trilogy and To Best the Boys
Full-length young adult historical fantasyIncludes discussion questions for book clubsAlso by Nadine Brandes: Romanov and Wishtress, coming September 2022
In this historical fantasy set in early 17th-century England, a young man becomes embroiled in a conspiracy to assassinate King James I and blow up the House of Lords, all to impress his father and receive the magical powers he feels are his birthright. With his body slowly petrifying thanks to the Stone Plague, Thomas Fawkes' only hope is to earn the mask that will grant him the power of color speech, which can reverse the Plague. But first he has to prove himself to his father, Guy Fawkes, and his fellow conspirators, who seek an end to the ongoing war between the Keepers and the Igniters, who currently hold the throne. His only true ally: Emma Areben, a noble girl with her own potentially devastating secrets. Set against the backdrop of the infamous Gunpowder Plot but with a paranormal parallel reflecting the real-life Protestant and Catholic conflicts of the day, this adventure tackles class and race issues. While Brandes' (A Time to Rise) color-based magic system could use further development, Thomas' struggle for survival and acceptance, and the chemistry he shares with Emma, make this a satisfying tale. Ages 12 up. \n
I love the way Nadine tells this story! I cried in the end, and I never cry in books, so that mean it’s great! Hah. I really like Thomas and Emmas’ characters.