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4.5 14
by Sharon Cameron

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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


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.

Daring intrigue, delicious romance, and spine-tingling suspense fill the pages of this extraordinary tale from award-winning author Sharon Cameron.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The Scarlet Pimpernel gets an eco-disaster update as Cameron (The Dark Unwinding) imagines how civilization would regress if a shift in Earth’s magnetic poles caused worldwide catastrophe. One could contest whether the structures and worldview of 1790s France would reemerge as a stabilization point 800 years after the apocalypse, but given this scenario, Cameron puts an entertaining spin on the original. Eighteen-year-old Sophia Bellamy, enabled by paternal inattention and fraternal complicity, darts between the ravaged British coastline and a partially sunken Paris. As the Red Rook, she rescues French prisoners doomed to the Razor by the malignant security chief LeBlanc. At home, she faces a loveless marriage to René Hasard, LeBlanc’s foppish cousin. Their engagement is still new when Sophia realizes that there is more substance to René—and more hazard in their situation—than she had reckoned with. Alas, one element Cameron preserves is the Pimpernel’s thoroughly male-constructed reality. While energetic, Sophia is nevertheless dependent not only on her beau but on a panoply of fairy-tale good guys to get her out of her messes. Ages 12–up. Agent: Kelly Sonnack, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Apr.)
From the Publisher

Praise for Rook:

A YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults selection

An Indiebound Indie Next Top Ten selection

Winner of the Parents' Choice Gold Award

"The suspense kicks right off in this action-packed tale, quickly wrapping readers up in the drama." -- Romantic Times

"Full of derring-do and double crosses, this romantic adventure is thoroughly engrossing." -- Kirkus Reviews

"Cameron crafts a brilliant homage to The Scarlet Pimpernel yet also manages to make her telling unique, particularly in... the many twists, turns, betrayals, and lucky breaks [that] will keep readers breathless until the very end." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Rook is sure to be a read all readers will remember." -- Portland Book Review

Praise for The Dark Unwinding:

A YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults selection

Winner of the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award

"Utterly original, romantic, and spellbindingly imaginative." -- USA Today

"Haunting thrills unfurl..." -- Entertainment Weekly

"Gripping twists, rich language, and an evocative landscape." -- Publishers Weekly

"[A] singularly polished piece." -- The Horn Book

"A strikingly original, twisty gothic tale that holds surprises around every dark corner." --Judy Blundell, author of What I Saw and How I Lied

Praise for A Spark Unseen:

"Gripping... [an] absorbing, intelligent adventure." -- Kirkus Reviews

VOYA, April 2015 (Vol. 38, No. 1) - Jessica Atherton
In this stunning homage to The Scarlet Pimpernel, sixteen-year-old Sophia looks like a high-society debutante engaged to an equally foppish young man, but she hides a secret identity. As the Rook, Sophia saves innocents from the guillotine and stirs up trouble for the people in power. Her career as a revolutionary runs into trouble when she discovers that her fiancé’s rakish façade disguises his true character. Sophia must place her trust in the right places or a final dungeon rescue will either free those she loves or end her life. Author of The Dark Unwinding (Scholastic, 2012/Voya August 2012) and an ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults nominee, Cameron modernizes the original tale of derring-do. She places the story in the distant future where disaster resets civilization to the Regency period. This world contains amusing tidbits about the ancients, addicted to their technology and plastics, and totally different from Sophie’s technophobic world, where even clocks are outlawed. Cameron uses multiple vantage points to build tension as Sophia and her compatriots struggle through the French Revolution, starring a memorably mad LeBlanc as Robespierre. After world building, character development, and action sequences, it would seem a love triangle might overwhelm the story. Instead, Cameron’s shrewd use of romance acts as another weight to pull the plot even tighter. For fans of historical adventure featuring intrepid heroines, it just does not get any better. Reviewer: Jessica Atherton; Ages 15 to 18.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—"It was a fine night for an execution…" but the Red Rook has other plans. Eighteen-year-old Sophia Bellamy, with the help of her older brother Tom and their trusted friend Spear, has freed the prisoners before the Razor could sever their heads. This retelling of The Scarlet Pimpernel (a story unlikely to be familiar to most teens) is set in a far-future England and France, when magnetic pole shifts have rendered technology a distant memory. Candlelight, penned letters, and escapes on horseback are the order of the day, and shards of plastic can fetch a pretty price. A political atmosphere similar to the French Revolution has taken hold, and the Rook is determined that innocent lives will not be lost. When not wielding her sword (and a red-tipped feather as a calling card), Sophia is juggling her betrothal of convenience to handsome Frenchman René Hasard, meant to save the Bellamy estate from forfeiture. René is more intriguing (and smarter) than she expected, and though uncomfortable sparks initially fly between them, they soon find they are on the same side, despite René kinship to the Ministre of Security—the very man who has vowed to see the Red Rook brought down. Sophia and René are well matched, and Cameron's atmospheric writing keeps the novel moving. A good choice where Robin LaFevers's Grave Mercy (Houghton Harcourt, 2012) or Jennifer Donnelly's Revolution (Delacorte, 2010) are popular. VERDICT This dashing story line combines a technology-free dystopia with swashbuckling romance.—Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley School, Fort Worth, TX
Kirkus Reviews
A clever homage to The Scarlet Pimpernel, set in a post-apocalyptic future Europe. In a distant future where most modern technology has been lost, Sophia Bellamy, 18, leads a double life. By day, she is a young woman of the Commonwealth whose arranged marriage will save her family from debt. By night, she's the daring Red Rook, who rescues prisoners from the bloodthirsty revolutionaries of the Sunken City (which once was Paris). However, LeBlanc, the Sunken City's fanatical Ministre of Security, has tracked the Red Rook back to Sophia's home in Kent. Now Sophia must protect her family and the prisoners she has just rescued and determine whether her sly, all-too-charming fiance, René Hasard, is an enemy or an ally. Cameron (Unseen, 2014) riffs off Baroness Orczy's sentimental classic without losing any of the romance and adventure that has made it perennially popular. Rich descriptions bring Sophia's world—from the horrors of the Sunken City's prisons to her glittering social milieu—to Technicolor life. Sophia's wits and bravado make her an irresistible protagonist; René proves to be a worthy foil, though unfortunately the same cannot be said of LeBlanc. Still, the novel's 456 pages mostly fly by thanks to the nonstop intrigue and the occasional swoon-worthy kiss. Full of derring-do and double crosses, this romantic adventure is thoroughly engrossing. (Science fiction. 13-18)

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Edition description:
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Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x (d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Sharon Cameron's debut novel The Dark Unwinding was awarded the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators' Sue Alexander Award for Most Promising New Work and the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award, and was named a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults selection. Sharon is also the author of its sequel, A Spark Unseen; Rook, which was selected as an Indiebound Indie Next List Top Ten selection, a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults selection, and a Parents' Choice gold medalist; and The Forgetting, an Autumn 2016 Kids' Indie Next List selection. She lives with her family in Nashville, Tennessee, and you can visit her online at sharoncameronbooks.com.

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Rook 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
blamethebooks 5 months ago
The world that was created in Rook was so cool. I loved the idea of a future society regressing and reliving its past. This whole book was basically a lesson in “history is always repeating itself.” I loved the class divides in Paris between the Upper City, the part of Paris that remained unharmed during the polar shift, where the higher classes lived, and the Sunken City, the portion of Paris that had sunk into the ground, filled with the lower classes and brimming with the terror brought on by the Razor’s hunt for its next victim. It was also fun to see nods to items from the present day; things like CDs and video game controllers were looked upon as artifacts in this future world and were hoarded away and sold on the black market to the highest bidder. The only problem with the world building in Rook is that there wasn’t enough of it. There were so many really interesting aspects to this world that weren’t explained. I wish we could have learned more about what had happened during the polar shift and how society ended up the way it did. There was also a new religion centered around the Goddess of Fate that played a role in this novel, but we didn’t get to learn anything about why this religion developed or what its tenets meant for its followers. Because there were so many things that weren’t explained, I was left a little confused about some of the events leading up to the start of the novel. I had some pretty mixed feelings about Rook as I was reading it. There were so many elements to this book that I absolutely loved, but I felt like something was missing. The story felt pretty flat; it moved along at a consistent pace, without any real highs or lows in the action. This book seemed to take me forever to read, and I felt like I would read for hours and nothing had really happened to move the plot along. I can’t exactly put my finger on it, but there was something missing from this book - that little something extra that takes a book from entertaining to engrossing.
Anonymous 6 months ago
Im here.
Anonymous 6 months ago
Scarstar silverstreme i need to talk to you about a trouth meating. I ment a different clan.
Anonymous 6 months ago
NickyC More than 1 year ago
The heavy blade hung high above the prisoners, glinting against the stars, and then the Razor came down, a wedge of falling darkness cutting through the torch light. One solid thump, and four more heads had been shaved from there heads. From the moment you start the first chapter your glued. This novel is so well written, and such a page turner, you cant put it down. I was a bit skeptical about reading this, for no good reason, but i decided to give it a chance. I'm glad i did. The author of this novel did such an amazing job at writing this novel, I wish the novel was longer. Honestly i finished it way to fast. Its such a page turner, with so many twist and turns. One minute you think you have it all figured out, and then the next you realize how wrong you are. You pretty much love most of the characters and instantly hate the bad one. I love the lead in the story. She thinks for herself, is smart, clever, and one hell of a badass. I love that she is not a damsel, she can definitely fend for herself. The other characters i liked very much as well. In conclusion, this is a MUST READ. I highly recommend this book. The only thing i do not like is the there is no second novel. I wish there was. I would love to see what becomes of everyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cameron is the next J. K. Rawling!
anythingnovel More than 1 year ago
This novel had so many plot twists and so much going on that I was thoroughly entertained throughout the entire story. Cameron works hard to make all the characters’ actions and motives known without overwhelming the reader too much. I was really impressed with her ability to keep enough hidden from the reader to continue to make them question how the book was going to resolve while also giving us enough background information so we weren’t bogged down in confusion. All of the characters had a specific end goal in mind and were driven by a wide variety of motives that helped diversify all the players. This, with an interesting premise and setting made Rook a fantastic dystopian read, that was really different than any other book I have read recently in this genre.
avidreader86 More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this story. The writing was simple yet brilliant. The story was fantastic and thank goodness for a strong female lead! She was smart, badass, and not a damsel in distress!!! The characters were great, even the side characters were people you just fell in love with. You'll be hooked from beginning to end (sounds cheesy but it's so true it hurts). Read this book. You won't regret it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AvidReader96 More than 1 year ago
If you love historical fiction and/or dystopia, you HAVE to read this book. It's elegant and sophisticated without being stuck up, and Sharon's characters are so vivid and alive that you get sucked right into the story! Rook is one of my favorite books of 2015, and in the top three of the best classic literature retellings I have ever read! It was amazing!
TheBumbleGirl1 More than 1 year ago
From the very first page I was kept on the edge of my seat anxiously awaiting for what was going to happen next! Again and again, with much anticipation, second guesses and charming moments - ROOK is everything that I wanted it to be and more...  Now let me backtrack a bit for just a moment, I have to admit, the beginning took some getting used to. There is a lot of information and characters to take in; a lot of french names, words and phrases... Also, the story is told from multiple third persons - it took a while to get used to the writing style and catch on as to whose voice I was getting into. Once everything started clicking into place, oh my, there was no stopping on how quickly I was turning these pages!  Our main character, Sophia, really took me by surprise. She is stubborn, determined, naive and so very brave. I was very impressed with her development and how her flaws were genuine and would sometimes work to her favor.  And then we have our love interest, Rene. What starts out as a nuisance to Sophie slowly turns into a whole lot more. Their banter is fun and aspiring. He's mysterious and provoking. It wasn't hard for me not to fall for him and root for their budding relationship. What I liked the most about ROOK was the sister/brother relationship between Sophia and Tom. Their banter and closeness was believable, sweet and the perfect touch of reality to the story. Also, Sophia's group of supporters all make a good and memorable impression - I was so pleased to see so many unique characters that stood out and helped with Sophia's cause. And, the villains to the story, were outstanding! There are very few villain's that I despise and have a hard time forgetting... the things that happen are unimaginable! Everything about the "Sunken Paris" is intriguing, unique and quite possible! Imagine the world we know now getting out of hand, where we let technology run wild, to the point where it destroys the earth, killing thousands and thousand of people. Which then leads the governments to unite and get rid of technology and all beliefs and go back to the way people used to live in colonial times (- history repeating itself!) And for those who oppose to the new laws will be beheaded in from of an audience. Like I mentioned about, the villains are to be despised... and feared!!!  How can the Red Rook continue to save innocents and defy the new laws??? This is an amazing rendition of The Scarlet Pimpernel. I highly recommend this to all who not only love post-apocalyptic type stories, but to those who love historical fiction and fantasy too. And the biggest bonus, this is a standalone novel! *I received an ARC from the publisher for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.
UncreativelyZoey More than 1 year ago
Rook was a breath of fresh air. In a time of cookie cutter dystopians, Rook breaks the mold. I want to spend days talking about this book, telling you about all the fantastic things happening. But I don't know how to say anything of substance without spoiling anything! Our main character, Sophia, is absolutely incredible. She's wild, reckless, but clever and so, so brave. Entertaining. Strong. Caring. Real. I can't even begin to tell you how much I love her. I think her recklessness is what really draws me to her. She's not reckless in that frustrating way, when you want to take a character by their shoulders and shout at them. She's reckless in a calculating way, in a way that says she's got nothing to lose if she can't get her brother back. Does that even make sense? Either way, Sophie is a character you absolutely cannot miss. She's quickly becoming one of my favorites. And, in an odd turn of events, René is quickly becoming one of my favorites as well. This never happens to me. But his banter with Sophia was so much fun, and while I do think he could have been explored just a little more, we get plenty of glimpses into his head. He's just as strong-willed and fun and brave as Sophia, but more than that, he truly respects her. He doesn't put her down or make her feel less than she is, make her feel small and insignificant and incapable. René is definitely worthy of some swooning. His relationship with Sophia is truly heartwarming. There are dozens of other characters to enjoy, too, each well written in their own way. There's Tom, Sophia's brother. Their relationship was another favorite of mine. They support each other, protect each other. And - again - he respects Sophia in a way that all women should be respected. There's Spear, a close friend of Sophie and Tom. (And WOW, you guys. WOW. Cameron really shocked me there. With all of it.) Orla, Benoit, René's mother and uncles, Sophia's father, losing his mind. LeBlanc, who is so, so crazy insane. I loved it. I loved the interactions between René and his family. No character felt flat to me. (Also, Sophia had a pet fox. WIN.) My only complaint is that as the novel goes on, we switch perspectives quite a lot, and it was kind of overwhelming. Suddenly I'd be reading from Gerard's perspective and be like - wait, who is Gerard? And the plot. THE PLOT. Rook is such a unique spin on this genre, and I was literally always kept on my toes, so to speak. Cameron has weaved an incredible and intricate plot - I'm obsessed with it. Actually obsessed. It's sort of a quiet but powerful story of rebellion. (Okay, quiet probably isn't the right word for it. But it's not as in-your-face as something like Divergent or The Hunger Games, which I really loved.) Rook kept me guessing until the last page and was a truly captivating story. The writing was just as lovely as the rest of the book. Detailed, beautiful, but not too overdone. There were a few times, when the characters were speaking, that I barely understood what they were saying, but I think that's more me than anything else. Sharon Cameron has written a world in a futuristic Paris that's gone backwards - hardly any technology. And she's written it well. I do wonder though - where was everyone getting the feathers? Overall: Rook is definitely a 2015 favorite for me. I wish I could do it justice with this review, but I know I can't. It's a book driven by both incredible characters and an incredible plot.
Alyssa75 More than 1 year ago
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Rook by Sharon Cameron Publisher: Scholastic Publication Date: April 28, 2015 Rating: 4 stars Source: ARC sent by the publisher Summary (from Goodreads): 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. What I Liked: Ah! I love Cameron's books! I'm three for three with her novels. The Dark Unwinding and A Spark Unseen were two excellent novels (a duology), and I have been excited for Rook for years! I absolutely loved Rook, possibly even more than I loved Cameron's debut duology. I've never read The Scarlet Pimpernel, but I loved Diana Peterfreund's retelling, Across A Star-Swept Sea. The Red Rook has been spiriting away prisoners who are set to be executed with the Razor (think guillotine). LeBlanc, the minister of security of the City of Light, is not pleased. Meanwhile, Sophia Bellamy is set to be engaged to René Hasard, who is the cousin of LeBlanc. Sophia, her brother Tom, and even René are not who they seem, and as everyone converges to find the Red Rook, Sophia finds herself desperate to help herself, as well as her friends and family. The stakes get higher when someone she knows is taken to be executed. The Red Rook plans to do the impossible, but not enough LeBlanc catches this legend first. From the start, I knew I would like Sophia. She is physically tough - she can wield a sword, climb up to roofs and walls, she's stealthy, she's fast. But she's very smart too - she can think her way through a difficult situation (which we see in the very first scene). Sophia is not passive, does not let others make decisions for her (she agrees to her arranged marriage/engaged for a good reason), she has a quick but reigned-in temper, and she has a quick tongue. She trusts no one, and she is selfless. René and Sophie do not get along when they meet. Their engagement has been arranged by René's family and Sophia's family. Sophia is suspicious of René - he seems like a flirtatious, coy gentleman who has an empty head. But she doesn't trust this. And, as it would turn out, René is not who he seems. He is the cousin of LeBlanc (which everyone knows), and he is in on the scheme to find the Red Rook. René is wicked smart, just as clever as Sophia, and terribly good at getting himself out of sticky situations. He's also definitely a bit dreamy, and I may or may not have a slight crush on him. Wink. That being said, the fake happy relationship and the banter was so great to read. I love those types of relationships, from hate to love, aggression to passion. René and Sophia share a lot of witty banter, and their interactions are always so entertaining.  The story is very intricate, with several plots going on all at once. It's not a confusing mix, as each plot intersects with another and relates to each other (though it may not seem so at first). Everything and everyone is related. We have LeBlanc's third person perspective, René's perspective, Sophia's perspective, all in third person. I like that Cameron decided to write with several perspectives featured here and there. Mostly, it's Sophia's third-person point-of-view, but sporadically, there is René's and LeBlanc's and I think a few others (but I can't remember specifically). The story is very dense, which is not surprising for a standalone novel. A lot happens in the novel, at a pretty fast past. Sophia and René have their engagement party, but then René and Sophia must flee, in order to save people they each care about. They make a tentative agreement to help each other, but neither of them trust the other. The pacing is fast but not overwhelming. There was no info-dumping, no parts where I was totally lost. The setting is incredibly cool! This one is sort of historical fiction, but really, it's not. It's set way into the future, way past our time. Plastic and technology are things of the past, from my understanding. The world has regressed to times like the late 1800s, it seems. But we know the time is of the future because there are many mentions of things that are known to this day (I think a Nintendo is one of the artifacts). Cameron does an amazing job of building the world, creating a very unique setting that is distinct and creative. The romance. Oh, the romance was fantastic. It's one of my favorite tropes - the hate-to-love thing. René and Sophia don't like each other at all, though they must pretend to be happy and trust each other and whatnot (they're engaged). But eventually, they learn to trust each other, and they fall for each other. Sophia's childhood friend loves Sophia, but she only loves him as a brother. The romance is solely set on René and Sophia, and I love it. The ending is so satisfying! It's a bit sad, with some death and unexpected action, but overall, the ending is very good. René and Sophia get a fitting ending, one that I wasn't expecting to be so good! Cameron wraps things up beautifully. I love René's family (his uncles are hilarious), and while Sophia's family aren't the most exciting, they are an interesting bunch. All is revealed at the end, and the ending is quite satisfying. What I Did Not Like: I can't think of anything specific! I know some people complained about the length of the book, but I think if the book wasn't as "long" as it is, it wouldn't be as amazing! Would I Recommend It: Yes! This book is quite a fun ride! Even if you don't like "historical fiction", keep in mind that this one isn't technically historical, since it's set in the future (though society has regressed to a historic setting ish). There is a steampunk vibe, and of course, a very slow-burn and sweet romance. It's a very intelligent yet fun novel, not juvenile at all, but younger and older readers alike could read this one and enjoy it! Rating: 4 stars. This one was a very enjoyable read! I'm slightly saddened that it's only a standalone, but extremely pleased that it's a standalone. It's a great novel, and I can't wait to read more of Cameron's future novels!