by Livia Blackburne


by Livia Blackburne



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A terminally ill healer...

Zivah was once her village's most promising young healer, mastering potions that altered both body and mind. But when she's conscripted to treat a battalion of grievously ill soldiers, Zivah contracts the deadly rose plague. Now she's doomed to a slow, solitary death, cut off from everyone she loves.

A broken warrior...

Dineas grew up fighting to free his people from the Amparan empire, but capture and torture have left him shattered. Though he's now escaped from the emperor's dungeons, he cannot outrun the lingering effects of his trauma.

Zivah and Dineas share nothing but loathing for the empire and a deep-seated wish to be useful again. When they're presented with an unexpected chance to help their people, they're drawn to the opportunity, even if the perils are great. If Zivah can use her potions to remove Dineas's memories, he could infiltrate and undermine the imperial army. Success could bring the freedom they've longed for. Failure would mean death or the loss of their very selves.

As a healer and a warrior set off on the most dangerous mission of their lives, they navigate shifting allegiances, hidden assassins, and a disease that's left its mark on every aspect of their world. And as Zivah and Dineas's distrust for each other gives way to a growing attraction, the two must untangle their treacherous emotions before everything falls apart.

Rosemarked Excerpt:

I'm halfway to the back wall when a hiss sounds in my ear. Did I imagine that?

The hiss sounds again.

My eyes are beginning to adjust to the darkness. I can see my hands when I raise them to guard my face. As I stand there trying to make sense of what I hear, the shadowy shape of a giant scorpion materializes right in front of my eyes.

Neju's sword. I stumble back and collide with the shelf behind me. Crates crash down, a few cracking ominously as they hit the ground. As hisses fill the air, I realize that these aren't supply crates I've knocked over. They're cages, and I'm pretty sure the creatures they hold aren't the type I want roaming free.

They call Monyar "Death's Antechamber," and for good reason. This land is packed with snakes, scorpions, and spiders. Lethal bites are so common that the local healers raise the creatures and milk them for antivenom.

Looks like I've stumbled upon someone's private collection.

As the racket dies down, the sound of footsteps drifts in from outside. I swallow another curse.

"Hello?" It's a woman—probably the healer. At least it's not the soldiers. Still, I reach for my dagger and step carefully toward the door.

"Is anyone here?" The footsteps stop outside. I raise my knife.

The door opens to reveal a woman holding a candle. As her eyes lock on me, I grab her by the collar and pull her in. The door shuts behind us, and I push her against the wall.

"One scream from you and I cut your throat."

Miraculously, she keeps her grip on the candle. Though the flame sputters, its light reflects off my blade.

She's scared. I can tell by the rapid rise and fall of her chest. But when she replies, she speaks with a low, steady whisper. "I'm rosemarked, stranger. Spill my blood, and you'll follow me into death."

Rosemarked? Why is a patient wandering outside at night? If she's bluffing, she chose the wrong lie. "I'm umbertouched," I say.

I feel her muscles tense as she weighs my words. Slowly, she lifts her candle until it illuminates both our faces. She's younger than I expected, and I see the telltale rosemarks on her skin. Her gaze sweeps across my face and hands as well. The surprise in her expression likely mirrors my own.

"You're a Shidadi tribesman," she says.

I don't reply. Shouts echo in from outside. The words are muffled, but it's clear enough there's a search going on. A shrewd look crosses the woman's face, and it makes me uneasy. If she decides to call for help, I don't think I could actually cut her throat. I despise this healer as much as any of her fellow villagers, but I'm not a murderer.

"You're immune to rose plague," she says.

Why is she repeating the obvious? I may not kill her, but I decide I have no problem with giving her a solid knock on the head. I shift my knife to expose the hilt.

Her eyes flicker to my hand. "Are you immune to snakes?"

By the time I make sense of her words, something long and muscular is already wrapping itself around my arm. I look down to see a reptilian head topped with a triangle pattern my people have long since learned to fear. A layer of cold sweat erupts over my skin.

"Drop your knife," the healer says.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940161116913
Publisher: Livia Blackburne
Publication date: 01/06/2022
Series: Rosemarked , #1
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
File size: 618 KB

About the Author

About The Author
New York Times bestselling author Livia Blackburne wrote her first novel while researching the neuroscience of reading at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Since then, she’s switched to full-time writing, which also involves getting into people’s heads but without the help of a three tesla MRI scanner. She is the author of the Midnight Thief (An Indies Introduce New Voices selection) and Rosemarked (A YALSA Teens Top Ten nominee), as well as the picture book I Dream of Popo, which received three starred reviews and was on numerous Best of Year lists.
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