by Diana Pinguicha
My Rating: 5 of 5 stars
Princess Yzabel is afflicted with a curse that turns food she tries to eat into flowers. In a country plagued by famine, Yzabel cannot shake the burden of guilt that comes with all the waste food. She sets out to free an enchantress from her bindings in hopes she can help Yzabel remove that curse. But things are not as they seem and Yzabel learns that there’s more than one perspective to look at things.
I definitely need to start by saying this book covers some very heavy subject matter. The plot has some strong themes of religious trauma and fanaticism. This made things very difficult to read at times, but it was also very apparent this was the point. I’m going to choose not to comment too much on this part because it can be a very polarizing subject. It was difficult but made the impact of the story very strong as the narrative goes.
I really liked the characters. Yzabel is such a selfless character and sadly, she is like this to a fault. I loved her journey of self discovery, both for herself and the world she’s had unwavering devotion to. Again, this has such a strong impact and the author does so well at helping us feel it. I genuinely geared up and needed to stop to collect myself more than once while reading. The other characters are so well written too. Fatyan was fun and playful and a perfect balance to Yzabel, especially in the terms of her development. I have to admit too, the author really subverts my expectations with other characters. I won’t go into too much detail about this aspect, but it was definitely a big reason I enjoyed the story so much.
I loved that the story and characters took patches I hadn’t been expecting. I could not figure out where things were going or how events would turn out. It was equal parts exciting and anxiety inducing. My emotions were constantly on a rollercoaster while reading.
This was a terrific book with an intense emotional impact and one I really wish I could read again for the first time. I do highly recommend looking at the content warning before starting though.
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