Hey there! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Sorry I’ve been pretty busy with school and all the projects I have due.
All that aside, today I serve you a review of a wonderful historical retelling of a Portuguese legend with Sapphic yearning, A Curse Of Roses by Diana Pinguicha as a part of it’s blog tour hosted by YA Bound Book Tours!
This had everything I could wish for in a book and I was definitely intrigued by Pinguicha’s prose and today, I will hopefully be convincing you to pick this book up yourself!
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A Curse Of Roses
With just one touch, bread turns into roses. With just one bite, cheese turns into lilies.
There’s a famine plaguing the land, and Princess Yzabel is wasting food simply by trying to eat. Before she can even swallow, her magic—her curse—has turned her meal into a bouquet. She’s on the verge of starving, which only reminds her that the people of Portugal have been enduring the same pain.
If only it were possible to reverse her magic. Then she could turn flowers…into food.
Fatyan, a beautiful Enchanted Moura, is the only one who can help. But she is trapped by magical binds. She can teach Yzabel how to control her curse—if Yzabel sets her free with a kiss. As the King of Portugal’s betrothed, Yzabel would be committing treason, but what good is a king if his country has starved to death?
With just one kiss, Fatyan is set free. And with just one kiss, Yzabel is yearning for more.
She’d sought out Fatyan to help her save the people. Now, loving her could mean Yzabel’s destruction.
Based on Portuguese legend, this #OwnVoices historical fantasy is an epic tale of mystery, magic, and making the impossible choice between love and duty…
Thank you Entangled Teen for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for a spot on the A Curse Of Roses Tour! This did not impact my review in any way.
All the quotes used in this post are from an advance reader copy and may differ in the final publication.
A Curse Of Roses follows Yzabel, Portugal’s soon-to-be queen, who hides a secret, a curse. She has the ability to turn food into flowers and has to figure out how to not crumble under her duties while hiding her curse. Yzabel hears the legends surrounding the Enchanted Moura and with her friend, Brites’ blessing she goes in search of a solution to her curse, and Yzabel meets Fatyan who can teach her how to control her curse—if Yzabel sets her free with a kiss.
Yzabel who knows she is committing treason, has no choice because her country is starving to death. After setting Fatyan free for the lives of her people, Yzabel is yearning for more.
“Of all the people who found me, you were the only one I wanted to leave with, the only one I could see myself staying with. And I will, for as long as you want me.”
This book explores themes of self-acceptance. Yzabel, who was taught that her liking towards women was a sin, slowly grows to love and accept her identity. I really loved reading her growth and character development which wasn’t overpowered by the romance, even tho it was one of the main themes of the novel.
The author wove words beautifully which went smoothly with the pace and setting of the story. Historical Fantasies are something that I don’t see often, but would love to read more of because it is basically two of my favourite genres together!
“Kindness isn’t something you are. It’s something you choose to be, every single moment of every single day.”
I also really liked the dedication of this book. “For those who have been erased”, which is basically how queerness has been erased from historical texts.
Even though the starting was very slow for my liking, the book slowly picked up pace and along with the wonderful writing made A Curse Of Roses a solid debut for me.
Representation: mostly Portuguese cast, lesbian MC, lesbian Muslim li, lesbian side characters.
Trigger Warnings: internalized homophobia, religious-based self-harm, disordered eating, murder
About The Author
Born in the sunny lands of Portugal, Diana is a Computer Engineer graduate who currently calls Lisbon home. She can usually be found writing, painting, devouring extraordinary quantities of books and video games, or walking around with her bearded dragon, Norberta. She also has two cats, Sushi and Jubas, who would never forgive her if she didn’t mention them.
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Is A Curse Of Roses on you TBR? Have you read it? Let me know in the comments!
Till Next Time, Stay Safe!