🌿 Hi, guys! I hope you’re having the most wonderful day by the hand of the most incredible readings.❤️ Today I’m more than happy to bring you a double review of two great books that I’ve read this month, and that I also have the pleasure to say have been ARCs, so THANK YOU SO MUCH to Edelweiss+ & NetGalley for the opportunity to read them. Before starting I want to say THANK YOU my loves for all the support that you have been giving me in my posts, little by little I’m catching up, so I promise you that if you’ve commented on my blog at some point, I will be checking your blog soon and anyway I’m determined to visit as many book bloggers as I can, so don’t worry, I’ll end up visiting you, because you deserve the love, and you’re wonderful. I also want to remind you that I’m working on a project where I’m making a list here on my blog with as many book bloggers as I can, so if you want to participate then write to me in THIS POST or wherever place you want, and I will add you. 😍
Now, going back to today’s post, I have two very magical books to share with you, I’ve enjoyed both very much and although I don’t think they’re perfect, I believe that the failures are really superficial and don’t overshadow these great stories about curses and folklore. On the one hand, we have A Curse of Ash and Embers (Tales of the Blackbone Witches # 1) by Jo Spurrier, a highly atmospheric book made to devour quickly, it’s a super interesting story with great female power behind & on the other hand, we have A Curse of Roses by Diana Pinguicha which is a story that also revolves around a curse where our main character turns everything she eats into flowers and although it sounds almost poetic, it has been a nightmare for her, so she’ll undertake a journey to find a solution, highly based in Portuguese myths and I’ve loved that.
I hope you enjoy the post and decide to add these books to your TBR! Now, without further ado, let’s get started. 🌿
A dead witch. A bitter curse. A battle of magic.
Some people knit socks by the fire at night. Gyssha Blackbone made monsters.
But the old witch is dead now, and somehow it’s Elodie’s job to clean up the mess.
When she was hired at Black Oak Cottage, Elodie had no idea she’d find herself working for a witch; and her acid-tongued new mistress, Aleida, was not expecting a housemaid to turn up on her doorstep.
Gyssha’s final curse left Aleida practically dead on her feet, and now, with huge monsters roaming the woods, a demonic tree lurking in the orchard and an angry warlock demanding repayment of a debt, Aleida needs Elodie’s help, whether she likes it or not.
And no matter what the old witch throws at her, to Elodie it’s still better than going back home.
Praise for Winter Be My Shield:
‘Unlikely heroes, villains you will cheer for, and cold that eats your bones. “Winter Be My Shield” will take you to an unforgiving place, but you won’t want to leave it.’ Robin Hobb
| Goodreads |
I want to thank Edelweiss+ & HarperCollins for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
This book is a comfortable read in many ways, I enjoyed it a lot, I expected a little more impact and I had it, but only at the ending. I think it largely feels like a short story, cause not only it’s a short book, but it also doesn’t have too much depth to the plot itself. Even so, I enjoyed the characters, the magical and atmospheric vibe, and especially the background of feminine power that’s felt when reading it.
I think I can summarize the book in just one paragraph that belongs to the synopsis: “When she was hired at Black Oak Cottage, Elodie had no idea she’d find herself working for a witch; and her acid-tongued new mistress, Aleida, was not expecting a housemaid to turn up on her doorstep. ” because I think the focus is on these two characters and their relationship, but also terrifying creatures that now live in the forests.
Reading this book felt like listening to a Taylor Swift song, I know it sounds weird, but there’s so much folklore in this story and it’s so nice to read, but also kind of creepy and mysterious that gives me that vibe. I liked it a lot, I read it a little slow because I’ve been busy, but the story itself is made to be enjoyed in one sitting despite its slow-paced style, which I think goes very well with the construction of it. It can be a bit confusing at first, I wasn’t sure halfway where the author wanted to go with all this, and even when I was enjoying the characters and the plot, I was lost, unable to know what would happen. And although this is sometimes a good complement to a story, in this case, it can be daunting and may lead the reader to want to give it up, which I would not recommend doing because the ending is fire, and now I’m super intrigued to know what will happen.
I don’t feel this book is much more than it promises, let me explain, I love stories about witches and even more so when there’s a bit of mystery around and such a beautiful atmosphere, but at the same time, I feel that the author hasn’t decided to go beyond that. This is not her mistake, but rather a personal perspective, since I’d have liked to know more and have a greater development in aspects such as the world above all. The fact that most of the time takes place in the same place doesn’t matter to me because I don’t like it when the characters are constantly moving, and also I think it gives the reader some comfort, anyway I wanted to mention it since I know can be too static for certain readers.
The fact that it feels like a short story confuses me a bit, there’s so much more the author could have explored about the characters and the world, besides I’d have loved to know more since what we really have is quite interesting and awesome. I LOVE the magic aspects, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of that in the next book. The characters are very solid, and I love that almost all of them are female, even so, I would have like to know them in more depth and I think that some of their actions don’t make much sense or lacks a more logical basis, but are there with the purpose of moving the story and unfortunately that shows a little. Even so, I want to emphasize that the personal stories of the characters are very hard-hitting and hard to read, since they involve violence so I recommend discretion in this regard, but on the other hand, it’s quite well written and it was interesting to learn more about them to get a better idea of their personalities. Basically, a good cast of characters, but needs work to come to life.
I loved the author’s style, no doubt my favorite thing in the book, her way of portraying things is very good and I liked the dialogues as well as the transition of the scenes. But the best comes at the ending when you notice much more how brilliant she is, I’m excited to read more by her in the future & also, I loved the ending, I think the revelation is super solid and we also have at the end some dynamism due to all that action, which brings a lot and makes you feel super excited to know what will happen next. Such a great ending, I really liked it!
I’m feeling “restricted” about this review because I think that any kind of detailed information could be a possible spoiler and I don’t want to ruin it for you, so that’s why I opted for a shorter and more superficial review, I still hope all my points are understood. Basically, I feel that the idea of the book is wonderful and I love how the author has achieved the magical and atmospheric vibe, on the other hand, needs more work of depth in the characters as well as more impact in some scenes. I enjoyed the pace although it’s kind of slow, I think it goes very well with the story, and I really liked the ending! I hope that with the sequel the author can give us a little more world construction and character development, as well as a little more information in general and perhaps also a clearer direction, although I recognize that with that ending I think the sequel will take a turn. super intriguing, and I’m excited to find out. I highly recommend this one if you want a reading about witches and monsters, which also gives you a delicious atmosphere. Besides, I’ll recommend if you don’t mind that it’s mostly superficial because I think that even so with everything and its flaws, it’s super enjoyable.
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…
| Goodreads |
I want to thank NetGalley & Entangled: Teen for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review
I found many surprises in this book that I adore, I confess that this time there was little I knew about the plot, I’d only heard it was based on some Portuguese myths and I loved that, so that was what led me to pick up the book and I really loved it! Not only I think the basis of this story is super solid and very well executed, but I also really enjoyed how fresh and unique the story felt as a whole. Undoubtedly, a historical fantasy that I needed in my life before the end of the year, super easy to read and although presumptuous at times, easy to enjoy.
In this book, we follow Princess Yzabel, who finds herself in the grip of a terrible curse that causes all the food she tries to eat to be turned into flowers. This has brought her to the brink of starvation, which deeply unites her to the pain that the people of Portugal feel since they’re also starving. Fatyan, a beautiful Enchanted Moura, seems to be the only one capable of reversing her spell, but she’ll only do it if Yzabel releases herself of her own spell with a kiss, and even though Yzabel is engaged to the king of Portugal, she decides to accept for her people, but that kiss awakens another kind of hunger inside her. She had sought out Fatyan to help her and save her people. Now, loving her could mean Yzabel’s destruction.
This book managed to be as magical as it sounds, with the development of a myth with such beautiful colors behind it, is really difficult for something to fail, and although I think it was really beautiful and that the author decided to execute this myth on a very successful way, I feel that I’d have liked further development in other areas. I think the focus is on the myth and the development of the main characters, which I liked a lot, but I’d have liked to know a little more about Portugal from a social and cultural point of view, basically about its history itself, even so, this is the approach that the author decided to give to her story and I respect that. On the other hand, I feel that I have a somewhat unpopular opinion about the pace of the book, for me, it was very rushed at times, I’d have liked to explore more things, more places, and more lives of some secondary characters and those things, I think a slower pace would have been perfect, especially when it comes to developing romance.
I think the first part of the book is super solid and even more the last chapters which are where the story really comes to life, but there are some weak scenes especially in the middle, scenes that perhaps could have been developed more deeply and others that I felt were there as to lengthen the book a little more, I felt I want more information, which is something good because it means that I’m interested in what I’m reading. Apart from this, I really enjoyed this book and its story, and the things that could have been better, in my opinion, are only details, I don’t think there’s any major flaw, I think it’s a clean, fresh and innovative book in many ways.
I really liked the characters, especially Yzabel, I think I’m demanding with my main characters, especially in new releases I hope to see something new, and this character gave me what I expected, she’s SO brave and caring, and I love how she empathizes with the poorest people all the time putting herself in their place and wanting to fight for them. Despite the horrible curse that obviously has her extremely weak, I think she’s a very strong girl in personality, who goes directly for those she wants, and I admire that, I liked her position for most of the book and I also think she had a super marked growth towards the end of the book. And I also liked the other characters, but I think Yzabel is the best created. Finding myself with a king who’s not the typical evil king, but is a softer personality, I liked, I think that having an evil one who’s not so evil, gives him an original touch since it shows that not all people have only one bad side and a good side, but we’re a combination of both, and that’s fine, it’s more real for me.
I liked the romance, I think it’s very sweet, and it’s very well thought out, again, I think it was kind of rash, and I’d have liked a better transition and slower development, but still, I managed to enjoy it a lot, the relationship felt very real, and the way in which the author described everything made me feel deeply invested in what was happening between them. I want to remind you that the book follows a sapphic romance so that’s great! I think many people will like this romantic side of the story, it was very beautiful.
The author’s style, although a bit rush-y at times, is very solid, I love how she has chosen to elaborate this story from a more sentimental side because I think the emotional charge is there, there were scenes where I felt like I could cry, so I can say It will make you feel many emotions, and that’s obviously due to the author’s writing style, which is really beautiful. I wouldn’t say her style is very colorful, but rather that type of simpler writing in the best way, it takes you through the scenarios in a very good way and although, as I said, it’s rush at times, it still handles other aspects that generate good thrill in the reader
I would undoubtedly recommend this book, I think it has a solid base that’s very interesting to explore, the myth on which the author has been based is incredibly beautiful and magical, that’s still my favorite aspect of the book, and although it’s rush in its narration and it lacks development in some aspects, it’s very enjoyable and although many say it’s a slow pace, I don’t think so, I read it quite fast, in fact, on the contrary, I think that a slow pace would have been even better to develop more some areas in depth, but in general, the story itself is very good and is very well thought out. The romance is charming, the characters are quite solid, especially the main character who stands out above other characters that I’ve read due to her feisty and empathetic personality & also is quite atmospheric, which is great. But if you like myths and want to explore this Porugues myth, don’t hesitate to give it a chance, it’s worth it.