Summary: There was and there was not, as all stories begin, a princess cursed to be poisonous to the touch. But for Soraya, who has lived her life hidden away, apart from her family, safe only in her gardens, it’s not just a story.
As the day of her twin brother’s wedding approaches, Soraya must decide if she’s willing to step outside of the shadows for the first time. Below in the dungeon is a demon who holds knowledge that she craves, the answer to her freedom. And above is a young man who isn’t afraid of her, whose eyes linger not with fear, but with an understanding of who she is beneath the poison.
Soraya thought she knew her place in the world, but when her choices lead to consequences she never imagined, she begins to question who she is and who she is becoming…human or demon. Princess or monster.
Thoughts: Thank You to FlatIron Books for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for my review.
I only recently realized how much I love fantasy and sci-fi books. I just rarely read them because it takes me longer to get through them. It takes me a while to get all the characters straight along with getting the lay of their world. I didn’t let that keep me from reading this book though and I am glad for that. This was an original story and I loved that it borrowed from Persian culture which was something I had yet to read about.
At only 50 pages in I couldn’t put this book down because I already loved the princess, Soraya, and the div, Parveneh, that she was meeting with. I love the relationships that are built throughout the book and how those relationships change Soraya. Each relationship she forms adds to her past knowledge, or it adds to the person she is trying to be.
I really enjoyed watching as you find out not only about Soraya but about the mysterious boy who seems to come to her rescue. I like seeing the similarities in the two and watching as Soraya decides what she is going to do with her life. I found that he was an instrumental part in the decisions that Soraya makes and the way that she leans into who she is meant to be.
As you read along you find out more about Soraya and the curse that she has on her. I like that you are finding out her history along with her and are learning about this world she lives in along with her as well. Its great to see how while she isn’t naive to the world there is so much she has yet to learn about her surroundings and the people she thought she knew.
I love how descriptive each scene is as if you are there with Soraya. I can picture myself going along on this adventure which is all I want from a fantasy book. I really enjoyed the world building in this book as it was easy to follow, and there was no point at which I was confused about what was happening or where they were at.
The twist in this book is so unexpected and I love how it is done. It adds to the story and makes the characters even more lovable. This is a love story like no other that I have read in the past and I love that it wasn’t about a girl who needed to be rescued but about her rescuing herself and those that she loves.
I recommend this to those of you who enjoy fantasy, are looking for bisexual mcs, want action and adventure, or are looking for a young adult fantasy with a female lead.
You can pre-order this book at Eso Won Books or look for it at your local library coming July 7th.