A Curse of Roses

A Curse of Roses

by Diana Pinguicha


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Based on Portuguese legend, this #OwnVoices historical fantasy is an epic tale of mystery, magic, and making the impossible choice between love and duty…

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 for years.

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.

A Curse of Roses includes themes, imagery, and content that might be triggering for some readers. Discussions of religious-based self harm, religious-based eating disorders, and religious-based internalized homophobia appear throughout the novel.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly


In 1288, 17-year-old Princess Yzabel of Aragon bears a terrible curse: whenever she tries to eat, the food turns into flowers, leaving her unable to consume a bite. Her kingdom, meanwhile, suffers from famine and pestilence that leave her people as starved as she is. En route to meet a whistleblower about a missing harvest, without the knowledge of her controlling fiancé, 19-year-old King Denis of Portugal, Yzabel learns of the Enchanted Moura, a legendary being who may be able to break the curse. Yet Fatyan, the Moura, is herself trapped in magical bindings, from which she can only be freed by a kiss. Yzabel needs Fatyan to help her reverse the curse; in exchange, Fatyan will help end the famine by teaching Yzabel how to turn flowers into food. The “sacrilegious kiss,” however, awakens a desire that complicates her plans to save her people, and may even mean her own downfall due to Portugal’s religious observances. Pinguicha’s debut takes place against this unique historical backdrop, flavored with beguiling fantasy elements and a sensitive exploration of the implications of desire upon religion. Though limited descriptions hamper immersion, a delicate queer romance between strong heroines propels the plot forward. Ages 14–up. Agent: Travis Pennington, Knight Agency. (Dec.)

School Library Journal


Gr 9 Up—In 1288, Yzabel, the 17-year-old fiancée of King Denis of Portugal, is afflicted with a curse that turns food into flowers. As the Portuguese people suffer from hunger and the red plague, Yzabel bands with her lady's maid to seek the Enchanted Moura, a magical being named Fatyan who has been locked away and can be liberated with a kiss. Fatyan is able to help Yzabel see her sahar, or magic, as a blessing, but as Yzabel realizes her feelings for Fatyan are romantic, she attempts to reconcile her attraction with religious beliefs and teachings that decry same-sex relationships. Even still, Yzabel and Fatyan are up against a power-hungry man who is determined to bring war among the Christian nations and expose the girls for what they are. Pinguicha's lyrical #OwnVoices novel based on Portuguese legend is a coming-of-age story that encompasses timeless topics. Yzabel fears a same-sex relationship and her sahar makes her a sinner. As she and other characters explore forgiveness of one's self and others, she learns to question the power dynamic between her and Denis in regards to politics, gender, and sexuality. Tumultuous relationships and strong character development keep the plot moving at a page-turning pace. A content warning for self-harm is included at the front of the book, and there are some brief sex scenes. VERDICT This book offers representation that is rare in YA historical fantasy. Recommended for young adult collections.—Liz Anderson, DC P.L.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781682815090
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication date: 12/01/2020
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 80,542
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

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