Hello readers! Welcome to my stop on the Inkyard Press Winter 2022 YA Blog Tour for A Forgery of Roses by Jessica S Olsen! Thank you to Inkyard Press and the author for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this tour.
Title: A Forgery of Roses
Author: Jessica S Olsen
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Published: March 29th, 2022 (Inkyard Press)
Synopsis: Myra Whitlock has a gift. One many would kill for.
She’s an artist whose portraits alter people’s real-life bodies, a talent she must hide from those who would kidnap, blackmail, and worse in order to control it. Guarding that secret is the only way to keep her younger sister safe now that their parents are gone.
But one frigid night, the governor’s wife discovers the truth and threatens to expose Myra if she does not complete a special portrait that would resurrect the governor’s dead son. Desperate, Myra ventures to his legendary stone mansion.
Once she arrives, however, it becomes clear the boy’s death was no accident. Someone dangerous lurks within these glittering halls. Someone harboring a disturbing obsession with portrait magic.
Myra cannot do the painting until she knows what really happened, so she turns to the governor’s older son, a captivating redheaded poet. Together, they delve into the family’s most shadowed affairs, racing to uncover the truth before the secret Myra spent her life concealing makes her the killer’s next victim.
Thank you to the publisher, Inkyard Press, and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Ever since Myra Whitlock’s parents went missing some months ago, she has struggled to earn a living for herself and her sister, who is severely ill. Myra is a Prodigy, an artist who has a magical gift of being able to alter people with her portraits, a secret she has always guarded closely because of the many people who would either hate her or try to exploit her for it. But when the governor’s wife uncovers her secret, she is blackmailed into painting a portrait to resurrect the governor’s son who has just died in an accident. As she begins her work however, it quickly becomes clear that his death was no accident, but something far more sinister, and without knowing all the facts, Myra cannot complete the painting. With the help of the governor’s older son August, she sets out to uncover the truth, but this quest may make her the next target instead.
A Forgery of Roses is primarily a fantasy novel, but it does have an element of mystery which most certainly made this an engaging read that held my attention throughout. The world building was very well done, and the concept of the deity, The Artist, who is said to have painted their world into existence was a fascinating concept and I loved that this background information was included to better understand the viewpoints the people had towards painting in this world. The magic system was a fascinating one and I particularly liked that the mechanics of it were so well described. Between the magic system and the premise, it made for a very intriguing plot that had me turning the pages, wishing I could read faster. The writing style was good, and personally, I felt it was much better in this aspect that the author’s previous book, Sing Me Forgotten.
Myra was an interesting protagonist, though I did find her rather frustratingly reckless at times, not to mention ridiculously indecisive. I just found it really hard to connect to Myra’s character, or any of the others for that matter. I also wasn’t a huge fan of the romance which felt entirely too insta-lovey, not forgetting the love triangle trope which I’ve never liked much. The mystery on the other hand, while mildly predictable if you’re paying attention, was a good one and it was crafted quite well.
Those who have read Sing Me Forgotten will not be all that surprised by the way this book wraps up in terms of the situation for Prodigies not really changing at all. It’s what annoyed me most in the last book, to not have a completely concrete ending, though not as much this time as I was more or less prepared for it. While the magic system was interesting, I felt it was along very similar lines to Sing Me Forgotten which was a little disappointing for me as I was looking forward to something different with this book.
Overall, A Forgery of Roses was an interesting, fast paced read with a unique concept, and while some aspects of this didn’t work for me, I think this is a book that fantasy fans will enjoy, so I’d definitely recommend it!
A Forgery of Roses releases today, March 29th, 2022.
About the Author
Jessica S. Olson claims New Hampshire as her home but has somehow found herself in Texas, where she spends most of her time singing praises to the inventor of the air conditioner. When she’s not hiding from the heat, she’s corralling her four wild—but adorable—children, dreaming up stories about kissing and murder and magic, and eating peanut butter by the spoonful straight from the jar. She earned a bachelor’s in English with minors in editing and French, which essentially means she spent all of her university time reading and eating French pastries. She is the author of Sing Me Forgotten (2021) and A Forgery of Roses (2022).
Do you plan to read this book? Let me know in the comments below!