Hello humans! Ready for a review of one of the lovely books I got for Christmas? (yeah it’s taken a while to get to all of my Christmas books don’t judge me). Wild Beauty has been on my list for the longest time, ever since I saw the gorgeous floral cover, I’m a sucker for flowers. This is an excellent fantasy book with romance, sisters and a healthy dose of interesting magic.
For nearly a century, the Nomeolvides women have tended the grounds of La Pradera, the lush estate gardens that enchant guests from around the world. They’ve also hidden a tragic legacy: if they fall in love too deeply, their lovers vanish. But then, after generations of vanishings, a strange boy appears in the gardens.
The boy is a mystery to Estrella, the Nomeolvides girl who finds him, and to her family, but he’s even more a mystery to himself; he knows nothing more about who he is or where he came from than his first name. As Estrella tries to help Fel piece together his unknown past, La Pradera leads them to secrets as dangerous as they are magical in this stunning exploration of love, loss, and family.
Let’s kick off with the concept. This book reminded me a little of Wicked Like a Wildfire and not just because both have lovely florals on the cover. They both have sibling relationships, they both have magical powers which need to be hidden from the rest of the world, and those powers just happen to have something to do with flowers. Of course, Wild Beauty has far more sisters, five in fact, and the magic is to do with growing flowers rather than turning them into fractals. But if you’ve just finished Wicked Like a Wildfire and you are looking for something similar to read next you could quite happily read this.
The writing style of this book feels much more archaic than other similar books. Sometimes when you get a magical realism book set in the modern day it can feel a bit ‘down with the kids’ if you know what I’m getting at. In this case, La Pradera, and the women who inhabit it exists somehow outside of time and that’s reflected in the writing style. Having said that, the writing was (if you’ll pardon the pun) a lot less flowery than I was originally anticipating. It’s rich in description, yes, but I felt it was all relevant, not too overwhelming.
There’s romance throughout this book if that’s not something you like then maybe avoid this one. However, I enjoyed all the different relationships that were revealed or developed throughout the story. It’s the classic ‘forbidden love’ trope but it’s interesting how it is put in place and how the characters interact with the idea within the story.
This was a story that turned in many directions, most of which I wasn’t anticipating. It’s so much more than I thought it ever would be and I’m so pleased I added it to my Christmas list.
My rating: 5/5 stars
What say you? Is this on your TBR? Let me know in the comments below!