Review: A Forgery of Roses by Jessica S. Olsen

Author: Jessica S. Olsen
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Released: March 29, 2022
Received: Own (OwlCrate)
Warnings: Death, illness

4 kitties

A Forgery of Roses came with my most OwlCrate box, and I was so excited to see it appear at the bottom of the box! I was hoping this would be their choice and thus held off on buying it. I love this edition, though I’ll admit that the original cover is also quite lovely. Still, red sprayed edges – yes, please!

Myra is what is known as a prodigy. Her paintings are magical – literally. She can transform reality with her paintings, healing bones, and changing appearances. Unfortunately, not everyone in this world considers this magical to be wondrous.

Thus, Myra has spent her whole life trying to keep what she is a secret. For the most part, she’s succeeded, right up until just about the worst person ever uncovers the truth. Now she must raise the dead – literally – if she wants to survive the situation she’s in.

“Just because my battles aren’t visible, doesn’t mean they aren’t as real or difficult as yours.”

Ohhhh, I love the concept of A Forgery of Roses. Artists, who imbue magic into their work, allowing them to affect reality? It rings of Dorian Gray but with a significant twist. And I am here for it.

Myra’s story is many things. It’s emotional, heavy, inspiring, worrisome, heartbreaking, and more. She’s been through so much and keeps on going, both for her own sake and her sister’s sake.

The magic in her blood only seems to complicate things. She lives in a world where people like her are shunned and hunted by those in power. In a way, the setup feels very familiar to our world – with the same people hunting her being more than willing to use her gifts to their own benefit. Feels familiar, right?

I loved the exploration of Myra’s magic while having us delve into several mysteries at once. We have the mystery of what happened to her parents, alongside the mystery of what caused a young man’s death. Together, they’re putting Myra in an impossible position, and she’ll have to find a way to survive on her own.

That being said, it wasn’t Myra’s story that hit me the hardest. One of the other characters in this tale (a love interest, for those curious) experiences significant anxiety – and I AM HERE FOR IT. I never get to see this representation, so it was a lot to see it done so well. Throw in a few powerful quotes, and this book tunneled straight to my heart.

About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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