SOMETIMES THE PRINCESS IS THE MONSTER
From the author of Girls Made of Snow and Glass, this captivating and utterly original Persian-inspired fairy tale about a girl cursed to be poisonous to the touch is perfect for fans of Natasha Ngan and Naomi Novik.
'Monstrously beautiful and enchanting' Tasha Suri, author of Empire of Sand
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 from everyone, 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.
Bashardoust (Girls Made of Snow and Glass) combines Persian language and tales, particularly "The Shahnameh," with European fairy tales and Zoroastrianism to create a world replete with deadly gardens, mothlike beings, and haunting burial grounds. Cursed with poisonous skin by a div, one of the Destroyer's "demonic servants," Soraya has hidden within her \nfamily's palace walls for 18 years, fearful of staining the reputation of her twin brother, the shah of Atashar. When female div Parvaneh is captured, Soraya seeks a way to end her own poisonous curse and live freely with Azad, one of her brother's soldiers. But after learning that her cure requires the elusive, magical bird that protects the kingdom, Soraya finds herself in a perilous situation that challenges everything she knows about her family and herself. Scenes are lavishly detailed, Soraya's inner turmoil is rendered with drama as she chooses whether to be "a mouse or a viper," and the connection between Soraya and Parvaneh is stirring. Though weighty foreshadowing mars plot twists, Bashardoust's exceptional attention to folktale structure and Soraya's hard-won acceptance of herself make for a lyrical, inspiring read. Ages 12 up. \n
Better than I expected
This book was much better than I expected. I’m glad I gave it a chance. It had both the lovers to enemies AND enemies to lovers tropes but not in a way you’d quite expect….
I also really loved Soraya’s mental transformation and it had a perfect balance of angst, and also trying to make yourself a better person. The world building of the Divs and human society was really well written. Would definitely read again.