Unbetrothed by Candice Yamnitz (Book Review)

Around Agatha Sea, princesses are poised, magically gifted, and betrothed.

 So, when seventeen-year-old Princess Beatriz still fails to secure a betrothal, her parents hold a ball. Forming an alliance could mean the difference between peace and war, but Beatriz doesn’t want just any suitor.She’s in love with her best friend, Prince Lux. Marrying Prince Lux will always be a silly dream as long as she has no magical gift.

Princess Beatriz will do whatever it takes to obtain a touch of magic, including making a deadly oath to go on a quest to Valle de Los Fantasmas. A valley where no one comes out alive.

If she can manage to succeed, Princess Beatriz could have everything she desires and secure peace for her kingdom. If she fails, she’ll lose not only her greatest dream but also her kingdom, and maybe even her own life.” -Unbetrothed, Candice Yamnitz

This book has been one of my favorite reads of 2021! I read it as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) reader last November, but I wanted to wait to post a full review closer to Unbetrothed’s release date (Feb. 8th). You can preorder here!

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I’m raving about this book and here’s why:

The scenes are beautifully written. I felt like I was with Beatriz on her adventure the whole time. I don’t think I’ve been able to picture a setting so clearly since I read Harry Potter at age twelve.

Beatriz is a realistic and true princess. I saw a review that said Beatriz is a character you love to hate, but I think it’s simply that Beatriz is a princess. She’s a little spoiled and tends to look down on people lower than her in station. She’s not a foul person and even though she can be sarcastic, she keeps most of her thoughts to herself. Don’t let her sarcasm scare you off! Her character growth is amazing. She blossoms under pressure and through her quest she begins to understand that what she finds so important is stuff that doesn’t matter. We’ve all been there. Chasing something that doesn’t matter. 

The side characters were also very well written. Laude, Beatriz’s handmaid, is a breath of fresh air and her giggly antics kept scenes light and humorous. Laude is probably one of my favorite characters.

I loved the subplot of kingdom politics, traitors, and spies. It made the storyline very realistic and I could even draw parallels to the politics I’m familiar with.

I love the Latin aspects. Spanish words are interwoven in the story, fully part of this fantastical world. It’s unique, in that I’ve never read a ya fantasy with obvious Latin heritage. I loved it. 

Lastly, I loved the Christian aspect. While it is subtle and obviously in a fantasy world, there is a message of turning to ‘the Ancient One’ in prayer and in times of need. The overall message of finding joy in who God created you to be is heartfelt and important.

I’ve truly never read a book like this before. I absolutely recommend Unbetrothed for anyone looking for clean ya fantasy. The magical elements and subtle Christian message remind me of the Chronicles of Narnia, so I would also recommend this for anyone who is a lover of C.S. Lewis.

Storm

Links for Unbetrothed:

Amazon Barnes&Noble Goodreads

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