When I first joined Bookstagram a few years ago, one of my first friends was Candice Pedraza Yamnitz. I was so excited when she debuted her YA romance (with a Latin fantasy twist) Unbetrothed earlier this year. This is a book you will not want to put down!
Unbetrothed follows Princess Beatriz, the princess of Giddel. At age seventeen, she has yet to secure a betrothal in part because she has no magical gift. Her parents throw a ball in her honor where she can select a suitor of her choice, but her choice is out of reach–her best friend, Prince Lux, is betrothed to another and his father would never agree to him marrying a giftless princess. Impulsive and selfish Beatriz makes a deadly oath to go on a quest to the dangerous Valle de Los Fantasmas, a place where no one who enters come out alive. If she fails, she’ll not only forfeit her greatest desire but her kingdom’s safety and possibly her own life. BUT if she succeeds she’ll get everything she wants.
Accompanied by her servant Laude, Beatriz runs away from home. While on the road, Beatriz meets a small groups of merchants. The leader, Zichri, confuses Beatriz. She only has eyes for Lux, no? As Beatriz gets to know Zichri on her journey, she also gets to know herself. But does she really know Zichri or does he harbor dangerous secrets?
This book!! I’m swooning. If the summary alone does not convince you, here are some reasons you should pick up Unbetrothed:
- Magical gifts (and lack thereof) that have Encanto vibes
- An oath-bound quest that must be made or face certain death
- A clean/royalty romance
- Fairy tale vibes
- A Latin-inspired fantasy world
- Political intrigued with plot twists
- A well-done character arc
In all honesty, you may not like Beatriz initially. She’s selfish and impulsive and bossy and haughty (IFKYK). But despite that, the reader still sympathizes with her. Don’t we all know what it is like to desperately want something? Don’t we know what it is like to feel powerless and unworthy? The character growth is beautifully woven throughout Beatriz’s journey.
Yamnitz is a talented author and after reading, I desperately want a mango as well as more of Yamnitz’s world-building! Overall, I give Unbetrothed 5 stars and I look forward to reading more from Yamnitz.
Order your own copy of Unbetrothed here and remember to request a copy for your local library!