A Forgery of Roses

Inkyard. Mar. 2022. 384p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781335418661.
Gr 7 Up–Olson’s newest offering is a satisfying dark fantasy of art, science, romance, and murder. Myra Whitlock is an art Prodigy like her mysteriously disappeared mother. In her world, Prodigies are an aberration to the Higher Power (called Artist), because of their ability to heal physical injury through the act of painting. Myra has been secretly called to bring the Governor’s heir back to life by painting his portrait. She accepts the assignment for the money it will bring, which will pay for a doctor to diagnose her dying sister. Myra’s inability to heal her sister reveals the intricacies of Prodigy magic: one can only fully heal another when the cause of the injury or illness is known. What follows is Myra’s journey to find a murderer and a motive in the Governor’s manor, and to fulfill her destiny. Olson weaves intense action and tender emotion in her multifaceted work. Descriptions of what a Prodigy feels when the magic overtakes them—experiencing everything the subject felt in injury/death—pierce with anatomical precision. Secondary characters such as pale red-haired August (the Governor’s other son), the charismatic Forger, and Myra’s spirited sister are as vibrant as the protagonist herself, allowing readers to hope for different outcomes throughout. The time period is perplexing, as there are carriages and corsets but also telephones and a hospital ICU, but it doesn’t detract from the seamless storytelling and unexpected climax. Characters’ race and ethnicity are not specified.
VERDICT A triumphant second novel, Olson’s not-to-be-missed tale of intrigue has something for everyone.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing