Sinner’s Isle

Random/Joy Revolution. Oct. 2023. 384p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780593643334.
Gr 7 Up–Rosalinda has been exiled to Sinner’s Isle because she is a woman who has a magical ability. She is to be one of the most coveted Majestics at this year’s Offering, where a wealthy man can choose to bind to her for life. Knowing this is her fate, Rosa and her friend Juana attempt to flee the island. Mariano, also known as the Prince of Pirates, finds himself marooned on Sinner’s Isle. When he crosses paths with Rosa, his life is forever changed. Together they work to escape the horrors of the island. Debut author Montoya shares a story of witches and pirates that is not a common combination. She brings readers into a world where women with magical abilities are made to feel less than and controlled by the men around them. This concept has potential, and this book builds an intriguing world, but it ultimately falls short in its delivery. Chapters are divided between the two main characters, but readers never really get to see the depth of them due to limited character development; the main characters don’t really connect until almost halfway through the plot. The insta-love romance between Rosa and Mariano is suited for younger YA fantasy readers. Most characters are described as having brown skin and Spanish words are used throughout.
VERDICT Share with readers who have exhausted all other fantasy-romance options. A secondary purchase for where this genre circulates well.

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