Review: Flowerheart

Title: Flowerheart
Author: Catherine Bakewell
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback arc
Release Date: March 14, 2023
Rating: ★★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

Perfect for fans of Margaret Rogerson and Tamora Pierce, this standalone YA debut is a stunning cottagecore fantasy romance about a girl with powerful and violent magic, which she must learn to control—or lose everything she loves.

Clara’s magic has always been wild. But it’s never been dangerous. Then a simple touch causes poisonous flowers to bloom in her father’s chest.

The only way to heal him is to cast an extremely difficult spell that requires perfect control. And the only person willing to help is her former best friend, Xavier, who’s grown from a sweet, shy child into a mysterious and distant young man.

Xavier names a terrible price in return, knowing Clara will give anything to save her father. As she struggles to reconcile the new Xavier with the boy she once loved, she discovers their bargain is only one of the heavy secrets he’s hiding. And as she hunts for the truth, she instead finds the root of a terrible darkness that’s taken hold in the queendom—a darkness only Clara’s magic is powerful enough to stop.


Clara Lucas has wild magic. She has no control over it despite studying with masters for years. One day, she accidentally curses her father, causing poisonous flowers to bloom in his heart. Her only hope of saving him is learning how to do a blessing, but with uncontrolled magic, that will be difficult. Her childhood friend Xavier offers to help her for an incredibly high price. Clara agrees because she will do anything to save her father. However, she doesn’t know the dark secrets Xavier is keeping from her. The deal Clara made with him could impact their entire magical world, if she’s able to save her father. 

This was a tragic and beautiful fantasy story. Clara’s magic often manifested as flowers, so there was a lot of floral imagery throughout the story. Though the flowers were pretty, they could be dangerous like when they grew out of her father’s body, so they weren’t an innocent product of magic. 

There was a subplot about a drug that was going around their town. The drug was called Euphoria and was supposed to get rid of sadness, but it came at a price of consciousness. This was a powerful storyline about drug abuse. The drug may have removed that sadness, but it took away everything else that made them human. 

Flowerheart is a beautiful YA fantasy story!

Thank you HCC Frenzy for providing a physical copy of this book. 

Content warnings: child abandonment by parent, drug abuse, vomiting

What to read next:

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Have you read Flowerheart? What did you think of it?

Author: jilljemmett

Jill lives in Toronto, Canada. She has studied English, Creative Writing, and Publishing. Jill is the creator and content producer of Jill’s Book Blog, where she has published a blog post every day for the last four years, including 5-7 book reviews a week. She can usually be found with her nose in a book.

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