On the Horizon – flowerheart (Catherine Bakewell)

Ahoy there me mateys!  I received a copy of this young adult fantasy novel eArc from NetGalley in exchange for me honest musings . . .

Title: flowerheart
Author: Catherine Bakewell
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: TODAY!! (hardback/e-book)
ISBN: 978-0063214590
Source: NetGalley


I clicked on this novel because of the beautiful cover.  I requested it because the book was described as being similar to a favorite, Tamora Pierce, and because it dealt with flower magic.  I enjoyed this book even though it is not like Pierce’s work at all and the magic is the least interesting aspect of the novel.

So the negative of the magic is that it really didn’t make much sense to me.  The magic talks to the user and is difficult to control.  It seems like to use the magic, practitioners have to bend it to their will.  The main character, Clara, has magic that makes flowers.  I did love that the flowers that she was able to produce had meanings.  However the practical effects of the magic like portals, potions, etc. were not very exciting.  How Clara learns to control her magic was also silly and not that interesting.

What I did really enjoy about the novel was the fast pace and the relationship between Clara and her old best friend Xavier.  They haven’t seen each other in five years.  Once Clara’s magic hurts her father, Xavier takes Clara on as an apprentice.  He does have ulterior motives.  What was unique about this story in the YA market is that the two characters actually talk to each other about their feelings and concerns.  They both make mistakes, through good intentions, but ultimately apologize.  They support each other.  It was great to have the relationship deal with actual problems rather than silly angst.

I also adored and loved the unexpected ending.  How Xavier and Clara relate to each other and the hope for their future was heartwarming.  I wish I could explain more but for major spoilers that the reader should enjoy for themselves.

I do think that if I were younger, this book would have been an even better read.  It is likely that the flaws in the magic system wouldn’t bothered me much and I would have focused on the lovely relationship that develops between Clara and Xavier.  Arrrr!

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

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.

To visit the author’s website go to:
Catherine Bakewell – Author

To buy the book go to:
flowerheart – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:
Yer Ports for Plunder List


2 thoughts on “On the Horizon – flowerheart (Catherine Bakewell)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.