Daughter of the Boricua

Songs of the Boricua

Christian - Romance - Historical
291 Pages
Reviewed on 06/20/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Olivia Castillo is a New York native. After going to the prestigious Fiorello H. Laguardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, she went on to study graphic design at Otis Parson's College in Los Angeles. Along with being an entrepreneur, she is the mother of three children, and grandmother of two. When not writing or spending time with her family, she travels the world and paints.

Song of the Boricua https://amzn.to/2P63Wh9 is her first novel in her trilogy series called Songs of the Boricua. Daughter of the Boricua is her second book.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite

Daughter of the Boricua: Songs of the Boricua is the second in the series by Olivia Castillo. When Moctezuma was dying, he cursed Hernan Cortes and his next generation of daughters. Moctezuma had no idea his daughter and her future generations would be caught up in the curse as well. The story follows three generations of women who face the consequences of their own decisions, and sometimes fate was cruel. Liani, Isabella, and Josephine were living different lives, but their goal was similar. A direct descendant of an Aztec princess, Isabella was cursed and had to learn to live with it. Liani was in love with a Spanish officer, but her loyalty to her people was stopping her from chasing after what her heart wanted. Josephine was Isabella’s daughter but her issues were different from her mother's. Josephine was stuck between choosing her career or her love because she could not have both.

I was expecting to read Daughter of the Boricua in a single sitting and call it a day. I was invested from the very first chapter, and as the story progressed, I knew I had to slow down to savor every aspect. It was magical and entertaining beyond my imagination. I loved the mystique and the supernatural elements surrounding our protagonists. The different points of view and periods could be confusing, but they aren’t. Olivia Castillo did justice to each of the women and this allows readers to enjoy their stories. The dilemma each of them faced was relatable, believable, and humbling. The pace was perfect, the chapters flowed flawlessly, and the story was fantastic. There was suspense, romance, a little bit of heartbreak, and a lot of growth. Loved this!

Asher Syed

Daughter of the Boricua, book two in the sweeping Songs of the Boricua trilogy, is a blended contemporary and historical fiction novel written by Olivia Castillo. The generational story chronicles a maternal line within a family that has indigenous roots and sordid history; the descendants of Aztec royalty met with a bloody end—save one, Isabella. From Isabella sprang the line of her father, but also the curse to which her father had unknowingly destined his family. In the 21st century, we meet Isabella's multi-generational great-granddaughter by the same name and her own daughter Josie, alongside Isabella's 19th-century descendant Liana. Each carries the burden of a conflict that only Liana was close enough to see and feel, even centuries on, but that Josie is enveloped in as the newest daughter who hears the whisper of Boricua in her head and cannot ignore the legacy of her family etched in her bones.

As a reader who was born and grew up in a country that had been colonized from its near infancy, Daughter of the Boricua by Olivia Castillo resonated with me. The original Isabella's story is provided as a precursor but in this book, the tale moves forward and is relinquished to the three women who have equal claim to their heritage. This is now their life and their story, and it is exceptional. A stand-out to me is the dedication Castillo exhibits to the difference between culture and ethnicity. Many who do not come from a European background are frequently asked, “How [insert ethnicity] are you?” Liana introduces the question of inter-racial marriage between a 'savage' and a Spaniard, but by the time we get to Josie, we have a Greek-Puerto Rican-American teenager. But she is Aztec. She is Puerto Rican through and through, whether she realizes it or thinks it or others view her that way or not. She is next in the curse of her royal paternal line, which was brought to life by the maternal Isabella, and it lives on through her with the veracity it did for the first. And this curse, as well as Castillo's writing, has the force of a hurricane. Very highly recommended.

Jamie Michele

Daughter of the Boricua by Olivia Castillo is a historical fiction Christian novel and the second book in the Songs of the Boricua trilogy, preceded by the first book of the same name. This installment presses forward from the four point of view characters of Songs of the Boricua, Elena, Maria, Josephina, and Isabella, to three new women in this Puerto Rican origin story: Liani; Isabella, granddaughter to the former Isabella; and Josephine, daughter of Isabella. All of the lore this story is founded on harks back to a curse between violent enemies and the succession that followed when blood begins to tangle. The timeline is expansive and transitions back and forth between the late 1800s and the 2000s, all threading together in a convergence of a predestined fate.

It is no small feat to completely embody a reader in a 19th-century teenager and then fast forward to 2014, early 2000, and then right back, but Olivia Castillo gets us there with the skill of a seasoned author in Daughter of the Boricua. As a first-generation American, I loved the parallels between time as it applies to the desires, hopes, ambition, and struggles of women that do not change even when the landscape and the calendar absolutely insist on it. Isabella is a character I felt most connected to but, honestly, it is Josephine, who goes by Josie, who felt the most authentic. She is the epitome of the melting pot of America and while she is the first Puerto Rican in her family to go to college, she is also the last to truly understand what is happening in the place where her roots have sprung from. This is where the switchback to Liana drives home a connection. How could two women so different ideologically be so intricately connected? Castillo writes beautifully and I look forward to seeing who she brings us next.

K.C. Finn

Daughter of the Boricua is a work of fiction in the historical fiction, romance, and Christian fiction subgenres. Following on from the first novel, Songs of the Boricua, the novel is best suited to the general adult reading audience and was penned by author Olivia Castillo. Continuing the story of the history and culture of Puerto Rico, we see the tale told through the eyes of three generations of women. As Isabella battles against the shadow of an ancient curse that claims she will never find true happiness, Josephine and Liani also find themselves caught between the different influences in their lives during their own timelines. Will any of them succeed in breaking free of the alleged curse of Moctezuma?

Author Olivia Castillo packs a lot of intrigue, action, plot, romance, and history into this concise and fast-paced novel, which keeps you guessing with every chapter and never has a dull moment throughout. I really enjoyed the multi-generational approach to the storytelling, and I especially loved the fact that history is told from a female perspective, which really humanized it all far from the works of men, money, and military conquests. Of the leading figures, I was most fascinated with Liani as I had much less idea of the history and culture of her as a Taino, and I learned a lot from her story. Overall, I would certainly recommend Daughter of the Boricua to fans of historical romance fiction which is really easy to read but also suitably complex and exciting, with something more culturally unique to offer than your average read.

Pikasho Deka

Daughter of the Boricua - Songs of the Boricua, is a historical romance novel by Olivia Castillo. The book follows three separate generations of the female descendants of Aztec Princess Isabella Moctezuma, who suffer enormous misfortune and struggles, presumably because of a family curse passed down through the centuries. Isabella, the Aztec princess's namesake, overcomes an abusive relationship with a cruel man to marry the love of her life, only to be resented by her daughter Josephine. She grows up to be a beautiful young woman who excels in everything she touches, except romance. Heartbroken because of her father's actions and cheated on by her husband, will she ever find love? Then there is Liani, a Taino woman who falls in love with the captain of the Spanish Armada toward the end of the 19th century in Puerto Rico.

Olivia Castillo tells a touching tale of three generations of women of Puerto Rican heritage trying to overcome overwhelming odds while seeking love, family, and fulfillment. Daughter of the Boricua is a story about the resilient nature of the human spirit that can withstand the baggage of one's past in their journey of life. The author draws upon the rich lore and history of Puerto Rico to create a moving tale filled with romance, heartbreak, and tragedy. The characters are grounded with layers of depth to their outward personas, making them thoroughly compelling to read. I found the ending bittersweet, yet satisfying nonetheless. If you love historical fiction about human interest stories, Daughter of the Boricua is the book for you.