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Reviewed by Tracy Traynor for Readers' Favorite
The Orange Curse by Kristina Kamaera is a story of love, fortune, and a magical adventure. It is about the journey, not the destination—one filled with legendary myths, enchanting fairies, and frightening baddies. Three fairy sisters (as different as night and day) live in the charming land of Magarfala. Fata Nocha has been in love with Prince Arancio for a long time, but when he meets her sister, Fata Leta, he instantly falls in love with her. Scorned and wanting revenge, Fata Nocha makes a terrible bargain with Incubo, a wicked sorcerer. To save their son, Arancio sends him into hiding and casts a spell over himself and Fata Leta. Left with a king and queen in a foreign land, Mateo grows up not knowing he is a fairy. When he is eleven, he is torn from the family he loves and sent by the witch Baska on a quest to find oranges in Magarfala. Along the way, he makes friends with Tessa. Together they have to overcome being kidnapped and spellbound to restore light to Magarfala and defeat the evil they encounter.
A fantastical fantasy adventure for 9-12-year-olds, The Orange Curse is a captivating fantasy in the vein of the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen. Kristina Kamaeva is a wonderful storyteller with a marvelous imagination. With descriptions like, ‘he rushed to their date like a crazy ostrich,’ the book is a fun and delightful read. I loved the worlds, people, and fantastical creatures. I also enjoyed the illustrations which helped to bring the story to life. Despite the best attempts of the villains and their nefarious schemes, the children learn how to turn their fortunes around with positive attitudes, and that love is more powerful than any curse. Guaranteed to enchant and enthrall, this mythical fairy tale boasts sinister and endearing characters, magical elements, and strong storytelling.