Book Review: Sinner’s Isle by Angela Montoya

About the Book:

Title: Sinner’s Isle

Author: Angela Montoya

Page Length: 304

Publication Date: Oct. 31, 2023

Publisher: Random House

Synopsis: The fiery tale of a powerful witch who will do anything to escape the remote island she’s being held captive on, including blackmail an infamous, charming pirate who washes up on shore, from debut author Angela Montoya.

Rosalinda is trapped on Sinner’s Isle under the watchful eye of a power-hungry headmistress. And thanks to her vicious phantoms, Rosa is the most favored at this year’s Offering, where Majestics’ powers will be on full display so the wealthy may choose one to serve them for life.

For years, she has been kept under the watchful, calculating eye of Doña Lucia. Now eighteen, Rosa will be the prized commodity at this year’s Offering, a fiesta for the wealthy to engage in drink, damsels, and debauchery. That is why she must flee—before someone forces the vicious phantoms within her to destroy everything she touches.

Handsome, swashbuckling Mariano has long sailed the high seas as the Prince of Pirates. Then the king’s fleet attacks his father’s infamous ship, leaving him marooned on Sinner’s Isle with only an enchanted chain meant to lead him to his heart’s desire. Instead, he falls into the hands of a brazen (although) bewitching headache—Rosa.

Together they must outwit each other and their enemies before the Offering ends and it’s too late to escape the perils of Sinner’s Isle.

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

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My Review:

I’m thrilled to be on the tour today for Sinner’s Isle, a fantastically entertaining YA romantasy by debut author Angela Montoya. I was captivated by the book as soon as I saw the gorgeous cover and read the premise!

The story follows a young witch and a marooned pirate, both of whom are desperate to escape the enchanted Sinner’s Isle. It’s an exciting story filled with drama and adventure, friendships and political intrigue, sea monsters, magic, and an epic romance. It’s an immersive world, rich and descriptive with fascinating lore, mythology, and magic. I was so fascinated by the Majestics, women with unique magical gifts, and how others worked to control and suppress them while still objectifying and using them. This patriarchal society controls powerful women by binding them to men of status and influence, and there are some great messages about freedom, the corruptive nature of power, gender inequities, and more.

Rosa and Mariano both have interesting arcs, and I enjoyed the dual narration. It revealed so much about each character – their motivations, their feelings about each other, and what was happening around them. And they have a fantastic love story with some swoon-worthy chemistry. Watching these two fall for each other while plotting to free Rosa’s imprisoned best friend, helping the newly crowned King to safety, using and learning more about magic, and finding a way to escape the island is all so intriguing, pulse-pounding, and romantic. There’s also a secondary romance that I adored, and I can’t wait to see how both of these pairings develop in the next book.

The characters are all fantastic, and there are some definite found family vibes happening with Rosa, Mariano, their friends, and some allies. But I think my favorite is Santi. He is hilarious, and he often stole the show in scenes because of his quick wit, candor, and effervescent personality. He and Mariano are opposites in temperament and personality, but they are such great friends. I love their banter and how it breaks up some of the more intense moments. Rosa and Juana have a wonderful friendship, too, and it very much parallels Santi and Mariano’s.

Overall, I thought this was a great debut novel. It’s exciting and suspenseful, and the romances and world-building are fantastic. I would definitely recommend Sinner’s Isle to romantasy readers and readers of YA fantasy.



Favorite Lines:

I will not watch your light dim.

Beware the serpent of the sea. He will be your undoing.

She would rather hope than drown in regret.

Here is my lovely rose. Pure of heart, sweet and fragrant. But beware, her splendor is guarded by thorns.

Sometimes we must do whatever is best at that moment. Regret will do nothing but fester in our marrow.

About the Author:

Angela Montoya lives in Northern California with her family. She is the granddaughter of the celebrated activist and poet laureate Jose Montoya. When she isn’t with her partner, two children, goats, chickens, and dogs, you can find Angela co-hosting the podcast, Of the Publishing PersuasionSinner’s Isle was her debut novel.

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