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Of Roots and Rot is a young-adult romantic fantasy novel featuring:
All her life, Caloise Yarrow has dreaded the day her family curse comes for her, the day everyone not bound to her by blood will tire of its sickness and leave. The day when she will become like her mother: crippled with stomach pain, unable to craft her beloved story magic. When the gates to Hedgeglove Manor—a reclusive house once renowned for its library—open for the first time in fifteen years, Caloise is certain it contains a book with answers to finally break the destructive spell. And though she’s sworn off love until she breaks her curse—her mother learned that lesson well enough for them both—the gates have opened for one reason only: a courtship competition for the young lord, Crimm Fallothorn.
After casting a story to secure herself a spot in the trials, Caloise arrives to find a man irritatingly aware of his own charm and who almost immediately sees through her (probably not well-faked) interest in him. But instead of eliminating her from the competition, Crimm offers her a deal: any book in his library in exchange for using her magic to help him identify which competitors he can trust—while pretending to be his favored suitor. They’re strange terms, but his motive is not the only mystery at Hedgeglove. Something malevolent is infesting the manor. It’s in the mushrooms sprouting along windowsills, in the moss corroding the parquet floors, in a sinkhole’s collapse in the middle of a croquet tournament unleashing thousands of maggots on the lawn.
As the rot worsens with each courtship trial, Caloise begins to suspect she’s not the only one with a curse. Crimm finally confesses that unless he marries at the end of the contest, the manor—and maybe the entire county—will fall to his curse’s rot. Which wouldn’t be her problem if their fake courtship wasn’t becoming dangerously less fake, or if the Yarrow Family Curse wasn’t setting in like knives in her stomach. With the wedding quickly approaching, belabored by her worsening symptoms, Caloise races to find a way to break one of their curses. If she can’t, she’ll have to decide whether she can do what she always swore she wouldn’t: take a chance on love—even sick—or lose Crimm forever.
Status: actively querying
Copyright © Christine L. Arnold, Young Adult Fantasy Author. All rights reserved.