Of Roots and Rot

All her life, Caloise Yarrow has dreaded the day her family curse comes for her, the day when she becomes like her mother: crippled with stomach pain, unable to craft her beloved story magic. So 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 answers. But when she discovers a connection between their curses, and that Crimm’s life is tied to his, she’ll have to decide if she’s willing to sacrifice him to break it—or stay cursed forever.

Of Roots and Rot is a young-adult romantic fantasy novel featuring:

  • Chronic illness rep
  • Gothic cottagecore / goblincore vibes
  • A courtship competition
  • Fake dating
  • Story magic
  • A pet crow named Goblin
Young Adult Romantic Fantasy Author

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