Cover Image: The Encanto's Daughter

The Encanto's Daughter

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Member Reviews

I really wanted to like this one, especially because I have not read many books inspired by or about Filipino culture/folklore. Unfortunately, the plot was very slow and felt flat for me and I couldn’t relate or care about the characters. I read until about 70%, but my feelings didn’t really change. I would definitely read other YA Filipino inspired books though, this one just wasn’t for me.

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MJ Rodriguez has a secret. Her secret has prevented her from living the life of a typical teenager. MJ’s secret? She is half encanto. She is also the heir to the throne of the Sirena Court. When her father, King Vivencio, dies, MJ must travel to Biringan and claim her rightful place upon her throne, but not everyone is pleased about her ascension, especially the council who isn’t immune to trickery and backstabbing. When it seems like things can’t possibly get any worse, MJ learns that her father’s death might have been the result of a curse inflicted by a sorceress,and she might be next.

I had really high hopes for The Encanto’s Daughter, but it fell a little short for me. It almost seemed like it was trying to be too many things at once–thriller, mystery, romance, fantasy–causing many of these to be lacking and not fully developed. I never really felt a connection to any of the characters, almost to the point where I didn’t care what happened to them. I also felt that, with the target audience being teens/young adult, the writing didn’t quite vibe with that audience. I think the story itself had a lot of potential, it just didn’t quite hit the mark and was poorly executed.

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Recieved as an ARC from Netgalley.
It was a great book. But given that the character was 17, almost 18, it did have more middle school vibes and was not as complex as it could have been.

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MJ spends most of her life traveling around without notice but not knowing why until it's revealed that she's the only child of the king of magical land, and she's due to be crowned queen in just a few weeks. Nobody wants a half-human ruler, and it's becoming more obvious that her father's death wasn't from natural causes. MJ needs to find out who cursed her father, navigate the complexities of a world she's unfamiliar with, find out what her magical talent is, keep up with homework, and figure out if Sir Lucas of the Sigbin Court is an enemy or an ally.

Personally, I wasn't sure I'd like this because I haven't been a big fan of the author's previous works with Disney. I'm happy that this more original work had a spark for me that previous books I've read by her didn't. I still don't think her writing style is particularly strong, but the plot and ideas worked a lot better in this book than in her other books.

My favorite part was the incorporation of Filipino mythology into the magical world. Most of the depth of the world and characters come from these cultural tie-ins. Unfortunately, there isn’t much depth beyond these areas. It’s not completely clear what the titles and areas of the kingdom are, and while there is supposedly risk about what happens if MJ doesn’t take the throne, that risk isn’t very clear. The magic system was interesting, although we get only a few details. The characters also feel flat and more like tropes than individuals. I think there’s a lot of room for these to develop more if this book is going to be the first in a series, but the lack of development sometimes makes it hard to enjoy this book. It also made the book feel like it was for younger readers, even though the main characters are 17 and 18.

The book balances creepy murder mystery (without being *too* creepy,* although there are quite a few bugs some readers may want to be aware of). The plot is generally predictable and had more than its fair share of tropes.

One thing that made the book more difficult was trying to balance going to school with the murder mystery. The school sections sometimes slow down the action too much, and it all feels unimportant (mostly because it is to the story, for the most part). Sometimes the book felt like it wasn’t sure what it wanted to be (murder mystery or magic school, teen romance or lost royalty?), and the school setting had a lot to do with that.

Overall, the book is fine. It has some interesting elements but doesn’t stand out as one I’d reread or recommend. I’d most recommend this book for younger YA readers who might enjoy light romance and mystery but don’t care if there aren’t more complex themes, characters, and world-building. However, readers who hate cliffhangers will be frustrated with the ending.

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I have never read a Filipino centered fantasy story and I am glad I took the plunge on this one. I loved the storytelling and world building. While I wasn't a big fan of the end twist, I will gladly ignore it to rave about how well written this book was.

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I read this ARC on behalf of Girls' Life magazine (accidentally downloaded it to my personal NetGalley vs the company one—oops). We provided coverage in our Bestie Book Club.

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Thanks to Penguin Teen for the ARC!

Unfortunately this book didn't live up to my expectations. I do enjoy YA literature, but this one felt young YA.

The beginning kicks off with an intense scene and you're flipping pages nervously trying to figure out if everything is going to be okay and then there's a big lull of the FMC going to school...which introduced important characters but overall the schooling was just a little flat.

Then we end up having a murder mystery going on and the characters are 17, almost 18, but the way they were written and their actions made them feel closer to 15. There was no depth to their characters. Honestly, I couldn't tell you much about what they look like aside from Lucas' dark hair and a mention of his darker skin. There's a lot going on with the different courts and titles and I also couldn't tell you how they work together in the kingdom.

One part at the end made me laugh... they decided who the culprit was after doing their little murder mystery activities and when the culprit showed themselves the FMC was shocked?? You already knew it was them! There were just a lot of details like this where it was more show vs. telling that moved my rating down.

As for the cultural aspects, it just seemed like it interchanged common English words/names for Filipino words/names. I was expecting the world to be more influenced by Filipino culture and the mythology didn't really stand out to me as other fantasy-mythology stories I have read.

The magic system was interesting, but it was hardly explained beyond a surface level description. It seems like there could be so much lore to it, but it just didn't catch my attention or feel fully thought out. Upon reading other reviews, it seems this may be a series? If so, I hope that the world and magic system is explained more in-depth to really grab the reader's attention. I will not be continuing the series.

If you have a younger teen I think this would be a great book for them as it's easy to read and a great introduction into another culture and fantasy in general.

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Melissa de la Cruz introduces readers to her trademark literary worlds rooted in magic and mystery in THE ENCANTO’S DAUGHTER. A fast-paced, easy read positively brimming with adventure and self-discovery, THE ENCANTO’S DAUGHTER offers up a wonderful literary oasis to get lost within.

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This was just as amazing as I thought it would be! Melissa de la Cruz never disappoints. Definitely something new from her, but MJ is as relatable as her other characters. Can't wait to find out more!

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I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I was so excited to read this because it is based on Filipino mythology I have never read any before and this did not disappoint.

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I just finished reading this first of a series and I'm mad at myself for it because book 2 won't be coming out tilll 2025!!!!
Anyways the encanto's daughter by Melissa De la Cruz is her first in a new ya fantasy series or duology (not sure how long it will be) but it's a first in a series that has a faplino cast and faplino mythology! This follows our herione MJ rodriquez who is half human and half encanto but she doesn't know anything about the encanto world until she gets "kidnapped" durning her newest year of school because she moves around alot but like I said she didn't know why she had to move around alot until she gets kidnapped this day at school.
So she leaves her new school she just shown up at where nobody knows her at all. Until she went to the fairyland!! Everyone know her but she didn't know anyone so there she found out some dark secrets in her family and speaking of family there is found family trope in here and a little bit of romances too!
I overall cannot wait to read book 2 whatever that one is going to be called? I'm just sad that it won't be out till next year!):

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Summary: Even though she's half-encanto, MJ Rodriguez has spent her entire life in the human world. She is the only child of King Vivencio of the Sirena Court, which makes her next in line for the throne. Her father suddenly dies and she must now leave the world she knows for one she's only dreamed about. Forming unlikely friendships, she sets off to not only learn how to rule this country she is just now learning, but also solve the mystery of who killed her father.

Dani’s Thoughts: I like the way that the reader discovered and learned about this world at the same time as MJ. It was helpful to unravel this new world and help the reader understand all the new characters and tasks that was required of MJ. I LOVED Nyx and it was so great that MJ found a truly great best friend for the first time, since she was always moving in the human world. I also enjoyed the mystery surrounding her father's death and the lengths MJ and friends went to to be sure they figured everything out. This story seemed to wrap up, minus a certain pesky invitation at the end of the book, so it will be interesting to see how this story continues.

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MJ Rodriguez has spent her life hidden in the human world. She’s a half encanto and the only daughter to the King. She’s next up to be on the throne, there are some who don’t want her there. She sets off on a journey of self discovery.

This story was a mix of thriller meets fantasy with Filipino mythology. There’s a lot incorporated throughout the story that make it more magical in ways. Besides the magic and history, there’s a romance that brews.

All in all, it was an interesting quick read!

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The Encanto’s Daughter is a Filipino mythology-inspired fantasy following the protagonist MJ who is thrust into Biringan when her father, the king, dies. MJ has always known she is half-Encanto but has lived her life as a human in the human world with her mother, who is also human. However, their lives have been lived on the run from the dangers that come with being an Encanto princess. The majority of the story takes place in Biringan, where MJ struggles to find her footing and place as she’s forced to rise to the challenge of taking the throne. This young adult fantasy has everything you’d look for in this genre: a romance, enemies and allies, court politics, a magical world that is both beautiful and terrifying at times, and shocking twists. The Encanto’s Daughter is a fast-paced, entertaining read that is trope-y enough to satisfy the typical YA fantasy reader.

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This was a great YA fantasy novel, that I would recommend to fans of Melissa de la Cruz's previous books!

I received an e-ARC from the publisher.

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The first half of this was a little bit slow, but once it picked up it was so exciting I couldn't out it down. MJ has had to come back to assume the position of heir to the throne after her father's death. But it seems that something bigger is going on, and she's able to investigate what really happened with her friend Nix, and Logan, who she thinks she may really like. I felt like things were wrapped up really quickly in the end, but thats just me. It was a perfect blend of teen super sleuthing and royal shenanigans!

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I have been provided with a review copy of this title from NetGalley for an impartial review. Awwww this was such a cute story. I was just captivated by everything that was taking place. It was just so easy to get into these characters lives and you just can't help but fall in love with them. I can't wait to see what's next from this author.

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This was, very unfortunately, a DNF for me. This may be a book I come back to in the future but, as of right now, it just really wasn’t holding my attention. I didn’t feel any sort of investment in the storyline or the characters and found myself only picking up the book to read 5-10 pages and then stopping. It wasn’t catching my interest at all.

I’ve enjoyed other books by the author so it may be a wrong timing situation and I’m just not in the mood for it. I can’t really pick out anything that I genuinely found wrong with the book at all. It was just a case of my attention isn’t being held at all.

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Such a wonderful read full of mystery and magic. The pace is quick and pulls you right into MJs life. I did get a bit confused with all the characters and various descriptions of encantos. Definitely worth a read.

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Melissa de la Cruz has always delivered excellent stories and this one is absolutely perfect. I could not put this YA Romanticy down! Hands down the best I've read so far this year!! Loved it! A definite must read!!
I just reviewed The Encanto's Daughter by Melissa de la Cruz. #TheEncantosDaughter #NetGalley
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