It is the mystery of the magic that makes The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina by Zoraida Córdova such a unique, intriguing fantasy. This mixture of fairytale creatures, protective bonding with flora and fauna, spirits, and wishes-come-true draws readers in, entertains, and keeps them wanting more.
The story ironically starts with the expected death of the protagonist, Orquídea, who magically sends invitations to all of her family members to come home to Four Rivers and claim their inheritance prior to her passing. Her family is extensive. (Check out the family tree at the beginning of the book.) To say that the inheritance is not what everyone expected is an understatement. Yet, the whole family gets together and prepares a feast to celebrate the passing of their matriarch. That same night the great grandchild Rhiannon is born. Rhiannon and three grandchildren, Marimar, Rey, and Tatinelly receive the most mysterious and magical gifts.
Seven years later when three family members die unexpectedly, the family comes together once again at the homestead. They prepare to fight an evil they know nothing about, a secret withheld from them all their years. To find answers they must go back to Ecuador where Orquídea was born.
The characters in this novel are well-developed and complex. Through flashbacks the reader learns about Orquídea. She was born under unlucky stars, to an unwed mother. She had little but her spunk, her beauty, and her tenacity. She was generous to others in need and loyal to her family. Marimar and Rey are young and vibrant with dreams and inspirations. Tatinelly thinks of herself as ordinary, but she is so much more than that.
The strong themes of family and home may have the reader wishing to enter into this world of magic and mayhem. That’s not to say that all the siblings agree and get along, but when put to the challenge they all stand together.
Zoraida Córdova is a prolific writer of Young Adult fantasies similar to those of Daniel Jose Older or Holly Black. While this is a stand-alone novel for adults, this reader hopes it will not be her last.