Cursed at birth to be poisonous to the touch, Soraya considers herself the shameful secret of the royal family. That is, until a fortuitous series of events leads her down a path that will irrevocably change her family and her country. As she attempts to come to terms with her actions, she learns that not everything is black and white. I truly appreciate how Bashardoust casts Soraya in a morally gray light in which she is not the hero, nor the villain, and not simply a damsel in distress either. She is fully aware of her reach and her actions. This story beautifully blends Persian fairytale, historical drama, and epic poetry.
Did Harry Potter make you long to go to Hogwarts? Could you see yourself as part of a House, making lifelong friends, wearing knitted scarves, enjoying feasts and holidays, and maybe even rubbing elbows with the Chosen One? Be warned, the Scholomance is Hogwarts deadlier cousin. A wizarding high school where every day is a battle with lethal creatures, a murderous building and 4000 other teenagers who will do anything to make it to graduation where, if they're lucky, the alliances they've made will allow them to pass the final exam and survive.
I picked this up because I wanted a fund diverting fantasy, maybe with a light romance thrown in for flavor.
Instead I got this dark, convoluted monster of a novel, in which nothing is simple, event the characters you love can be terrible, ad all your expectations are brought into a startling, hideous light.
This book gave me nothing I wanted, but what it gave me instead was much better. It is not for the feint of hearth. Read it
This paranormal romance series hooked me to the Romance genre once and for all. The Darkest London series follows three sisters and their various supernatural acquaintances in Victorian England. There's adventure, there's horrible deeds, there's heroes lurking in the dark - all framed by a magical investigative organization that's as old as it is secret. It's like Gail Carriger's Soulless series but with more fabled creatures and very steamy couplings.
What an angry and satisfying story. Apart from creating a compelling and morally ambiguous character worthy of his own series, Lavalle serves up a rebut to the xenophobia writhing in the depths of the Lovecraft mythos. This book made me hold up foot traffic on the way to the store, demanding that I finish the heartbreaking chapter before I took another step. J'adore.