Sunday, 5 June 2016

ARC Review: The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

A beautiful, heart-rending tale with just the right amounts of love, loss, danger and magic. A story of friendship, and how far one would go for the other. Thanks to Jazz at Chicken House Books for the gorgeous proof copy.


Forbidden to leave her island, Isabella Riosse dreams of the faraway lands her father once mapped.

When her closest friend disappears into the island’s Forgotten Territories, she volunteers to guide the search. As a cartographer’s daughter, she’s equipped with elaborate ink maps and knowledge of the stars, and is eager to navigate the island’s forgotten heart.

But the world beyond the walls is a monster-filled wasteland – and beneath the dry rivers and smoking mountains, a legendary fire demon is stirring from its sleep. Soon, following her map, her heart and an ancient myth, Isabella discovers the true end of her journey: to save the island itself.

As soon as I received this beautiful book from the wonderful Jazz at Chicken House I was hooked. I may not have been able to devour it as quick as I would have liked due to busy days, but I fell in love as soon as I began. The writing was impeccable, like poetry rolling off the pages, drawing me straight into the world Hargrave had created. Joya is a magical world with a deep, rich background and its history was just as much a joy to read as the story itself.

Our main character is Isabella, daughter of a cartographer with a love and talent for maps. Strong willed and fierce, she knows who she is and who she wants to be. That said there's a part of her that clings to the stories that her father told her about Joya, but its through her adventures that she learns the truth of those stories, of heroes and how they are forged, and of the sacrifices made in the name of the greater good. It's in these adventures that she grows, and it was a joy to witness.

Lupe too, Isabella's best friend for whom she takes off on her adventures to find, was a fabulous character. Her own strong will and self belief rivalled Isabella's, and every scene between them was both heart wrenching and joyful.

I don't think I can say any more without spoiling the wonderful adventure within, but what I will say is that The Girl of Ink and Stars is a wonderful story within a gorgeous book that you will not regret adding to your shelves. I award it a well deserved five stars!

Thanks for reading!

Holly @TheArtsShelf

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