Romance and loyalty to one’s true self collide over and over in this book which deals with everything from a corrupt government to a mysterious beast that lurks beyond the supposedly protective walls of the city of Baalboden. Suspicions of traitorous activities can get a person killed in this fictional city, and girls that wander the streets unsupervised are punished severely. When a young, newly orphaned girl becomes suspicious that her father isn’t really dead, and may still be alive, she begins to consider a journey that puts her life at jeopardy.
When I first started reading this book, I was kind of expecting it to be set in medieval times. The cover depicts a girl in a long cloak and boots, and the description on the dust jacket sounded like other books I have read from that time period. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that this book isn’t really set in any time period. I would say it is best described as a steampunk novel, and though I haven’t read many books in this newer genre, this book was delightfully entertaining. Some younger readers may be able to handle the abundance of violence in this story, if they are on the mature side, but for the most part, I think an older reader would appreciate what happens in this book.
Profanity/Language: 1 religious exclamation; 1 mild obscenity
Violence/Gore: A girl is captured and tortured by an older man, with a brief description of him threatening her; a character is said to be flogged publicly because of a crime committed; a character is killed in a violent stabbing, and blood is involved; citizens of a town are menaced by a beast; teen characters are chased several times by guards and authority of a town for crimes they have committed; a teen is threatened with the punishment of death for petty crimes said to have been committed; there are several violent extended scenes of fighting, often involving injuries and/or blood.
Sex/Nudity: A young man and young woman kiss several times; a rape is implied briefly, but never occurred.
Mature Subject Matter:
Death; destruction; murder; defiance of authority
Alcohol / Drug Use: