Release Date: 05/8/18 | Urban Fantasy | 376 Pages | HMH BFYR
The servants bound to the home of the Parisian witch Mada Vittora may appear human but are in fact beasties–animals enchanted into humans. When Mada Vittora is mysteriously murdered Anouk, her newest beastie and the other servants find themselves on a high stakes adventure across Paris to discover the truth of their origins and find a way to stay human before time runs out.
I went into this book knowing literally nothing and was completely sucked in to this unique and thrilling urban fantasy. I think magic systems are so key to how believable a story is and Shepherd builds a complex and imaginative magic system with steep consequences and rules.
This book does the thing that I really like in YA fantasy where a girl gets hero jounrey’d, discovers she has more power than she thought possible and takes a level in badassalong the way. I appreciate that Shepherd is able to write a female-centered fantasy without a lot of violence. One thing that has turned me off some YA fantasies lately is just all the sexual violence and abuse heaped on the (particularly female) characters before they can gain power. It’s one of the reasons Ember in The Ashes didn’t work for me and almost turned me off the genre.