Series: Tales of Beauty & Madness, #3
Author: Lili St. Crow
Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Fairytale Retelling
Release Date: February 25th, 2015
Length: 320 pages
Source: Borrowed from my local library
In the kin world, girls Ruby de Varre’s age are expected to play nice, get betrothed, and start a family—especially if they’re rootkin, and the fate of the clan is riding on them. But after a childhood of running wild in the woods, it’s hard to turn completely around and be demure. Even if your Gran is expecting it.
Then Conrad, handsome and charming, from a clan across the Waste, comes to New Haven to seal alliance between their two families. The sparks fly immediately. Conrad is smart, dominant, and downright gorgeous. Yet as Ruby gets to know him more, she starts to realize something’s…off.
Then, the murders start. A killer stalks the city streets, and just when Ruby starts to suspect the unimaginable, she becomes the next target. Now Ruby’s about to find out that Conrad’s secrets go deeper than she ever could have guessed—and it’s up to Ruby to save her Gran, her clan, and maybe even herself.
Another enjoyable book in this lovely YA series. I love that the stories consistently involve friendship as well as learning to be yourself, trust your instincts, and grow into something wiser and more powerful than you were before. That being said, the audience is definitely teen/young adult. I found myself yelling at Ruby throughout, for dismissing her own instincts and allowing herself to become a victim.
And truly, that’s a positive thing for the realism of the characters. I found myself relating a lot to Ruby (under tremendous pressure to be better, afraid of disappointing those she loves, wanting to “spare” her friends, feeling pressure to always be flippant and positive, and ending up in an abusive relationship because of it). I also really liked the side characters, and the concept of the werewolf culture (the term werewolf is never used in here, but it’s clear that’s what it is). Also, the development of the abusive relationship is pretty darn realistic.
Overall, this one was slightly less creepy than the first and second novels, but compelling, well-paced, and a joy to read.
I’m a coffee-fueled, hobby-addicted bibliophage who makes cruelty-free mineral eye shadows (inspired by novels). I’m usually in front of a screen (writing, reading, or gaming), but I’ve been known to emerge for geekery, good food, and dark chocolate.