Genre: Historical, Young Adult, Retelling
Les Misérables meets Six of Crows in this page-turning adventure as a young thief finds herself going head to head with leaders of Paris’s criminal underground in the wake of the French Revolution.
In the violent urban jungle of an alternate 1828 Paris, the French Revolution has failed and the city is divided between merciless royalty and nine underworld criminal guilds, known as the Court of Miracles. Eponine (Nina) Thénardier is a talented cat burglar and member of the Thieves Guild. Nina’s life is midnight robberies, avoiding her father’s fists, and watching over her naïve adopted sister, Cosette (Ettie). When Ettie attracts the eye of the Tiger–the ruthless lord of the Guild of Flesh–Nina is caught in a desperate race to keep the younger girl safe. Her vow takes her from the city’s dark underbelly to the glittering court of Louis XVII. And it also forces Nina to make a terrible choice–protect Ettie and set off a brutal war between the guilds, or forever lose her sister to the Tiger.
Les Miserables meets Jungle Book–sold me, but didn’t keep my interest.
Eponine [Nina] is a talented thief, which they call a cat in this book. She’s a member of the thieves’ guild and daughter of Thenardier, a conniving, violent man. Nina is strong, but for me it was difficult to connect with her chilly disposition, although I felt for her plight which was trying to find her sister who was sold to the flesh guild [prostitutes,] and also trying to protect her adoptive sister Cosette [Ettie,] from a similar fate.
Unfortunately, instead of growing more interested in the characters, or the story itself, I grew detached. I wanted to know more about side characters than the plight of Nina, Ettie, or her missing sister. Although the world is vividly depicted, down to the filth and smell of the streets, I found the story lacking real depth to it.
It failed to draw me in and thus deliver a wonderful tale.
A few good highlights of the story were, as I said, the side characters. They were memorable to me, I only wish they had more air-time, and we were able to dive into their stories more. The hero of the book was definitely the magnificent world building and embellishing on Les Mis’ foundation and breathing a new life into it.
Overall, I recommend if you’re looking for an interesting take on Les Mis, or need to fill a prompt with a historical retelling.
What’s on your TBR list for August?