Saturday, 17 September 2016

The Girl Of Ink and Stars - Kiran Millwood Hargrave



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.


The story takes place on the Isle of Joya, an island with a mythical past as a floating island. There is a mythical tale that everyone living on Joya knows, one that involves a girl-warrior named Arinta and a fire demon Yote.

In the present day, we come to know that the island is now divided following the arrival of a rather threatening Governor named Adori who is for the most part, for some unknown reason now the ruler of the island. You're either on the Governor' side of the island or the other side where Forgotten Territories are. Our protagonist, Isabella, lives on Adori's side. She is, unsurprisingly, best friends with Adori's daughter Lupe.

I have to admit that I adored the cover and the pages throughout the book, they were so adorable I loved them just slightly less than I did the book itself. I grew slightly attached to Lupe and Isabella as well as Pablo but somehow the connection didn't feel complete, like I was missing more information about them but I admired their strength and determination and bravery.

The relationships between characters were expressed well and as the reader you do get a real sense of the emotional links between each of them. The unconditional friendship between Isabella and Lupe was what really helped pull the story together;despite the differences in their background and upbringing, their bond goes beyond that and the two formed a strong and sweet relationship. I adored the relationship Isabella had with her Da, as I myself have a very close relationship with my dad it was very warming to find part of myself within a 13 year old character. Not only that but I loved how her love for cartography gave both of them the chance to grow closer in times of heartbreak which only strengthened their bond.

The journey that Isa goes on to find Lupe is very interesting, as it gives more of an insight into the history of the island and that's great because I wanted more of it. I think in this case as the book is aimed at a younger audience the story is contained and quicker paced which explains my reason for not having a strong connection with the characters, but l enjoyed the world so much that I wanted to explore each and every part of it.

At it's heart, this book is very much about friendship and family, it's a 4/5 from me, I just really wished the book had been written for an older audience so that it was more in depth but for what it's worth I think Kiran did a great job for the audience she aimed at with a message of loyalty, bravery and friendship as well at it being her debut.

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