Amazing and Stunning!

filled star filled star filled star filled star filled star
blotsandblots Avatar


hi, so who allowed roshani chokshi to end a book like that

ladies, gentlemen, buddies beyond the binary, I am pleased to expose Roshani Chokshi for clearly a god in human form and tricking us all. there is NO way on earth a mere human, a mortal, a non-divine being could have written a novel as beautifully as she did!!!

(in case you were wondering, I am not okay.)

Along with Roshani’s amazing writing, the crew in this book had the most amazing banter, ever. Their group dynamic is what I strive to have.

“Tristan and Hypnos admired my outfit,” she said, resting her hand on her hip. “No compliment from you?”

“I didn’t have a chance to look,” he said… “Too busy avoiding certain death. It’s terribly distracting, you know.”

Trigger & content warnings for colonialism, racism, stillbirth, death of a loved one, mental torture, almost-dismemberment, graphic depictions of blood, cultural erasure, parental neglect, and mention of suicide. (As always, you can contact me if you would like more information on any of these. <3)

I’d like to give Roshani Chokshi an achievement for actually having a prologue that wasn’t boring as hell and instead was fun and fresh and made me forget that it was a prologue in the first place. It also totally made sense in the context of the story… unlike a ton of other novels. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

🌿 Séverin is the leader of the crew, also known as my literal son. He’s half-Algerian, half-French, and he’s rightfully the heir to the House of Vanth but his position was denied & covered up by the leaders of the other houses.

🌿 Laila is an Indian girl with a neglectful father who’s hiding a secret about herself from the non-Séverin members of the group: she has the ability to read the history/memory of any non-Forged object. She’s very sweet, bakes, and she can change her demeanor to fit anything she wants.

🌿 Zofia is a badass who will literally light a match on her teeth??? She’s Jewish, Polish, and on the autistic-spectrum (and maybe the OCD-spectrum but I’m not 100% sure). Because of her experiences in the past, she has trouble opening up to people and takes solace in the reliability of numbers.

🌿 Enrique is a white-passing half Spanish, half-Filipino historian who strives to be a part of this elite Filipino historian group, and he wonders if his rejection is because of his lack of intelligence or rather, because he’s white-passing. I highly recommend you reading

🌿 Hypnos is a half Haitian, half French mga boy who has a glamorous life as the heir to one of the houses (I forgot the name lolol) but literally no one can be trusted in the upper classes and all he wants is some friends. (He’s like Anne Hathaway in Ocean’s 8.)

“No explosives.” Zofia did not mention that she brought her fire tape, incinerator, and matches. Just in case.

Like many other reviews have mentioned, there’s a steep learning curve to this world, but I found it quite alright and I really loved learning more. This worldbuilding is absolutely amazing! It’s set in a steampunk-esque futuristic Paris, and the imagery was astonishing. The setting varies from a greenhouse-type hotel to a gorgeous mansion/palace to museums. It would be so cool to visit this fictional world (if there wasn’t colonialism in there, which I’ll get to soon).

There’s also a lot of recognition of colonialism, which was painful to read about but it’s such a necessary perspective, especially in fantasy. The Order of Babel has taken artifacts from many other cultures and sold them off, without even acknowledging the nations that they stole from. They also colonized several different nations of the world, giving them a “choice” between war and between becoming allies with the Order of Babel.

Also, after writing my review I realized that I totally forgot about Tristan or his existence completely. I’m so… proud of myself.