My reading group, Novel Conversations, picked books on slavery or human trafficking for our next meeting. I picked this book as one of the books I plan to read for that discussion.
The story is set on a fantasy world, but no matter. People are divided into two groups, those with shadows and those without. They are called palebloods and dustbloods. The ones with shadows run everything. The ones without are no better than serfs, tied to the land the landmasters own. For the serfs, daughters are frequently sold to "welcome houses", brothels, where they spend their young lives servicing men with money. They can't leave the welcome house until the welcome house decides they have no further value, then they are thrown out with nothing.
We have a group of five girls who have decided to make their own luck. They have run away from the welcome house. Their goal is to find Lady Ghost, who is reputed to be able to remove their brands so they can live free. The journey is full of danger. Powerful people are after them, more than just the welcome house.
The desire to be able to make choices is very powerful. We all have it. This is a story of people trying to satisfy that desire. I liked it, even with the fantasy elements.