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angie0184 Avatar


Absolutely incredible. I ended this book in tears, and am very much looking forward to the next installment. The parallels between the Underground Railroad, human trafficking, poverty discrimination, and the "favors", the marks on their faces that can't be removed, any more than someone can change their skin color, is compelling, moving, beautiful, I don't have enough adjectives to describe how wonderful this book was. There's action, adventure, hard life decisions, growth, all at tail end of some horrific abuse (while this book is technically classified as YA, I would think the older end of the YA group. There are some very sensitive topics in here). The world building in this book is grand too. The basic premise is that dustbloods (people who have had their shadows ripped from them by more powerful people) only have a few options available to them in life. One of them is to work at Welcome Houses, which are basically brothels full of girls and women that have been forced into the work. Their faces are tattooed with growing flowers that display for all the world to see what their lot in life is, and escaping those houses is nigh on impossible. The girls manage it though, all in pursuit of trying to find a woman named Lady Ghost, who legend has it can remove favors so that the Raveners - the house guards, magically imbued with powers to affect emotions and some even physical sensations - won't be able to track them. They meet a rangeman on the way who wants to help them to assuage some personal guilt, the story of which gets drawn slowly out of him. He isn't all he's putting himself out there as.

The rest is a high stakes book of evading, robberies, capture, revenants in the woods who can kill, and ultimately a story that left me with tear tracks at the end at the beauty of their story, and the promise of a next book. This is one of my favorite reads of 2019. Truly remarkable.