First off - the cover is AMAZING. The vibrant purple with the shimming gold scorpion instantly drew my attention. Beauty and danger - classic and alluring.
Secondly - I am in love with the writing style and I was already chuckling before the end of the first page. The main character's, Zahru, inner dialogue is riotous and really resonates with the way I talk to myself in my own head. Plus, she can talk to animals?! Excuse me, we have ALL dreamed about having this ability at some point or another. (YES!)
Third and lastly - The CHARACTERS. I have yet to come across one I'm not floored with. Each feels completely unique with their own personalities and tone of voice.
I adore Zahru - her fascination for adventure and a life bigger than the one she's fated to is constantly clashing with her desire to be a good person and daughter. Her friendship with Hen warms my heart and is deeply relatable, reminding me of all the "adventures" I have with my own best friend. It's clear that Zahru is a good person, constantly trying to see the good in others and correcting herself when her thoughts tip towards unfavorable- even when the person is undeserving of her forgiveness. I cannot wait to see how she will grow as the story progresses.
I preordered the book from my local indie store before I even began writing this review, I can already tell that this is going to be one of my new favorites.
(P.S. A cliffhanger like that should be illegal!)