Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamoured with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and—especially—to the danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s leader, the enigmatic Sébastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of La Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sébastien’s guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.
When more bodies are discovered, each crime more gruesome than the last, Celine and New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—one Celine is sure has set her in his sights . . . and who may even be the young man who has stolen her heart. As the murders continue to go unsolved, Celine takes matters into her own hands and soon uncovers something even more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface.
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* Non-Spoiler Review*
This book was definitely an impulse buy, New Orleans, Vampires and possible Romance – I snapped it up quickly! Ahdieh is a new author to me, their writing style was nice, and the world-building is good, however, I found there was something lacking. I can’t pinpoint, maybe it felt a bit rush in places, but overall I felt immersed within this world.
Celine was exactly what I expected for the time period, I appreciate that Ahdieh made sure to make Celine feel like a teenager and not make her too mature (one of my pet peeves). She was a likeable character with flaws that made her relatable, which made me root for her and like her. I also love how she was a seamstress by trade, I appreciated the scenes of her working on her garments and the inspiration she found in making garments.
Sébastien Saint Germain as a protagonist kind of fell a little flat at the beginning for me, maybe that coincided with my feeling that something was missing in the world. As this is a non-spoiler post, all I will say there is something about Germain that I was disappointed about. Let me know when you have read it and tell me what you think left me disappointed!
Overall, a good start to this YA fantasy.
Spice Rating: 1/6 – See my rating system here
Book Rating: 4/5