Tuesday, July 9, 2013

City of a Thousand Dolls by Miriam Forster [REVIEW]

TITLE: City of a Thousand Dolls
            (Bhinian Empire #1)

AUTHOR: Miriam Forster
PUBLISHER: Harper Teen
PUB DATE: Feb 5 2013
Summary from Goodreads:

"An exotic treat set in an entirely original, fantastical world brimming with deadly mystery, forbidden romance, and heart-stopping adventure.

Nisha was abandoned at the gates of the City of a Thousand Dolls when she was just a child. Now sixteen, she lives on the grounds of the isolated estate, where orphan girls apprentice as musicians, healers, courtesans, and, if the rumors are true, assassins. Nisha makes her way as Matron’s assistant, her closest companions the mysterious cats that trail her shadow. Only when she begins a forbidden flirtation with the city’s handsome young courier does she let herself imagine a life outside the walls. Until one by one, girls around her start to die.

Before she becomes the next victim, Nisha decides to uncover the secrets that surround the girls’ deaths. But by getting involved, Nisha jeopardizes not only her own future in the City of a Thousand Dolls—but her own life."


There are books out there that require one to read the excerpt/summary provided earlier before you start diving into the story. City of a Thousand Dolls belongs to this category. I say this because I remembered I read the summary of this book on Goodreads months before its release, but when I finally got to read it around June 2013, I’ve already forgotten what it was about and I couldn’t figure out where this was going during the first chapters. I had to read it again before settling on the book itself.

City of a Thousand Dolls provided a very creative tale of a sanctuary for girls who where orphaned. This city teaches girls to become musicians, healers, courtesans; enabling them to caste themselves in society. I have to say the idea is really captivating, and I for one, wanted to see how this would all turn out. Although the lore is kind of confusing sometimes, it’s a very interesting mix of myths and legends; sadly it was still a little loose on the details. I’m still trying to figure out what culture this book was inspired by.

Nisha’s character was another interesting factor. The mystery enveloping her past made me more attentive of how she would finally figure out what really happened when her father left her on the gates of the city. The cats were another thing; at first I questioned what exactly their purpose was. Could the story go on without them? Only further into the story (like, mostly near the end) do I see the significance of their presence.

City of a Thousand Dolls was indeed an interesting book. It has an exotic world-building, and a lore worth pondering over. However, the entirety of the book fell a little short. The transition of time and day was a little puzzling to identify. The writing just didn’t have that extra charm and magnetism that unleashes a reader’s insistence to be excited over a book.

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